I heard the other day that I’d been awarded a doctorate. Which was nice. I started doing it at the beginning of 1999, walking out of a perfectly good job in the trade press in the process, and several times in the intervening six years it had looked as if it wasn’t going to happen. But happen it did, and I’m now an accredited authority (sort of) on the Italian Communist Party’s relationship with the cycle of contentious activism which ran from 1973 to 1979. (A subject which has turned out to have a lot more contemporary relevance than I thought it would.)
I’m also Dr Phil Edwards – a name which you’ve probably seen in print already, and not referring to me. I’ve told the Guardian that they’re attributing quotes to a pseudonym a number of times, most recently in response to this rather unedifying story. Greatly to my surprise, the writer actually rang me up to talk about it. She was quite apologetic and had obviously never heard the story before; I got the impression that relations between the Guardian and the BNP are already a bit strained (which is probably no bad thing).
But that’s just one story and one writer; I should imagine I’ll have it all to do again before long. Perhaps I’ll change my name to John Tyndall.