When I joined MT back in 2007, with a remit to expand our online coverage, one of the first things I wrote about was the bail-out of Northern Rock. Other massive stories followed: the part-nationalisation of RBS and Lloyds, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the chaos in Greece, the captivating News Corp/ BSkyB saga... the list goes on. So it's fair to say that my time here has coincided with a fascinating period for UK plc. People who would previously have only used the business pages for wrapping their chips have started arguing with me about credit default swaps and corporate governance.
What I/ we have tried to do on the website is to bring MT's tone and philosophy to bear on the big business stories of the day. So we've done our best to celebrate success and give credit where it's due - without being afraid to criticise where appropriate. We've tried to keep an eye on the important trends shaping the world of work, like the rise of flexible working, the influence of technology, and (a particular bugbear of mine) the UK's growing skills problem. And we've also attempted to raise the occasional smile by bringing you some of the more weird and wonderful stories to cross our newsdesk (here are two of my personal favourites - the council that banned Latin, and why promotion interviews should always involve a car and a horse). We don't expect you to agree all the time - in fact we love it when you argue the toss with us - but we've always tried to be fair and thoughtful.
Naturally all this will continue long after I've gone; the site remains a work in progress, and there are loads of other features we hope to roll out over the next year or so. So please do keep reading, do keep telling us when we're right and when we're wrong, and do keep letting us know how we can make things better. There's no question that MT's greatest strength is the quality, breadth and erudition of its readership. It's been a pleasure getting to know so many of you over the last four years. Thanks for listening, and for teaching me so much stuff that I didn't know.
The editor writes:
So, it’s farewell then, Taylor. I’ve sat either next to or within six feet of James for the last four years. And tomorrow he won’t be there. It’s odd that after 48 months this human copy machine still hasn’t worked out that you won’t make a computer process faster by smashing the keyboard against the desk or hurling the mouse across the room.
James was unusual for a journalist in that he came to us having previously had a proper job, working with Caroline Plumb – the youngest women ever to appear on our 35 Women Under 35 list and now a UK Business Ambassador no less – at FreshMinds. He lost his marbles by becoming a hack, she by agreeing to marry him. Before we knew it he’d taken over our website and seen it through the redesign last year and to the success it enjoys today.
He may be the worst-dressed hack in the West; a man who makes Columbo look like Bryan Ferry. But, as befits a Classics scholar from Oxford, he works like a Trojan, has terrific editorial knowledge and judgement and has created the unique online voice of MT. I’m miffed he’s off. But god’s speed as he heads up West.