Auberon Waugh — A Demon on the Page, An Angel Off It

Auberon Waugh was happy to admit that most journalism is merely tomorrow's chip paper but, of all the journalists of his generation, his penny-a-line hackery seems most likely to endure.

What made him so special? Like all great writers, it was a combination of style and substance. He had a lovely way with words — he could write a shopping list and make you want to read it — and his libertarian diatribes were wonderfully unorthodox, lambasting pompous humbugs on the left and on the right. Yes, he could be outrageous (and often gloriously rude), but even his most outlandish opinions contained a grain of truth. Above all, he was funny. His humor was absurd but it was underpinned by logic, and his savage assaults on the not-so-great and not-so-good were redeemed by some excellent jokes at his own expense.

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