Book launching to celebrate anniversary of Arnold Kemp death

A BOOK is being launched to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the death of Arnold Kemp, considered by many to be among the best journalists ever produced by Scotland.

Edited by his daughter, Jackie, ‘Confusion to our Enemies: Selected Journalism of Arnold Kemp (1939-2002)’, is being published by Glasgow-based Neil Wilson Publishing.

Jackie is appearing in Aberdeen Central Library a week on Saturday to promote it.

When he died, Kemp was writing for The Observer. He was previous editor of The Herald and deputy editor of The Scotsman.

In an obituary in The Guardian, Kemp was credited with helping boost the sales of The Scotsman to 100,000, the paper said to have been described by Kemp as “a grey and conservative paper that served a business and professional class famous for its complacency and self-satisfaction”.

He was editor of The Herald for 13 years.

The pre-publicity quotes, to accompany the book’s publication, pretty much say it all:

“Unarguably one of the finest journalists of his generation,” RT Hon Alistair Darling, MP

“This collection of Arnold’s work – covering many of the important events at home and abroad during his professional life – is a fantastic read, and the passage of time brings new insights into his always eloquently expressed views and observations,” First Minister Alex Salmond, MSP

“This is an important text for anyone wishing to come to a fuller understanding of how Scotland developed from the dark days of the Second World War to the current debates over independence in the new millennium. It is also a hugely enjoyable read which many will savour with interest and delight for its own sake,” Professor Tom Devine, University of Edinburgh

“Sartorially, he was shambolic. I once wrote that he was the only man in Britain who bought an incredibly expensive Chester Barrie suit and then paid three tramps to sleep in it for a fortnight. He sometimes got his hair cut. The inside of his head was a bit long-haired as well, and somehow cavalier: he was not a Roundhead in politics or personality,” Jack McLean, writing in The Herald after Kemp’s death

“He taught me that drinking champagne by moonlight may be romantic, but by daylight it’s even more fun,” Dorota Nosowicz, Kemp’s secretary on The Observer news desk.

For more details, visit

The book is being launched on Monday. Buy it here (go to newspapers, page seven).