Arnold Kemp archive

The Arnold Kemp Archive

The Arnold Kemp archive you will find on the right hand menu on this page is an attempt to compile some of my father's writing. For many years, he wrote reflectively and thoughtfully about many things. He had an international outlook and travelled widely. He was fluent in Fench, read Le Monde, loved Paris and often wrote about it. He was less confident in spoken German but made a habit of reading Die Zeit. He also spent time in Moscow, Berlin and New York and sent many dispatches back from the US, Germany, the former Soviet Union and Asia. He met many of the most important figures of the age: Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, the Queen and Ronald Reagan.

He saw himself a a European but also loved Scotland and he had an unusually deep knowledge of his country's history, politics and culture. Over his more than two decades as deputy editor at the Scotsman and editor of the Herald he had a lasting influence as a advocate of devolution.

Towards the end of his life, Arnold Kemp found a new role as foreign news editor at the Observer in London, a role to which he brought a lifelong study of world affairs and his talents as an editor and journalist. He also wrote a column for the Scottish edition.

It is many years since his sudden death from a heart attack at the age of 63 in 2002. In that time.  A decade after his death, with the support of his partner Anne Simpson who is also now deceased, I produced an anthology of his work, part memoir, part anthology called "Confusion to Our Enemies".

 

Summary of a talk about 1979

‘1979: Scotland’s First Constitutional Referendum’

Published on:  Author: CSCS Leave a comment

On 5 November 2013, the Centre was pleased to welcome journalist and writer, Jackie Kemp, who discussed ‘1979: Scotland’s First Constitutional Referendum’. Below is this listener’s brief summary of the lecture.

Jackie began her lecture by quoting the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard: “Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards”. Living as we are in the shadow of the upcoming 2014 referendum, obtaining knowledge of past constitutional experiences in Scotland may well be enlightening.

The 1979 referendum for devolution of a Scottish parliament was a watershed moment in post-war British history. Many important concepts were in flux, such as social justice, gender relations, the NHS, worker’s rights, and the class system; the referendum was a cusp moment for many of these ideas.

 

Jackie drew on her father’s work and legacy for much of the discussion. The well-respected Arnold Kemp was Herald editor for fourteen years, and commentated on much of the 1979 campaign. (Read more about Arnold here) One day after the referendum, March 2 1979, many of the Yes campaigners were found in a local watering hole mourning their marginal defeat. Many felt there was no future for a devolved Scottish parliament. However, Arnold strode in, ordered champagne, and declared ‘We won, right?’.

Media coverage by The Herald in the lead-up to the referendum.

Read more: Summary of a talk about 1979

Observer stalwart who revelled in the joy of journalism

Robin McKie The Observer, Sunday 9 September 2012

Arnold Kemp

Arnold Kemp in a bar, where he would lead glorious conversations that could go anywhere. Photograph: Observer.

Read more: Observer stalwart who revelled in the joy of journalism

A Tribute to Arnold Kemp

 From The Herald, April 15, 2013. 

ARNOLD Kemp, a former editor of The Herald, was toasted as "one of Scotland's finest ever journalists" during an event to celebrate his life at the Aye Write! Festival in Glasgow.

TRIBUTE: Robin McKie, Jackie Kemp, Julie Davidson and Magnus Llewellin celebrate Arnold Kemp at the Aye Write! festival. Picture: Gordon Terris arnold kemp: Editor of The Herald between 1981 and 1994.
TRIBUTE: Robin McKie, Jackie Kemp, Julie Davidson and Magnus Llewellin celebrate Arnold Kemp at the Aye Write! festival. Picture: Gordon Terris arnold kemp: Editor of The Herald between 1981 and 1994.


Read more: A Tribute to Arnold Kemp

Buy "Confusion to our Enemies: the Selected Journalism of Arnold Kemp"

You can buy a copy of "Confusion to our Enemies: selected journalism of Arnold Kemp" direct from me. The cost is £3.99 including postage. 

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