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.
Robin McKie, The Observer's science correspondent, made the tribute during a wide-ranging, amusing and at times surprising debate that was prompted by his life and work.

Mr Kemp, who died suddenly in 2002 aged 63, would have loved the conversation.

Up for discussion were topics including the superiority of Beethoven to Mozart (or vice versa), the position of the press in the 21st century, the Leveson inquiry, devolution, independence, cyber-abuse and even the appearance of Mike and Bernie Winters’s at the Glasgow Empire.

Leading the event was Mr Kemp’s daughter Jackie Kemp, The Herald’s current editor Magnus Llewellin and late substitute Julie Davidson, who stepped in for a delayed Magnus Linklater and who herself worked for Mr Kemp at both The Scotsman and The Herald.

Mr Kemp, who edited The Herald between 1981 and 1994 and also worked at the Observer, was, according to Davidson “not so much a Scottish nationalist as a Scottish patriot” with an internationalist outlook.

“I think he would have voted yes,” she said at the Mitchell Library.

He was also prescient, said Mr Llewellin, referring to a piece Mr Kemp wrote as far back as 1969 imagining “instant dial-up newspapers”.

The event coincided with the launch of Mr Kemp’s The Hollow Drum as an e-book.