Shit, what an arse he has become…
I was speaking to an ex-colleague of mine this weekend and told her about this blog I have been forced to write.
Her words were, “Hi Stu… shit what an arse he has become… well he often was wasn’t he? But I always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt cos I thought he was my friend.. and you never like to think of friends that way do you? .. He fooled me so much”.
I asked if she would like to post something on it, to which she agreed and can be read as follows:
“Neil Dalleywater… Ethics… shouldn’t be spoken in the same sentence. The bloke doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Nor actually the meaning of loyalty, friendship, or trust.
My experience of his double dealings goes back many years, must be around twelve or so by now.
When I started at Jazz Publishing I worked as Ad Sales on Supertwins Magazine, Neil was then assistant editor to Rich King. Within a very short time of my working there, Rich King had been ousted, due – I must say – to his great ability to do as little amount of work as possible, in the most amount of time.
The point here though, is that Rich and Neil were longtime friends going back many years. Who do you think it was complaining most (and to the management) about Rich and his lack of work ethic? …yep you have it… his best mate Neil… Who do you think knew he was being asked to leave a week before he did? Yep, you got it. Who do you think organised to get his job when Rich was asked to leave? … Yep, right again… his best mate.. Neil.
Meanwhile, as at that point – Neil was a professed lifestyle biker, always had been always will be… his words, not mine… Although we loved working on Supertwins, we both preferred a more lifestyle kind of bike, the ‘home built in the shed’ type of thing. We began to badger Stuart to create a new magazine, one we could both work on and really love.
It worked in the end… and 100% Biker Magazine was born… Neil had spent months declaring, as had I, that this was his dream, to be Editor of a magazine for real bikers. Real grass roots stuff, shoestring money builds. So why, after only three issues did he leave us completely in the proverbial doo-doo and walk out at the drop of a hat when our rival magazine offered him loads more dosh?! He knew he was leaving weeks before and never said a word, hoping to cause the maximum damage. It was a ploy to make the magazine fold, as we were doing their sales a fair amount of damage. They thought without an Editor we would have to fold…
Luckily, I had been helping out with event coverage, and sourcing bikes and talking to bike builders and felt we had enough articles to put together another couple of issues to enable us time to find a replacement editor. A good friend, Paul Cave – who at that time edited Total VW Magazine, showed me the ropes and was there to give me enormous support and backup. We never looked back. I went on to stay as Editor until I left Jazz to move to Portugal in 2007. Neil only lasted a few months in his new post, due to mental health problems.
Meanwhile back at Jazz, life carried on as normal. Our sister publication Skin Deep was going great guns, but there were differences of opinions between Editorship and management. The debate over paid-for ads from supply companies is one that I think will never ever be solved, it’s all down to personal choices. I don’t know all the exact differences between Sally the then editor and Stuart, but it at times, seemed unsolvable.
During this time, I had become friendly with Neil again, I had kept in touch with his lovely lady Kate and over time, forgiven his desertion of us as a mid-life crisis type of thing. Neil wasn’t really that ruthless, I convinced myself. So when it was discussed that maybe a new editor of Skin Deep would have to be found, Neil’s name popped up.
Sadly I was the person who convinced Stuart that Neil was not a bad bloke, and that he would be perfect for the job and to trust him and give him another chance. Neil was also a friend of Sally, he knew the ropes, the freelancers and had an interest in tattoos. At that point he was running his own small and failing bike repair business in North Wales.
So, yet again, Neil slipped into a job behind the current persons back, all discussed, set up and sorted before they knew it. I again, as Neil’s friend thought this was a bit underhand, but sometimes things work out that way. You never want to believe such shit of people you care about do you?
Neil KNEW right from the start, before he took the Editor of Skin Deep’s job, that most of the problems between Stuart and Sally were based on one huge thing, paid-for ads of supply company stuff. The fact that some tattooists didn’t agree with advertising supplies through a non-industry publication. He knew, he didn’t agree with Sally, he took the job and Stuarts money. He would run ads, he wanted a successful magazine, as we all did.
I had the desk next to him for years. Neil’s priority for his magazine was for it to be successful; scruples were just something you gave out to the public… what matters in magazine terms is advertising revenue… it plays an important part for the success of a title.
I was astounded when I read of Neil’s so called ‘ethical’ resignation from Jazz Publishing. I had known that over the years he had managed to remake himself from a lifestyle biker into Mr Tattoo Magazine, but to give up his job in such a public way and to revile Stuart who had given him back a job, trust and friendship (yes until then, they were friends, mountain biking together, gardening, pig courses! the lot) was beyond belief to me.
Then, slowly, the situation sunk in – and knowing how Neil had acted previously, I began to wonder what his next job would be? It must already be organised, it must be in competition with Jazz and it must be timed to cause as much controversy and damage as possible!
I couldn’t believe he was doing it again… and people fall for it every time…!
As you may all know, at the time, he refuted the fact that he had a job to go to, he refuted the fact that he was setting up in competition to Jazz. He publicly stated, it was all about ‘ethics’.
Ethics, Neil… Don’t make me laugh… He couldn’t even tell you what the word means..
Does this sound bitter… or even cynical and disgusted? .. yes, you bet I am.