Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Chris Mullin: I hadn't realised the Sun was on our side

Next Left asked Labour MP Chris Mullin, who was traduced by the Sun for his efforts to reverse a major miscarriage of justice over the Birmingham Six, to comment on the scale of attention being paid to The Sun's very effective marketing stunt.

He said:

My first reaction was mild amusement. I hadn't realised The Sun was on our side in the first place. And any student of the writings of Mr Trevor Kavanagh over the last 12 years could be forgiven for thinking that it never has been.

My second reaction, watching that rascal George Pascoe Watson on Newsnight last night, was anger. How dare they? Who elected him? By what right does an American (or is Murdoch still an Australian?) billionaire subvert the British democratic process? And are his interests necessarily the same as those of 'Sun' readers?

Of course, to some extent New Labour only has itself to blame for sucking up to him in the first place. I would have pursued a different strategy...

Chris Mullin's diaries revealed that John Major had commissioned research on how foreign ownership could be curbed.

With David Cameron and Andy Coulson's increasingly close links to News International - and Tory deputy chairman Michael Ashcroft seemingly building up his own mini-me-Murdoch empire, I don't think we'll be hearing much about that.

It has been interesting how little critical comment there has been about the acknowledgement that the decision was made by Rupert Murdoch, not the editor.

Guido Fawkes among those to suggest that controversial ex-NOTW editor Andy Coulson may have had an influence on the timing.

As Nick Assinder writes, Murdoch's current obsession with undermining the BBC could mean that the increasingly close Cameron-Murdoch relationship is bad news for the BBC.

Assinder, an ex-BBC, Mail and Express journalist, recently resigned from PoliticsHome over the principle of media integrity.

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