Sunday, August 26, 2012

murdoch: ‘twas ever thus…

I’m currently reading the third of Chris Mullin’s political diaries “A Walk-On Part: Diaries 1994-99”. He was the Labour MP for Sunderland South from 1987 to 2010 and someone I have long admired for his candour, humour and commonsense. It makes fascinating (and often hilarious) reading.
Thus far, I’m only half way through it but, already, I’ve been struck by the fact we’re STILL trying to come to terms with many of the SAME issues some 15-18 years later and, in particular, Rupert Murdoch.
These are just a few (believe me, there are MANY more!) of Mullin’s diary entries about him:
·   “We should be concerned about the social, political and cultural consequences. We had to find a way of preventing a handful of megalomaniacs (referring to Murdoch and his ilk) from taking control of everything we see and read” (Jul 94).
·   “Felt inspired to make a little speech along the lines that Murdoch was polluting our culture and something must be done about him” (Jul 94).
·   “Murdoch is paying virtually no Corporation Tax” (Oct 94).
·   Need to persuade “our masters to do something about Murdoch” (Oct 94).
·   “And to cap it all the leader himself (referring to Tony Blair) is about to scurry halfway round the world to answer a summons from Rupert Murdoch and his evil empire” (Jul 95).
·   “Bernard (Donoughue) alleged, citing a Tory source, that Thatcher had sent a draft of the 1990 Broadcasting Bill to Murdoch’s lawyers and allowed them to make deletions as they saw fit” (Feb 96).
·   “Sure enough, today’s “Sun” is covered in ‘We Back Blair’. Inside there are two pages of justification. Every word reeks of cynicism. Murdoch is just protecting his assets. If we had the guts, we should keep quiet until 1 May (General Election date) and strike with deadly force in the first week. We won’t though. We haven’t neutralised Murdoch. He’s neutralised us” (Mar 97).
Fascinating, but also really rather frightening.

1 comment:

bigdaddystevieB said...

Actually, the Murdoch issue has been going on for 30 years!! Here's an extract Mullin's diary dated Nov 97: "Ran into John major by the photocopier at the end of the Upper Corridor South. We had another conversation about Murdoch, whom he clearly loathes. He talked of 'the damage he did to your party in the early 80s and mine in the early 90s'. I asked what could be done, given that the Tyrant would unleash the full force of his empire against anyone who tried to tame him. 'The only way is a two-party alliance,' he said. Time to dig out my great - unsent - memorandum".