With admirable candour, the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh (presentable, pleasant and a complete yes man) conceded that Murdoch the Interfering Foreigner had been involved in the decision: the Super Soaraway Currant Bun has now officially deserted Labour and will cheerlead for the Tories come the next General Election.
So what? Labour have been well behind in the polls for months, and the Tories look to be on course for victory, barring any of Supermac’s “events” overcoming them. And that’s without the Sun supporting them. Does it really matter?
That depends on whose reaction you’re watching. The Beeb’s Nick Robinson has laid out the timeline and has put forward some thoughts on the effect of the switch. Strangely enough, Alastair Campbell, part of the Blair team that worked so hard to get Murdoch on side, doesn’t think it’s such a big deal. But then, he would, wouldn’t he? Big Al was part of a Government that wanted the Murdoch endorsement, just as Major (who said he counted the time that the Sun dropped him as the beginning of the end) and Thatcher did.
Michael White in the Guardian has put it rather more interestingly: he has called the Daily Mail as the country’s most influential paper. The Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor, Paul Dacre, is a friend of Pa Broon. And in 1997, the paper told its readers to vote Tory – Dacre detested Tony Blair – to little effect: the number of Daily Mail readers voting Labour then increased in 2001.
Meaning that the Sun is, as Robinson says in his blog, following its readers, and not leading them. Meanwhile, White has picked up on the promise by Young Dave to hobble Ofcom, a Rupe friendly move, which he has called a “down payment”. I’ve noted that the keeping of “family” Andy Coulson, and the new right of centre grouping in the European Parliament, are also sure to please Murdoch. As pundits on Rupe’s Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) like to say, there must have been a quid pro quo.
So, Dave, how about letting the electorate know what it was?