Yes, "Oiky", we're talking about your loyalty
So watchers saw the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, representing Himself Personally Now, and perhaps more significantly, Vivi Nevo, Time Warner’s largest shareholder. Maybe Don Rupioni invited him just to show that he won’t be coming back with another bid because he’s decided to strong-arm the Tories into giving him the green light to but out the 61% of Sky he does not yet own.
But what was most significant about those giving tribute to the ageing Mafioso was the delegation from the Tory Party. Sure, there was a sprinkling of slebs, along with the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, Times editor John Witherow, and Tony Gallagher of the Sun - for them not to be there would have incurred the Don’s displeasure - but it was the MPs’ presence that showed who was in favour.
There was no invite for Young Dave or next-door neighbour Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the seventeenth Baronet. Nor was London’s increasingly occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson present. And it went without saying that no representative of the Labour Party was welcome. Just Michael “Oiky” Gove, and Witham’s self-promoting MP Priti Patel, came to offer their congratulations.
Cameron and Osborne have opposed the Murdoch view of the EU. Rupe clearly regards Bozza as being too flaky to be a true Eurosceptic. But Gove, former taker of the Murdoch shilling, is a true believer both in wanting out of the EU, and in the goodness and greatness of the Murdoch empire. Ms Patel is similarly Europhobic. By being there, they have told the world that they are truly loyal. But not necessarily to the Tory Party.
In return for his loyalty to Murdoch, Gove will know that, should Murdoch need Cameron to help his next bid for Sky and therefore reluctantly get his papers to throw their weight behind the Remain campaign, there will be a future for him in the Baby Shard Bunker, even if Dave reshuffles him out of the cabinet in the wake of the Referendum. In this way, democratic power is subtly but firmly subverted.
And Don Rupioni shows that his travails are over. He is still strong. For now, anyway.