Politics Home editor Kevin Schofield was aghast earlier today at the realisation “Labour bans copies of The Sun from its conference in Liverpool”. He is, after all, a former Sun man himself. And despite the lame blustering of Murdoch PR droid Dylan Sharpe trying to reassure his former colleague “they haven't Kev, it's still here”, it is clear from Schofield’s report that the removal of the rag from the conference venue is being taken seriously.
“Labour has banned copies of The Sun from being made available at its conference in Liverpool … The move came after Joe Anderson, the city's Labour mayor, complained about free copies of the paper being given away at a corporate stand … Mr Anderson told the Liverpool Echo: ‘I will get in touch with the conference centre and get it stopped immediately. I’ll do that right away … I don’t know how that was allowed into the conference centre. It’s a disgrace, and I apologise on behalf of the conference centre … It will be stopped right now”. Dead right it will.
But Sharpe is bound to try and gloss over the removal: this, after all, comes in the wake of the increasingly prominent Total Eclipse Of The S*n campaign, which has spread recently to the Merseytravel network, and a request from the local transport provider and manager that news outlets in rail and bus stations desist from stocking the paper, thus reinforcing the boycott that began more than 27 years ago.
The Murdoch doggies will of course claim that they have now apologised for their conduct in the aftermath of the Hillsborough stadium disaster, that all is now changed, that they didn’t really mean all the abuse, the lies, the smears, and the rest. And now that the Murdoch empire has even said goodbye to Wapping, the slate should be swept clean.
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, there is a rather large fly in this tub of supposedly soothing ointment, and that is the continuing presence at the Baby Shard Bunker of disgraced former editor Kelvin McFilth, who has still not had the spine to stand up and say sorry for his disgusting behaviour - not without blaming someone else.
He's still part of the management - THEY'RE NOT SORRY
And the latest issue of Private Eye magazine - on sale at all good news outlets right now, including across Merseyside - has shown just how significant Kel’s presence still is. “Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie may have been the subject of several hundred complaints to press regulator Ipso regarding his views on the hijab-wearing Channel 4 newsreader Fatima Manji, and no fewer than three open petitions at change.org demanding that he be banned from various media jobs - but Rupert Murdoch seems unlikely to be giving him his marching orders any time soon” notes a Street Of Shame item.
It continues “Unlike most lowly hacks who toil away in the Sun offices on the 12th floor of the ‘Baby Shard’ building that houses News UK, MacKenzie has his own personal office - upstairs on floor 13, the management level, alongside CEO Rebekah Brooks and the Murdochs themselves”. What was that about wiping the slate clean?
Nothing has changed at the Sun. They aren’t sorry, they’re still employing Kelvin McFilth, and he’s still regularly using the platform they give him to put the boot in on Liverpool. The boycott and its expansion were dead right, and should continue. Don’t buy the Sun.