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Monday 28 July 2014

Murdoch Press Hires Another Tory

Not satisfied with having long-time Tory supporters like Danny Finkelstein at the Times, and giving former Conservative Home stalwart Tim Montgomerie the duty of writing leader columns for the now sadly former paper of record, Rupert Murdoch’s UK press empire has now bolstered the right-leaning ranks at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, with the arrival of Dylan Sharpe as PR man.
That's what I think of youse bladdy impartiality shite, ya Pommie drongos!

Now, some may shrug and suggest that one PR practitioner is very much like any other, that their primary purpose is to promote their business and nothing more, and that they are relatively lowly functionaries. However, and in this case there is a significantly sized however, Sharpe will report directly to managing editor Stig Abell, and so is a key player in the Sun’s management.

And, although PR week has told “Sharpe joins from Business for Britain, an organisation campaigning on behalf of businesses for a renegotiation of the UK’s role in Europe. He was previously head of press on the NO to AV campaign, campaign director at Big Brother Watch and head of media at The Countryside Alliance”, they have sold their man well short.

Big Brother Watch shares an office with the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, the organisation that represents less than one tenth of one per cent of all taxpayers, yet claims to speak on behalf of all of them – and which has proposed reform to the tax system that would shrink the state back to 1939 levels. That means no NHS. It’s another supposedly non-partisan yet inherently highly conservative group.

Sharpe has also contributed to a number of fora recently, including still-extant group blog The Commentator, which has shown the extent of its fair and balanced attitude recently with a post titledOne million bigots to march against Israel in London” and emphasising “The plan is for a million people -- every single one a bigot by definition -- to join a rally in London on Saturday”.

Perhaps it was less screamingly batshit when Sharpe made his contribution, of course. He has also authored posts for Conservative Home, a more mainstream forum yet still a Tory supporting one. And he’s been part of the team that got London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson into City Hall in 2008, just in time to claim credit for projects Ken Livingstone had already started.

That’s a thoroughly conservative backstory, even before Sharpe’s support for the Young Britons’ Foundation, the self-proclaimed “Conservative Madrasa” that trains activists and works so closely with the Tory Party that there is, to the average outsider, little difference. Now, I’m not suggesting media conglomerates shouldn’t hire whomsoever they want – just pointing out the politics of those thus hired.

And with the Murdoch empire, so many of them are Tory supporters.

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