There is always the danger, when taking the shilling of proprietors and editors who use their papers to promote their view of the world, that pundits will find themselves writing to order, however that is worded or the message conveyed. At papers like the Mail, it is the editor who orders the pundit over the top, while at the Murdoch Sun, it is Creepy Uncle Rupe who gives the word.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
It is with this background that today’s attack on Tone by (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch should be viewed. The attack, over Tone’s alleged relationship with Wendi Deng, now no longer married to The Dirty Digger, crosses into Murdoch family territory. It cannot have got into the Sun without someone very high up in News UK clearing it – most likely with Rupe himself.
“I always had respect for Tony Blair as a politician, even though I’m a Tory” she tells, before her first act of doing Rupe’s bidding. “He modernised Labour. And as for Iraq, I was perfectly happy with it. There was nothing illegal about the UK deciding to go to war – we don’t need permission from those corrupt stuffed shirts in the UN”. This from someone who writes in the successor title to the, er, corrupt Screws.
That would be the title whose one-time editor, the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, admitted to a Parliamentary committee that she had paid Police officers for information. A title that hacked phones on an industrial scale. A title that was closed down in order to keep alive the hope of the Murdochs getting full control of BSkyB. Not much room to sound off about corruption there, then.
Ah, but here’s the get-out clause: “He has always denied an affair”. Oh well, that’s all right then, isn’t it? Ms Mensch effectively says Tone was playing away with Rupe’s then wife, then sniffs that he denies any wrongdoing, which just makes it worse. More sensitive souls might have consulted m’learned friend over that article, and one of them might well have been Ms Mensch herself.
Only last week she threatened proceedings against Peter Jukes and myself for the heinous sin of freely expressing opinions. Now she’s making very heavy hints, in a paper run by, shall we say, an interested party about the former PM, saying “He knew what he was doing” and that he was “Going behind the back of somebody”. Quite apart from the stench of hypocrisy, she’s being used by Murdoch.
Rupe must have approved that attack. It’s about his family. Another tame stooge.