Britain’s voters have just voted to leave the EU, the Tories have entered a prolonged period of blood-letting as candidates manoeuvre for a leadership contest, the internal strife at the Labour Party shows no sign of abating, and so the Murdoch mafiosi at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have so much to choose from that they have used their front page splash … to kick the England football team.
In a classic example of playing both sides of the field, the Sun berates the national team for its performances, while not mentioning that the shrinking pool of home-grown talent is down in no small measure to the tsunami of money thrown at the Premier League for the past 20-odd years … by the same people who run the Sun.
So what’s the deal this time? “England Shame … OFF WITH THEIR HEAD RESTS … Fans’ fury at jetset luxury of FA bigwig” thunders the headline. The article tells “England fans’ fury at FA bigwig who posts snaps online of personalised head rest after humiliating Iceland defeat … Supporters blast PR chief Andy Walker after he posts snaps of jetset luxury online … and then deletes account”.
The Murdoch doggies trowelled on the hate. “The snap of the charter jet seat - personalised with his name on the head rest - sparked a furious backlash from supporters who saw it on LinkedIn. One fumed: ‘This picture just sums up what is wrong with the national game’”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.
But, as Captain Blackadder might have said, there was only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. The Sun admits that the company from which the FA chartered the aircraft “provided the named head rest covers at no extra cost”. And it gets worse: Andy Walker did not post that snap of his personalised headrest after the defeat by Iceland.
We know this because the Sun article shows it. Look at the screen capture the paper has included in its online copy: it is from Walker’s Twitter account (not LinkedIn, as the article claims), that account has not been deleted and is still live, and the Tweet showing the headrest cover and with the comment “Next stop: @UEFAEURO #ThreeLions #TogetherForEngland” was posted on June 6 - THREE WEEKS before the Iceland game.
And, as for the claims “an FA fat cat boasted he jaunted in luxury … Communications manager Andy Walker’s bragging … The PR man told of his glee”, this is also total crap. What Walker posted to LinkedIn was a factual account of his travels with the England team, and he posted it there because LinkedIn is a business networking site. It was no more than an addition to his online CV.
Instead, the Murdoch goons have twisted Walker’s words and his role - it wasn’t him on the pitch - for a bit of fun. So he might get set on and beaten up by a group of disgruntled “fans”? That’s someone else’s problem. The Sun has sold a few more copies.
The Murdoch Sun. Peddling hate and hypocrisy since 1969. So no change there, then.