One feature of the pre-Internet era that our free and fearless press must sometimes wish would return is that, unless you kept all those newspapers, the hacks and pundits could easily U-Turn from one week to the next, and most readers would be none the wiser. But now the duplicity can be picked up on, and called out, all so easily. And that is why the Murdoch goons at the Sun are in a very draughty glasshouse today.
The EU is something the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker despise, at least officially. They have their orders from Creepy Uncle Rupe. So when former PM Tony Blair spoke in favour of remaining in the European club, he had to be shouted down. But the denunciation could not mention the 2003 Iraq war: this might be why many distrust Tone today, but the Sun doesn’t want to risk reminding us that They Backed It Too.
So the Murdoch clowns have restricted themselves to abuse. “Tony Blair’s latest pro-EU outburst is a classic example of the slyness we came to expect of him as Prime Minister … Typically, Blair ignored the will of the British people to declare it 'absolutely necessary' that Brexit does not happen”. What “will of the British people” was that? The Murdoch mafiosi know full well another referendum now would result in a Remain win.
Still, do go on. “THERE’S little that cheers the souls of Brexiteers more than a pro-EU intervention by Tony Blair … In a report from his self-aggrandising Tony Blair Institute, he claims a squeeze on the economy means ‘already jobs are going’ … This blatantly ignores official figures showing more in work than ever … Blair also says the NHS is ‘yet to see’ the extra £350million a week promised by the Leave campaign, when he knows that any cash won’t come through until after we quit the EU”. As if we’ll ever see it.
But there’s more: “Most disingenuous of all, Blair claims ‘discussions’ he has had show the EU is ready for reform to stop Britain leaving … But why should we believe him or his unnamed sources? He was PM in 2005 during Britain’s EU presidency when he promised changes to the hated Common Agricultural Policy. He got nothing”.
Hang on a minute … what else was it that happened in 2005? The Sun doesn’t want to tell its readers, so I will. There was a General Election. And, aping the way in which the Vatican told the world they had selected a new Pope, the Sun showed a chimney issuing smoke. RED smoke. Because in that year, the Sun backed Labour. And Labour at that time was being led by … Tony Blair. The bloke they are now slagging off.
And they backed Blair in 2001, with a front page splash telling “IT’S IN THE BAG, TONY … You might as well call election now”. Going back further to 1997, the headline was first “THE SUN BACKS BLAIR”, and then on polling day showing Blair with a hand pointing to him (the style of the National Lottery adverts of the time) and the caption “IT MUST BE YOU”. All were signed up to this policy - even faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh.
So the answer to the question “why should we believe him” appears to be that the Murdoch goons did just that for more than a decade. The only reason they are so hell-bent on dissing Blair now is that, as ever, they have their instructions. And those are to take every opportunity to slag off the bloke who shagged Rupe’s missus. Allegedly.