For ordinary members of the public, the rule is as simple as it is instructive: never, but never, go to the tabloid press. It will only end badly - not for the press, but for those foolish enough to go running to it, in the misguided belief that they might work any given situation to their advantage. And for politicians on the left, a similar rule holds true: never, but never, go to the Mail titles. And don’t even think about going to the Sun.
This last warning was recently disregarded by Labour’s Sarah Champion, who has represented Rotherham since 2012, and who has earned significant respect among her peers on both sides of the House for her work on young people’s issues. Ms Champion agreed to write, or at least see her name on the by-line of, an article for the Murdoch Sun, to be published in the wake of the Newcastle sex abuse trial verdicts.
It should have been clear from the outset that anything appearing in the Sun would form part of the paper’s Muslim bashing agenda, and so it proved. Ms Champion claimed the opening paragraphs had been “stripped of nuance”. But her office had passed the final wording, indeed approved it enthusiastically. Perhaps her staff were a little too keen to see her name in lights, and less careful about studying the wording.
The result of the article was that the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh, faithful Murdoch retainer and practitioner of racist smears of many years’ standing, used it as part of his attack on Britain’s Muslim communities, an attack which ended with asking what we might do about “The Muslim Problem”. The blatantly racist language shocked not just the Muslim Council of Britain, but also the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
As a result of allowing herself to be manipulated as little more than a pawn in the latest dirty Murdoch game of bigotry and hatred, Ms Champion has had little alternative but to resign from the shadow front bench, Jeremy Corbyn accepting her resignation but stressing he looked forward to working with her in the future. Jezza had backed her until the Sun showed that her office had approved the fateful wording.
None of this was allowed to enter over at the Northcliffe House bunker, where the Mail has opened up on the Labour leadership this morning with the screaming and dishonest front page lead “Labour MP forced to quit equalities role after she confronted groomers’ race … HOUNDED OUT FOR SPEAKING UP ON CHILD SEX GANGS”. The Sun is in the mire over Kavanagh’s vicious bigotry, but the Dacre doggies are happy to take up the baton.
But no-one has been “hounded out”. The Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor knows his hacks are lying through their teeth. This, though, is what happens when a Labour MP goes running to the tabloids, and especially to the Sun. Whatever deal is struck, it will always be to the advantage of the Murdoch mafiosi. And when it comes to anything involving Scary Muslims (tm), that deal will involve thinly veiled and vicious racism.
Don’t go to the Sun, Labour MPs. It’s like a scrap with a pig: you end up covered in crap, but the pig enjoys it. Leave the pig to wallow in its own shit. And Don’t Buy The Sun.