And with Dark Lord Mandelson rumoured to be hovering in the background of Keir Starmer’s inner circle, it should surprise no-one at all that the current Labour leader is also moving to play nice with the media group that, more than any other, has coarsened public discourse, indulged in a variety of illegal behaviour, stirred up hatred, and in leaving the EU, which will impoverish 99% of its population, well and truly screwed the UK.
That much is predictable: what is sticking in the craw of many a Labour supporter this morning is that, while the Tories are gathering for a party conference in Manchester, not so far away from the city where the Sun is still unwelcome 32 years after the Hillsborough stadium disaster, Starmer should have chosen this moment to court the Sun.
Rupe's most likely message to Labour
What did he have to tell the readership? “I don’t want people to have another Christmas spoiled by Boris Johnson’s incompetence”. Did he need that to appear in the Sun? But there is more. “This chaos hasn’t come about by chance. It is a crisis made in Downing Street … A crisis created by this Prime Minister’s incompetence. The shortage of HGV drivers should not have been a surprise to the government”. So far, so routine.
He’s pointing out the reality of where we are now. But, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, during his pitch for the Labour leadership, in Liverpool, he said this: “This city has been wounded by the media - The Sun [fx: booing] - a hurt for this city. And I certainly won’t be giving any interviews to the Sun during the course of this campaign”.
A city the Labour leadership may have forgotten about ...
And Two, it was revealed by the host during the newspaper review on The Andy Marr Show™ this morning, that it was not the Murdoch goons who approached Starmer to write for the paper, but he and/or his team who went to the Sun and asked them to let him. It was his initiative. That just makes it look worse to all those activists.
It also comes not so long after the Hillsborough death toll rose from 96 to 97. Andrew Devine, who suffered irreversible brain damage as a result of the crush in the pens of the Leppings Lane End, was deemed by the coroner to have been the disaster’s 97th victim, and that he had been unlawfully killed. His name will be added to the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield stadium. He only died two months ago.
... and one event in particular
Maybe Keir Starmer believes that, despite the adverse comment, he has to make nice with the Murdoch mafiosi. Maybe the reaction is “priced in”. Maybe he thinks that Labour is in such a strong position on Merseyside that the party will still clean up there at the next General Election. But this will not enthuse Labour activists across the North West.
His problem is that the likes of Mandelson are yesterday’s politicians. Their tools were focus groups and triangulation. But you can’t focus group and triangulate against a congenital liar like alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
Nor can you trust the Murdoch goons not to shit on you come the next election. Hint.
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