Those of us who work for The Times know that such exaggeration comes close to outright falsehood. I understand perfectly how this sounds, but I’ll say it anyway: this newspaper is the best run and most collegiate of any media organisation that I’ve worked for, and I’ve worked for a few. Mr Murdoch, therefore, is eminently fit enough to run us. As for TV, Uncle Rupert, as none of us call him, bought a loss-making satellite operation in the 1980s and, against the background of derision and opposition, turned it into BSkyB. He believed in it, invested in it, made the losses and came through. Is he fit to run it? The question is almost ludicrous.
Rupert Murdoch didn’t and doesn’t actually change big policies. Tony Blair — a convinced European — was not swayed by News International’s Europhobe inclinations. And credit, if any is due, for not joining the euro more properly lies with Gordon Brown than with any Sun editor.
Despite that, I myself have no quarrel with the long march of accountability through the various corridors of power, however uncomfortable. I welcome it. But I would prefer it to be led by people who are not associated, as Tom Watson is, with attempting the “rehabilitation of old-style trade union fixing and activist stitch-ups”, as Tony Blair said in his memoirs. Such politics was all, said Mr Blair, “great fun for those who like that of thing”. But the thing is, most of us don’t.
David Aaronovich in the Times. Spot on..
In memory of Richard West, 1930-2015
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