Posts Tagged ‘The Herald’

Fluck and Law’s 1987 Caricature of Rupert Murdoch

March 16, 2016

I found this grotesque photo of Fluck and Law’s rubber model of the Dirty Digger in Private Eye’s issue for 22nd July-4th August 2011. It was originally done for their issue 667, of July 1987. This marked the decision of Lord Young, Maggie Thatcher’s Trade and Industry Secretary, not to refer the Digger’s attempts to take over the Today newspaper to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. The censor flash is mine, as the original is very explicit, and I didn’t want to put anything that might be considered too indecent up, one consideration being that such imagery can be used as pretext for blocking the site because of its political content. The good Mr Pride had experience of this when some people were finding their attempts to go to his page blocked because of ‘adult content’. It does indeed have such, but not in the sense his detractors meant. And I’m not willing to let the same excuse be used to stop people looking at this site.

Apart from its historical context, it’s pretty much what Murdoch has been doing to British media, culture and politics ever since he was allowed to take over the Herald and turn it into the Sun in the late ’60-’70s.

Fluck Law Murdoch

Vote Labour to Get Murdoch Out!

April 22, 2015

According to the Indie, Rupert Murdoch has told the hacks in News International to redouble their efforts to stop ‘Red’ Ed Miliband getting into No. 10. The paper quoted the Dirty Digger as saying, ‘If he gets in, we’re finished.’

In my opinion, this is another reason why every decent person in this country should go out and vote for Miliband.

Murdoch, and to a lesser extent the other Fleet Street press barons, have been a pernicious influence on this country, and indeed, across three continents, ever since he turned up in the 1970s to buy the Herald, as the Sun then was, and then the Times. The quality of the journalism went down, while extreme nationalism went up, along with an extremely anti-working class bias. Recent biographies have Murdoch have pointed out that his goals have been consistent, despite him notoriously changing from supporting one party to another. He has always demanded the destruction of trade unions and the privatisation of the NHS, as well as gaining a monopolistic control of the press and television networks for himself. Hence his frequent rants at the BBC, parroted ad nauseam by his obedient puppets in the Sun and Times. He’d like that sold off too, to be bought either by himself, or for his companies to fill the broadcasting vacuum left by its demise.

In the 1980s and for part of the 1990s he loudly promoted Maggie at every opportunity. Then he decided that Tony Bliar would be far more agreeable to his ambitions, and so switched allegiance to New Labour. Commenters have described Blair’s concern for the opinions of the press barons as entirely malign. Murdoch was an unseen, spectral presence at every cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister wondering how the latest policy would go down with Rupe, and he was also keen to win over Dacre and the Mail. Blair himself probably didn’t need much help in pushing Labour towards pretty much the same neo-Liberal economic stance as the Tories, but Murdoch’s assistance acted to encourage him further to move in that direction.

The press sees itself as the ‘Fourth Estate’, holding politicians to account in the absence of more effective political checks and balances. But the Indie’s columnist reporting Murdoch’s remarks today turned this assumption on its head. Rather than promoting democracy and political accountability, they had actually worked against it by manipulating public opinion.

If, despite Murdoch’s best efforts, the Tories lose this election, it will mean that the press has lost some of its immense power. And that will actually be good for democracy.

So, let’s get Murdoch out of No. 10. Vote for Miliband!