Thursday, 3 May 2012
The End Times
More than anything else, Rupert Murdoch's effect on British politics has been to favour Leaders who used or use their personalities to replace party organisations: Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Alex Salmond, David Cameron. But unlike the other three, for all their many and various faults, Cameron's personality is not capable of replacing a party organisation.
Murdoch has also done quite a bit of that replacement himself. Thus the wider subculture of at least ostensibly Tory media revolves around him, contradicting its own supposed or even sincere principles, not only by applauding his foreign domination of our Government and Parliament, and with it the influence of the two foreign powers that he most strongly supports, but also by using the pages of profitable newspapers openly to beg for alternative employment on a loss-making competitor.
Despite what I have written before, The Sun is, if nothing else, a going concern financially. The real Sword of Damocles is hanging over The Times. Its venerable name has been used to pollute the breakfast tables and the drawing rooms of Upper Middle Britain with the undeniably coherent position that is economic neoliberalism, social liberalism, militant atheism, particularly ferocious anti-Catholicism, American neoconservatism, and the racist Israeli Far Right. How the heart bleeds that its demise might now be imminent.
But where would that leave certain writers on the Mail and many on the Telegraph? If there were no longer any Times to out-Times, any Murdoch to out-Murdoch, in hilarious defiance both of Old Right patriotic and of New Right capitalist principles, then what would be the point of employing them? What would they be for? Only so many of them could join Toby Young on the pages of their natural home, The Sun, there to be shown up week after week by, and I mean this absolutely seriously, the vastly superior thought and writing of Katie Price.