Archive for the ‘Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at 5 March 2007

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Cocaine is bad, kids!

The Scum – See the hell you inflict, Kate: Cocaine fiends Kate Moss and Pete Doherty have been invited to Colombia by the country’s government to see the bloody mayhem caused by the drug. Vice President Francisco Santos exclusively told The Sun: “I wish they’d come to see what cocaine is doing to my country. They’d be ashamed.” The invitation comes as The Sun launches a major probe into the scourge of cocaine, here and in South America. Here on Day One, our Chief Feature Writer reports from the drugs front line in Colombia’s rainforest.

The Scum Says – Blood money: All over Britain, from posh dinner parties to dingy pubs, hundreds of thousands of people snorted cocaine at the weekend. For many it becomes an addiction that ruins their lives. Most will think they are immune so long as they stick to “recreational” use of the drug. But every one of the estimated 1.75million who have snorted coke – and who think it is all a harmless bit of fun – should read our chilling report. And they should think again. It is an horrific description of the devastation being wreaked on the people of Colombia, the country that supplies 80 per cent of our cocaine. It shows how the drugs money is financing a terror movement with links to al-Qaeda, creating gangs that murder without a thought and destroying the tropical rain forests, adding to the threat of global warming. As Britain’s top policeman Sir Ian Blair says, people “think the price of a wrap is fifty quid, but someone has died bringing it to the dinner table”. While otherwise law-abiding middle-class users are on a high, ruthless drugs barons cannot stoop low enough to protect the hundreds of millions of pounds flowing from Britain 5,000 miles across the Atlantic. It is nothing short of blood money, donated by people who foolishly regard themselves as respectable.

A major probe, huh? I look forward to Day Two. Perhaps it will contain a special ‘confession’ feature from a regular gakhead such as [obscured on legal advice] entitled “My Cocaine Hell”…


UPDATE (Fri 9 Mar) – Tch. What a let-down. The Scum bailed out after this single follow-up on Tuesday.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 26 February 2007

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

The Sun – Are you next JK Rowling? (March 2, 2006): Today is World Book Day – and to celebrate The Sun is launching a search for the new JK Rowling. We are looking for an undiscovered writing genius among our army of ten million readers.

The Sun – Henry is our best short story (February 26, 2007): Here is the winner of The Sun search for a star storyteller… We were sent thousands of short stories from budding writers when we launched our competition to tie in with the tenth anniversary of World Book Day on Thursday. In fact, the quality of the entries was so good that we have put together a collection of the best in our new £1.99 book – The Sun Book Of Short Stories.

1. FFS, my kids read faster than Wade.

2. I’m obviously only saying this because I’m embittered and jealous; my opus didn’t make the grade.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 31 January 2007

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

How grateful I am that Obsolete has already said what need to be said, and said it so well:

Obsolete – Scum-watch: Two faces, one day

Well worth a read. Go make coffee, come back and dig in.

All I feel the need to add is a series of links expanding on the ‘Migrants’ AIDS epidemic threat’ story that this not-at-all-racist newspaper ran late last year:

The original article has been removed, but there is a mirror here and the relevant editorial is still live:

The Scum Says – Killer plagues: Britain once wiped out TB and was gaining ground against AIDS. Today we risk an explosion in both these killer diseases, thanks to infected immigrants.

Infected immigrants! Killer plagues! OMFG! Quick, someone pass the plastic sheeting and duct tape!


You can see some valuable context here and some related bloggage here.

Of equal educational benefit is this report on the response by a Romanian tabloid (important background and follow-up here, here and here) and a comment at the Sun website that was undoubtedly prompted by this measured exchange: this is very xenophobic and are very idiots…! your pedophils brought aids to the all continent! this is a real denigration to romania – you nr 1 gay comunity in the world, give me a break!

Ah, the ‘gay=paedo’ equation again. I don’t need to say it, do I?

So, can someone explain to me again that bit about tabloids and the important/constructive role they play in modern society?

Posted by Tim Ireland at 25 January 2007

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement

Hi folks. Yes, this is another long post that takes a closer look at ‘Guido Fawkes’ and related issues, but this one comes complete with its own knockers…

The Independent – When it comes to a debate on Iraq, Tony Blair goes missing: Tony Blair has been accused of treating the House of Commons with contempt by failing to stay in the chamber to hear MPs protest about his disastrous handling of the chaos in Iraq. As MPs yesterday staged the first Iraq debate in government time since the war, the Prime Minister retreated to the quiet of his oak-panelled office behind the Speaker’s chair to prepare for a series of private meetings on more pressing matters – the row over gay adoption, a weekly briefing with a handful of senior backbenchers, and a speech to the CBI… Inside the conference, there was no mention of Iraq. “This is my second question time of the day; I think you are more polite than my first audience,” he told CBI representatives.

How interesting…. Blair runs away from the debate, leaving his flunkies to make odd noises designed to make you feel guilty about having the debate in the first place, and – from a safe distance – uses a one-liner to take a cheap shot at his challengers.

Does this remind you of anyone?

Page 3: John ReidMore on this further down the line. First, there’s the glorious return of hard-edged political opinion on Page 3. (Yes, I’ve been busy watching, even though I’ve been ‘away’.)

Today, lovely Nikkala (24, from Middlesex) is ‘astounded’ that the Home Office is in such a terrible state and says; “John Reid is a joke. We have dangerous criminals on the run, foreign prisoners let out – now jails are full. What next?”

Thank you, Nikkala.

One reason why the The Sun gets away with operating as The Downing Street Echo so often is that – at first glance – they appear to be even-handed in their ongoing ‘war on evil’; on the tits face of things, Blair gets a hammering just as much as the other guy. But in reality, the readership is usually so blinded by their own hate and fear that they fail to realise that The Scum only lay into Blair or a member of his cabinet if a certain cabinet member is not to their liking and/or if Murdoch/Wade are trying to bitch-slap Blair or a member of his cabinet into line (usually on issues such as the EU, crime or immigration… and in this case, crime and immigration).

I’ve written about face/leg proximity of placement before, but I just want to jot a quick note about that right now and instead focus on the subject of the editorial I once used as an example of this; David Blunkett.

While I’ve been away, one small project I’ve busied myself with is a full dossier of Page 3 editorials… and something interesting has cropped up that I had not noticed before…

What I’m about to show you is a series of Page 3 editorials published between the dates of August 13, 2004 and August 17, 2004. There are a few things you need to keep in mind before you read them:

1. Page 3 editorials often bang on about the immorality or stupidity of this affair or that (in fact, there was one chiding Wayne Rooney on Aug 25 of the same year).

2. Over a period of about a week when the Blunkett affair was front page news everywhere (including The Scum), not one single Page 3 editorial appeared telling him what a naughty boy he was.

3. The media were not reporting on this at all until Blunkett dealt with the inevitable via NOTW on 15 August, 2004.

4. NOTW led the way with the ‘hard-working Home Secretary’ line, and The Sun followed this and went the extra mile by doing everything they could to cast Kimberley Quinn as a heartless, scheming monster out to wreck Blunkett’s career (example).

5. It became increasingly clear following these revelations how close Sun editor Rebekah Wade was (and is) to David Blunkett. Also, Blunkett had been dancing to Murdoch’s tune for years before (see: bitch-slapping, crime and immigration); in short, he was A Very Handy Home Secretary To Have On Board.

Now, watch this:

Page 3 propaganda

Notice anything?

Yep: Home Office initiative, Home Office initiative, Home Office initiative.

Notice anything else?

Yep: The date on that first one is from the Friday before news of the affair was in the public domain (i.e. before Blunkett used another Murdoch title to push his line on the affair in an attempt to save his career).

Conclusion: David Blunkett knowingly acceded to the use of propaganda on Page 3 for his benefit, and did so with careful forethought.

Now, does anyone wish to explain to the class the definition of propaganda and how this classifies as same? Anyone? Bueller?*

[*Note – Fans of Ferris Bueller will, of course, contest that this commonly-used sign-off is not a correct quote, but rather, a useful composite of two quotes. I fully acknowledge this. I also choose to keep to myself the reason(s) why I am thinking about that lovable, cheeky scamp today.]

By now you’re probably wondering why this is about Paul Staines (he who likes to swan about town under the name ‘Guido Fawkes’).

Well, let me tell you:

I’ve discussed this directly with Staines on a number of occasions, and – happily – his official line on this was published right here:

“Some time ago, sparked by Tim’s obssession [sic], I asked Trevor Kavanagh about the Page 3 girl’s political [sic] reported political views. He basically said they did it to wind up people like Tim.” – Paul Staines

The first thing to note is Staines’ use of the word ‘obsession’ (see: briefing).

The second is another apparent reason to ‘let it go’… they are only doing this to wind me up. It’s just a bit of a larf.

I’m not entirely sure if Staines is buying this idea or trying to sell it… but I do know that it’s based on an extremely dishonest argument:

What winds me up about it is that it has a carefully disguised purpose; but this argument seeks to deny the existence of that purpose (and discourage me from looking into it) by claiming that it has no purpose but to wind me up. But what winds me up about it is…

So, back to Staines… I’ve seen a few comments around about his Guido Fawkes site being compared to The Sun on 18 Tory Street recently. I’m not sure in what context, but I think it’s a fair comparison.

Many people think that what the character Staines has invented does is ‘wind people up’ for ‘a bit of a larf’, and on the surface it would appear that he takes no prisoners… but I contend that the Guido Fawkes weblog also has a carefully disguised purpose, and that the New Tory relationship with him is not unlike that between The Sun and New Labour.

Paul Staines takes all sorts of cheap shots at the other parties (more on this below), but at the same time, he also seeks to bend and shape the Conservative party to his will.

There’s even a Page 3 parallel… Staines also uses what he calls ‘totty’ (in a strictly post-modern sense, obviously) as a political weapon:

Now, you may notice the odd left-wing totty piece over at Staines’ site, but these are carefully balanced with ‘ugly’ attacks. (Basically, the “Would you want to sleep with a sandal-wearing, lentil-munching soap-dodger?” line of thinking that has also manifested itself recently as one of Team Guido’s key reasons why bloggers should ignore what I say about ‘Guido’; like most lefties – apparently – I am ugly, fat, flatulent and cannot get a girlfriend.)

New Tory, on the other hand, is the All Teh Sexy…

What you mostly see at Staines’ weblog is; Tory totty, Tory totty, Tory totty, Tory totty, Tory totty, Tory totty.

See? The Tories not only have snazzier uniforms, they get a shot at hotter totty, too (come join us, join us, do).

Compare this with Page 3:

The purpose of the Page 3 editorials is clear; what once used to be a small level of detail that allowed wank-happy readers to imagine themselves being a little bit closer to the model currently contains a political view. It’s not quite as straightforward as Pavlov, but generally the idea is that now the wank-happy reader needs to adopt, favour or entertain a political view before they can imagine themselves being close to the model.

Where I come from, we call this “thinking with your dick” (which, I’m sure you’re aware, mostly leads to trouble and regret).

And now, finally, we bounce back to this morning’s Independent and approach the close…

The Conservatives have mentioned the war (once), and they think they’ve gotten away with it:

Independent – Steve Richards: Blair looks weak and cowardly, while both Labour and the Tories are trapped by Iraq: The calamity of Iraq hovers darkly over a confused and bewildered Government, sapping its morale and draining any moral energy. It hovers over the House of Commons too. Some argue that Britain’s support for the war highlights an urgent need for constitutional reform. There is such a need, but that has nothing to do with the war. Too conveniently the constitution gets the blame for the decision taken by ministers and a big majority of MPs to support Tony Blair. In reality minister and MPs could have blocked Blair, but chose not to do so… If the Conservatives had opposed the war from the beginning, Blair would not have dared to take as many political risks. Instead they were with him all the way. Do not underestimate the significance of this.

And, as this opinion piece also points out, they cannot credibly claim to have been ‘duped into it’ (but this doesn’t stop them from bandying this notion about in arenas where it is less likely to be actively scrutinised).

The Conservatives are quite adept at riding upon the level of distrust borne from what has happened in Iraq (and many other callous manipulations of the ‘war’ on terror) without acknowledging their often willing role*.

[*Note – if you want to be exceedingly generous, feel free to argue that the Tories have been repeatedly cornered by a political need to ‘out -tough’ New Labour.]

If it helps, try picturing a surfer who requires at least a passing knowledge of tides if he wants to catch a decent wave, but denies all knowledge of such things because he “Just wants to surf, dude!”

And this is what makes Paul Staines so very, very useful to the Conservatives; with what is widely perceived as a ‘take them all down’ attack in a time of unprecedented distrust and distance, ‘Guido’ can pick off individual targets and/or ensure that money this, peerage that or cocktail sausage in the other is what officially brings about their downfall… and not Iraq, torture or the manipulation of fear to further a political agenda.

I’m sure you can guess why this would be a desirable development for them.

It is equally useful to the Conservatives that discussion of wider issue(s) on any given topic is strictly forbidden at the Guido Fawkes website… and a closer look at Staines’ editorial choices is even more revealing…

An excellent example; you may want to have a poke around Staines’ website and see how many features he has run on the subject of torture (or, if you prefer, ‘extraordinary rendition’). The subject is used repeatedly to bash Labour (both old and new) under comments, but features? I had trouble finding any. You can go and have a look and see for yourself if you like, but the real ‘tell’ for me was that the hero-blogger who claims the fearless leaking of secret documents as part of his shtick did not take part in – or even link to – Craig Murray’s release of the torture memos in late December 2005 (you can read a nice round-up of this activity here).

At the time, Staines even claimed that things were “thin politically”, and therefore he had nothing to report. (Psst! You can see a subtle little dig from me here. Guido would have deleted anything more overt.)

Further, when Paul Staines and Iain Dale first began cooking up their Little Red Book of New Labour Sleaze, they produced this list of scandals. In this long list, Iraq gets a passing mention under ‘David Kelly commits suicide’ and torture is not mentioned AT ALL.

[MINI-UPDATE – Yes, I’m aware of Iain Dale’s ongoing support for the war… but it is possible to support the war and still be alarmed by the way the Blair government conducted themselves. No, really. And you’re not going to get far applauding the removal of a torturing, murdering bastard if you keep schtum about those who torture and murder for our side.]

Have a look through the comments on that last link and you’ll see a few people picking up on the omissions. You may also notice that Iain Dale does not respond to these comments. In the relevant ‘Guido’ thread, you’ll find no mention of Iraq and torture (and you’re probably already aware that I have a little theory that explains why none would remain, even if they were published in the first instance).

Now, I make no excuses for initially buying into Staines’ and Dale’s bullshit – it was an error, and not one that I plan on repeating – but at the time, I was more concerned about adding what was missing rather looking at what was missing and wondering why.

First, I approached Iain Dale about a chapter on Page 3 and suggested that Craig Murray cover torture. Like Staines, Dale “couldn’t understand” why Page 3 was an issue, so instead I wrote the chapter about torture (a key subject that should have been an obvious inclusion in the draft list, but wasn’t).

It wasn’t until I received my hard copy of the book that I realised that neither ‘editor’ had actually read the fucking thing! (Hint: if you have the book to hand, there’s an obvious copy error/omission in the last paragraph of my article.)

You may have to be a Douglas Adams fan to get this next bit (clue/spoiler)…

Now, there are some things the Conservatives cannot openly avoid when challenged, but what they appear to be doing is not walking out the door and facing the real world, but instead climbing out of the window into a universe that has been created especially for them.

Paul Staines is one of the budding architects of this false reality.

Because it is damaging to the blog community and our democracy, I wish to make people aware of that.

I also think the Conservatives deserve a special heads-up… I’m not sure if they realise the impact the ‘vision’ of an architect can have on any given project.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 9 October 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun ‘news’ paper has – not once, but twice – on the eve of an election informed voters that what really matters when you cast your ballot is cock size.

Also, today, only Murdoch’s titles lead with the veil issue raised by Jack Straw on the front page, with both articles ever-so-subtly tying the use of veils to terrorism…

The Sun – Hidden danger: veiled Sun girl waved through UK airport
The Times – Suspect in terror hunt used veil to evade arrest

… so I think it’s fair to say that Rupert Murdoch has delivered his verdict on veils as well.

But he remains remarkably coy about who he plans to back at the next election, and I think I know why…

He hasn’t seen David Cameron’s cock yet.

My MP (also a Conservative) won’t show me her cock, which I think is typical of her evasive attitude.

How can we as voters know how much weight any given MP carries if we don’t know what they’re packing in their lunch-boxes? It’s a significant barrier to communication.

More importantly, how can we trust these people to put their balls on the table when they won’t even show us their cocks?

Posted by Tim Ireland at 15 August 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

MediaGuardian – Sun’s Harry pictures ‘three years old’: The Sun’s front page and centre-spread photographs of Prince Harry groping and kissing a girl are three years old and were not taken this summer as the newspaper claims today, according to Clarence House. There also appears to be a question mark over how the photographs came to be published, with Clarence House claiming that their owner, Natalie Pinkham – the girl whose breast Prince Harry is pictured fondling – did not give her permission for them to be printed. The Sun’s page one, headlined “Dirty Harry” and tagged “picture exclusive”, claims that the six photographs were taken “this summer in trendy nightclub Boujis”. But Paddy Haverson, Prince Charles’ communications secretary, told that the pictures were taken at another nightclub, Purple, in September 2003 – before Prince Harry began dating his current girlfriend Chelsy Davy. “The pictures are three years old and we have asked the Sun to correct it,” said Mr Haverson. The allegation throws the story’s central claim – that the Prince cheated on his girlfriend – in doubt. It is the third time in a year that Clarence House has claimed the newspaper has published incorrect pictures of the 21-year-old prince.

UPDATE – Independent – Police called in over ‘stolen’ pictures of woman with Harry: The Sun’s photographs of Prince Harry cavorting with a blond television presenter have already soured relations between the red-top press and royal family, and yesterday they became the subject of a criminal inquiry, as the Metropolitan Police began an investigation into how the newspaper obtained them. The television presenter Natalie Pinkham, who owned the original shots, contacted Fulham police to report that several hundred negatives from her private collection had been stolen while she moved house earlier this summer. Copies were later sold to The Sun, which reprinted them on Tuesday under the front-page headline “Dirty Harry.” One showed the Prince kissing Pinkham’s neck, while apparently fondling her breast. The newspaper was then forced to issue an apology for its article, which alleged that the photographs had been taken this summer at Boujis, a London night-spot, when in fact they were more than three years old… her lawyers have also launched a legal action against the Daily Mail, which reprinted the allegedly stolen photographs on Wednesday under the headline: “Harry’s fury over nightclub snaps.”… “The whole affair has been horrible for her. She would never do anything to embarrass the princes,” said (a) friend. “The photos had always been kept completely secret, and only two other people, her brother and a friend, even knew they existed.” Although a firm of professional movers was employed to take her possessions between the two properties, which are less than a mile apart, they are not thought to be implicated in the theft. “Natalie was very careful to make sure the removal men didn’t handle any of her sensitive stuff,” said the friend. “She has her suspicions as to who actually did take the negatives, and is upset and angry that they would seek to profit from her in this way.” Pinkham is understood to be taking the legal action against the Mail to make sure the images are never reprinted. Such action was not threatened against The Sun because they have already conceded that the photographs do not belong to them.

UPDATE – Observer – Ginger snaps: Sun editor Rebekah Wade, was so incensed over the mistake that led to the paper printing out-of-date photos of Prince Harry that she allegedly threw a phone at her hapless picture editor. It is unclear whether it was of the mobile or landline variety, but our own hotline is open to anyone who can shed further light on the incident.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 14 July 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Wired – MySpace Kills Internet Tube Song

Posted by Tim Ireland at 19 June 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

The Friday Thing – Paedomania, And Other Distractions: On the steps of the court, megaphone in hand stands John Reid. ‘What do we want?’ he shouts. ‘Longer sentences to placate over-inflated public fears!’ roars the crowd. ‘When do we want them?’ ‘Before the Tories get any further ahead in the opinion polls!’ A group of bereaved parents are then ushered in to have their unbearable grief mawkishly exploited before being despatched back to their obscurity.

NOTW – Sarah’s Law victory: The News of the World has scored a massive victory in its historic crusade to protect Britain’s children from paedophile monsters. Sarah’s Law – which would give parents the right to information about dangerous paedophiles – is on the brink of being introduced in Britain. After a six year battle by the News of the World Home Secretary John Reid ORDERED a review of our campaign and CLOSED 11 bail hostels to child sex offenders. The U-turn follows our relentless campaign to expose the dangers of child sex fiends secretly housed in bail hostels close to schools… In a huge sea change of government attitude, Dr Reid sent shock waves through the police, probation and prison system by declaring bluntly: “I start from the position that information should no longer remain the exclusive preserve of officialdom. I have also asked the minister to study specifically the News of the World’s Sarah’s Law proposals on controlled access to information. I believe the public have the right to protection and they have the right to information.”

Chicken Yoghurt – Did things just get better or worse?: As there’s no details given, no street name or rough location, I don’t even know where to take my petrol bombs and poorly spelt placard.

The Herald – Naming paedophiles: Dr Reid is right to order the closure of hostels near schools (though this creates a new problem of finding suitable accommodation). But he is taking a gamble flagging up disclosure as a possible panacea. As Ms Jamieson’s correspondence makes clear, it is itself fraught with risk. Disclosure could drive sex offenders into hiding. The police and child protection agencies would lose contact, and supervision would cease. As is known, naming names leads to witch-hunts, causes public disorder and hounds people from their homes. Most child abuse occurs within the family, and victims might be discouraged from coming forward (or encouraged to withdraw allegations) because of the potential repercussions from disclosure for the wellbeing of the closely related offender. It is surely no coincidence that 80% of paedophiles comply with registration requirements in the US, compared with 97% in Britain.

The Scum – Reid is right: John Reid is to be congratulated on a bold move which looks certain to give Britain a Sarah’s Law. The Home Secretary has conceded that parents have a right to know the whereabouts of convicted paedophiles. And he has ordered a study of how the law works in the USA. It is six years since demands for the new law began – prompted by the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne by convicted child snatcher Roy Whiting. A campaign was launched by the News of the World – vigorously supported by The Sun and its readers. Sarah’s mother Sara bravely set aside her grief to lead the battle. Mr Reid’s moves are a just reward for Sara’s untiring efforts. The Home Secretary has also ordered 60 perverts to be moved from 11 bail hostels near schools and nurseries. These are commonsense measures, but they represent a huge change in attitude at the Home Office. In the past Mr Reid’s department has failed the country on many fronts, and he has a formidable task to put things right. But the step toward a Sarah’s Law is a brilliant start.

Meanwhile… PA – Schools ignore child abusers scheme


1. Haven’t we been here before? Haven’t we learned anything?

2. This is the same government that will dismiss a pressing issue with substance as a media invention at the drop of a hat. But the “We refuse to be dictated to by the newspapers!” get-out is more than a little undermined when they allow a tabloid newspaper to take the lead on the next round of knee-jerk legislation… and actually accept their draft as a starting point!

3. Monsters! Fiends! Think of the children! Support the troops! (Sorry. Got a bit mixed up there. Can’t imagine why.)

4. Remember: If you voice any objections to these very sensible proposals, it is a clear sign that you support paedophiles and/or that you are a paedophile yourself. (See #3)

A slow hand clap to John ‘Ride-Along‘ Reid for boldly tackling perception ahead of problems, and creating new problems in the process…. one of which is letting these tabloid bastards take the initiative that he rather hopefully claims as his own.

Reid may as well hand Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Wade the keys to his office and be done with it. FFS, just take a look at how much space The Sun and the News Of The World reserve for self-aggrandisement when they have the perfect opportunity to instead rant further about one of their favourite targets. This speaks volumes about their true priorities.

Guardian – Reid warned of ‘lynch mob law’ over parental access to paedophile details: Mr Reid’s promise to consider a British-version of the controversial American Megan’s law, under which local parents are given full details of child sex offenders released into their neighbourhood, follows a six-year News of the World campaign to name and shame paedophiles and publish the addresses of all 101 probation hostels that house offenders. The campaign raised fears of vigilante attacks and warnings that paedophiles were going underground.

Sunday Herald – Home Secretary focuses on headlines and loses sight of justice and decency: When a government resorts to populism you can be sure it’s getting desperate. As if things were not bad enough in Blair World, the Home Secretary has revealed how morally bankrupt his government is becoming with his naked perusal of tabloid values… Reid’s behaviour is sickening. What next for the man in this position of power, who when Murdoch says “jump” he replies: “How high?”

UPDATE (19 June) – Yet another must-read from Justin… Chicken Yoghurt – Paedogeddon Redux

UPDATE (20 June) – BBC – Paedophile policy ‘not media-led’: Education Secretary Alan Johnson has rejected claims by a top police officer that policy on paedophiles is being driven by a tabloid newspaper campaign. Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Terry Grange said he was extremely concerned the Home Office had “surrendered” power over policy to the News of the World.

Well, I’m sure we can all trust that nice Mr Johnson…

UPDATE (21 June) – Guardian – Murdoch, ministers, and the red-top agenda

It’s hard to tell what’s going on at the moment; either the tabloids are lying, the government has performed an almighty flip-flop, or John Reid has been cut off at the legs by Downing St. No matter. At the very least, this whole sorry episode has led to the following delicious editorial from Rebekah Wade, and for that alone we should be thankful…

The Scum – Cop’s mistake: Loudmouth police chief Terry Grange blames newspapers for dictating government policy on crime and punishment. Would that it were true! There would certainly be fewer violent thugs and perverts on the loose. But it is not true. The News of the World, supported by The Sun, has campaigned for six years for Sarah’s Law, so parents can keep track of paedophiles. It is only now – after the hideous deaths and living nightmares of too many kiddies – that Home Secretary John Reid is considering action. We will believe it when we see it. But he is responding to public outrage over barmy sentences dished out by dozy judges to criminals who threaten our safety. We didn’t invent these revolting crimes. Nobody could. It is the travesty of justice which lets the guilty off so lightly that has galvanised public fury. In a country where property crime is rated above sex attacks on children, there is a powerful case for Sarah’s Law. Newspapers are entitled to reflect and respond to such outrage… since nobody in power seemed to be doing so. It is up to this government – after nine years in power – to respond in a mature and appropriate way. Campaigning newspapers are a vital component of democracy. They are a major force for good. The Sun, for instance, did the nation a service by campaigning against the euro – and for a referendum on the EU Constitution. That’s our job. And it is the job of policemen such as Terry Grange to stop playing politics… and fight crime. If they were doing it better, we would not need Sarah’s Law in the first place.

Woof! What a scorcher!

Posted by Tim Ireland at 15 June 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The War on Stupid

Guardian – Labour bows to ‘get tough’ prison lobby: The full extent of Labour’s more punitive approach to law and order was revealed yesterday as Tony Blair boasted that more than 1,000 offenders have been locked away in the last 12 months without a fixed release date under the new breed of “public protection sentences”.

And this would be the same Mr Blair who refuses to be hounded/led by the media over Prescott/Loans/Torture/Murder? Here’s Rebekah Wade giving a howl of victory that ends in a call for yet more blood…

The Sun – Blair: I’ll shake up judges: Sweeping changes to the judicial system will be rushed into law by the end of the year, following The Sun’s crusade against lenient judges. Home Secretary John Reid will publish a blueprint by the end of next month. And a Bill will be brought to the Commons by November. Sentencing guidelines will be changed so out-of-touch judges can get it right EVERY time. Killers, paedophiles and rapists will be freed only by a unanimous parole board decision. The prison overcrowding crisis will be addressed. And the shocking release of foreign inmates without deportation will also be dealt with. The moves were ordered by PM Tony Blair, who is under massive pressure to ensure that judges who persistently dish out soft punishments are sacked. But the changes are not a total victory for The Sun’s crusade. Our demands for failing judges to be named and shamed and ultimately dismissed remain in place.


Independent – Thai immigrant ‘is a soft target for Home Office’: Because of a minor offence he committed as a teenager four years ago, Mr Makao now faces being deported from the island he has called home for the past 10 years and forced to return to his native Thailand, despite the fact he no longer speaks the language and has no ties there.


The Times Saudi ‘torture’ victims lose their right to sue: Four Britons who claim that they were tortured by officials in Saudi Arabia into confessing to a bombing campaign have lost their right to sue through the British courts. The men, who say that their interrogators used rape, beatings, and suspended them from iron bars in order to force false statements, cannot seek compensation after a House of Lords ruling yesterday… Speaking after the ruling by the law lords, Mr Jones said that the Government had backed another nation’s right to torture British citizens.

And here’s a picture, boys and girls.

(Heads-up on the cartoon via Antony. Cheers, fella.)

Related ‘I told you so’ links:
Charles Clarke is an incompetent liar (Part One)
Clarke takes one last desperate gasp of your precious oxygen

UPDATE – A must-read: Chicken Yoghurt – It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 12 June 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Obsolete – Sun, Star and Express-watch: Burying bad news

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