A modern Thatcherite manifesto from Rupert Murdoch
by Paul Goodman
The Guardian, of all unlikely sources, has up the full text of Rupert Murdoch's inaugural Margaret Thatcher leader. There are three main themes -
- Praise of Lady Thatcher herself, Ronald Reagan, Sir Keith Joseph, Lord Saatchi, the Centre for Policy Studies - and the culture of "vigorous virtues" that was forged during the Thatcher years. Interestingly, Murdoch describes Lady Thatcher as "no ideologue, but a person of pragmatism".
- A vigorous defence of the Rupert Murdoch world-view, complete with sideswipes at the Tory establishment and "lordly critics" ("I am," he said, "something of a parvenu"), a reminder of Lady Thatcher's grocer-shop origins, praise (explicitly) of Sky and (implicitly) of The Sun, and praise of meritocracy, aspiration, classlessness. "Our journalism is questioning of authority," he said. Those with strong anti-establishment instincts, will, however, question his effective dismissal of blogging and bloggers.
- Strong support for the Government. One would expect Murdoch to champion the Coalition's deficit reduction - though pointedly remark too that taxes are too high. However, the terms in which he does so are vivid and occasionally surprising. Support for Academies is par for the course. But it's worth reading Murdoch's support for "[the] young migrant woman in Luton, whose life choices are being limited by misogyny" and "a real second chance for the prisoner who seeks rehabilitation and not an endless cycle of incarceration".
And let's hope that Lady Thatcher is able to leave hospital soon.