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Mr Murdoch will back the leader and the party which he thinks will win the next general election and no other factor will matter much in his calculation - how else could a man supposedly as 'instinctively Tory' as Rupert Murdoch have stomached New Labour for the past 9 years? If the polls tell him that that party come the next election is the Conservative Party, all the inexperience and all the unorthodox speeches in the world won't stop him directing his newspapers endorsing us.

I never have held the man in great esteem and I think the influence he wields over British politics is disproportionate and unhealthy. His attitude (considering he isn't even a British citizen) toward our Monarchy annoys me as well.

'won't stop him directing his newspapers to endorse us', rather.

the influence he wields over British politics is disproportionate and unhealthy.

I guess if you believe in freedom of speech, free markets, private ownership, a free press... Murdoch is the fruit of Conservative philosophy. His opinion is as valid as anyone's. He says it because he can. Long live Conservatism.

What's the situation post Murdoch, after all he won't be here forever. Are his children or anointed successors of exactly the same mind (whatever that is) as Rupert?

Nadim - you raise several good points. I'm sure you weren't implying on the basis of my antipathy for Mr Murdoch that I do not believe in free speech, free markets, personal ambition and a free press. However, it should be pointed out that as a Conservative I have never accepted that a man has a right to say or do anything 'because they can'. To my knowledge, Conservatives have always believed that freedom comes along with responsibility.

Let's think of Elizabeth Murdoch now married to some PR type called Freud who arranges dinners for Tessa Jowell to meet with Philip Anschutz and discuss matters Cowboy Prescott claims not to discuss....................

Rupert is above board in comparison - his companies pay very little tax in the United Kingdom - and as an American he has easy access to any of the pygmies running our political life,

His newspaper NoW pays £150.000 pa to a deadbeat Home Secretary like Blunkett to reward him for all the juicy leaks while he was asleep on the tiller at the Home Office.

John Grieve, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office who could not balance a budget moved to be Deputy Governor at the BoE - I wonder if his wife is still the lawyer handling Blunkett's "I'm Your Real Dad" litigation against the children of Kimberley Fortier ?

"I never have held the man in great esteem and I think the influence he wields over British politics is disproportionate and unhealthy"

Well at least he's a Eurosceptic!

Why should he worry about a high tax chancellor? He hardly pays any tax here in any case. Murdoch will support the winner at the end of the day.

Yes, Richard, at least there is that.

Spot on, Andrew.

" Mr Murdoch will back the leader and the party which he thinks will win the next general election and no other factor will matter much in his calculation"

Spot on!! Given the fact this is the same Mr Murdoch who only a year ago thought the idea of Hillary Clinton becoming the first US women president as " bonkers" and now all of a sudden he is fundraising for Hillary's campaign!!!

Actually Shafi, perhaps I should have mentioned this as an aside but according to yesterday's FT Murdoch is backtracking on that one too...

Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media mogul, said it was unlikely that he would support Hillary Clinton if she were to run for president – just days after hosting a New York fundraiser for her Senate re-election campaign.

Appearing on the Charlie Rose Show, the US public television interview programme, Mr Murdoch said on Thursday that if the 2008 presidential contest came down to a choice between Mrs Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, and John McCain, the Republican frontrunner, he would "probably support McCain. If it was happening today, I think so."

Sorry put this on wrong post.

Murdoch only backs sure winners! He doesn't care what your political persuasion is, Eurosceptic, Europhile, anti- this, pro-that, he don't care, winners he like, losers don't like: simple as that.
Look at Kinnock he probably destroyed him, why, sensed he was a loser.Blair did he care what party he was leading no, he was a winner. If he senses that DC is going to win guess what!

Oh, someone should speak to Dave about those cycling shorts, bad move!

The Murdoch backing the winner is somewhat paradoxical don't you think?

Don't want to be a bore (yeah I know I am)

Please do not confuse being on the political right with being a Tory, Rupert Murdoch is not a Tory. A Tory is unique to UK politics, Murdoch deep down despises Toryism, which he sees as being 'wet'.

I found the interesting choice of words "older followers", Irwin Stelzer has in his critisim of both DC & Osborne referred to their disrespect towards the older (and wiser?) - what did they do that so upset Murdoch/Stelzer? Stelzer brought issie up in hos otherwise damning indictment of Brown's budget and has done so since.

Murdoch isn't a Tory - in Australia he has moved between parties, in US is now looking at Democrats. He has certain views - example he doesn't like the Euro - but seems happiest with a fawning NuLab type party which seeks his approval at News International get togethers like warlords seeking approval from the Chinese Emperor.

I tend to dislike too much Government control over media ownership but personally would be much happier if News International lost its privileged position and control over key media outlets.

must revert to single finger typing
...
Stelzer brought the issue up in his otherwise damning...

Murdoch's papers actually influence voter behaviour very little - they simply reflect the views of the readers.

The claim that it was "the Sun wot won it" in 1992 was frankly ridiculous. It was Kinnock that lost it. Murdoch didn't destroy Kinnock's chances of being PM, he needed no help in that department.

The sad thing here is that if Murdoch is cooling towards DC, as it would appear that he is, this is REFLECTIVE of how Murdoch sees his readers (a large proportion of the electorate) feeling. Murdoch is brilliant at picking winners and then backing them.

Clearly with DC's recent reversals in policies (EPP), and lunatic soundbites (Hug a Hoodie), perhaps the Murdoch readers are asking (as are many grass roots Tories), can we trust DC as our country's leader? At the moment he still has my vote, but the honeymoon is most certainly over.

Jon - In fairness to DC, playing to the editorial line of The Sun and the Daily Mail hasn't exactly gotten us very far at the last two GEs either.

Who cares what Mr Murdoch thinks, because as a voter I don't!, further more I don't care for him involving himself in our country's political affairs either and anyway would it not be more important if the Torys focused on what the British public want from a future Tory government than weighing up this media mogul's intentions of which horse to back in the GE race?

But like it or not Murdoch's support is vital to winning a General Election, it's a clear lesson of recent history.

I think by saying "not much" he means the jury is out still which is not such massive news. If we are honest, this reflects quite a few ordinary peoples thoughts. Talking to people on my rounds a wide cross section have generally given DC the benefit of the doubt. Yet they do wonder where he is going and what actual policies will emerge. The issue is that everyone is now wary of spin and feel let down by politics. Certainly Conservatives do need to change and show we have changed otherwise people may not switch to us in this anti-politics environment. But any such change needs to be real and the right kind of change. That could be a delicate balance.

Matt

" Actually Shafi, perhaps I should have mentioned this as an aside but according to yesterday's FT Murdoch is backtracking on that one too..."

What an U turn !! I only wish one day Mr Murdoch copies Margaret Thatcher,s famous speech and declares " you turn if you want to .... this man ( Murdoch) is not for turning!!!!!"

I live for that day ( my suspicion, though, it will never come).

Murdoch is getting a bit old, so perhaps less patient and more cynical but he is no fool.

Hug a hoodie had all the same good intentions as John Major's 'Back to Basics' campaign theme - and is just as easily lampooned, ridiculed or misinterpreted.

Murdoch has spotted the flimsiness in the Cameron message and sadly believes that the Tory lead in the polls may just be mid term blues? Temporary and without real foundation or support - a passing phase?

When crunch time comes and it's Brown the statesman versus Dave the showman the latter will be found to be wanting???

Murdoch's real message? Buck up Boy.

Jon

Surely you are not going to do Labour's bidding by referring to "Cameron's" soundbite "hug a hoodie"? You must be aware that he never said this? It was an invention of the Labour party.

Cameron has had a bad July and I guess this and the yougov poll reflects that.

Remember, Murdoch qualified his previous positive comment about considering the CamCons based on needing to know more about his policies first.

So, I wouldn't dismiss Murdoch's comments as they are another indicator of a bad month for Cameron, but then I wouldn't panic or anything as there is still a long way to go.

David, fair comment.

My point is that IF Murdoch feels that DC can/will win, he will support him. If he feels that at the next GE he will go the way of Hague and Howard, he won't. Murdoch's support is not vital to winning the GE - it will be given according to whom Murdoch thinks will win. And it must be said, that he is pretty astute at guessing which way the wind is blowing.

If we go into the GE with a liklehood of winning, the support of Murdoch will follow.

It seems clear Murdoch is deciding to be undecided.
He's interested in making money, naturally a government that was Communist or indicating it considered re-nationalisation of a wide range of things perhaps without proper compensation and might takeover his newspapers would worry him, as would a party that proposed more controls on ownership in the media or tightening tax regimes on media organisations, beyond that he doesn't care what complexion the government of Britain was - if it was run by a group of Marxist Revolutionaries, or by Neo-Nazi's, or whoever so long as he gets his cut out of it, but naturally he wants to get money out of various different types of reader through various types of newspaper\media organisation and he wants to seem credible so he is likely to want to be seen to back the one who was going to win anyway and only go against them if it ws in his interest to stop them being elected.

Murdoch's "leadership" of public opinion is about 5% of what it is perceived to be.

The rest of it is seeing which direction the crowd is moving, running to the front of it and shouting "follow me!"

His opinion is just a political bet - nothing more. He's a tipster, not a leader of opinion. Some people listen to tipsters, though.

Whether you like or dislike his control of the papers, he certainly doesn't control the blogs. As time passes, that could become important.

"I'm sure you weren't implying on the basis of my antipathy for Mr Murdoch that I do not believe in free speech, free markets, personal ambition and a free press. However, it should be pointed out that as a Conservative I have never accepted that a man has a right to say or do anything 'because they can'. To my knowledge, Conservatives have always believed that freedom comes along with responsibility." - Alastair

Very good point, and well put.

Looking at the references to "hug-a-hoodie" above...

David Davis is quoted as saying the "hug-a-hoodie" press briefing was misheard. The actual policy was "MUG-a-hoodie"!

Black Dog in the Mail on Sunday wasn't it Tim?

Yes, Chris. I should have credited them. Thanks.

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