It’s the Sun wot fudged it

The Sun endorses Tories and SNP

Vote Tory! And SNP!

Newspapers love to think they have influence. Tony Blair grovelled to Rupert Murdoch to win The Sun’s endorsement in the 1997 election, after the paper claimed (wrongly) to have won John Major the 1992 poll. Yet this week’s decision by Murdoch to back two utterly opposing parties north and south of the border reveals the nonsense of such self important, cynical posturing.

I take exception to papers telling me how to vote. Democracy suffers through the massive bias in favour of the Tories. I also objected to the Guardian’s campaign against Boris Johnson in the 2008 London mayoral election. Yet the Sun’s laughable decision to back both the Tories and the SNP surely suggests the days when anyone paid attention to eve-of-election endorsements are coming to an end.

Hunt, Cameron and Murdoch: guilt and government by association

This week’s storm about culture, media and sports secretary Jeremy Hunt’s handling of News Corporation’s bid for complete control of BSkyB shows how Britain’s culture of government is horribly flawed.

A decade ago, Tony Blair’s sofa government style was condemned by the way Blair took Britain to war against Iraq without proper process or control. Now it seems that Hunt’s department side-stepped the rules on judicial impartiality in judging the News Corp takeover by allowing special adviser Adam Smith (oh the irony of that name…) to conduct back-channel discussions with News Corp.

The curiosity is that as ministers become professional politicians (in that they’ve never held a job in the real world), their performance as politicians becomes less ‘professional’ by the day. And that’s to put it kindly…