For Australian voters, the September 7 election comes down to this: “Do you want Kevin Rudd to be in charge of the country or Rupert Murdoch?”
That’s the election take of a friend of mine. He, like everybody else, is appalled by the conduct of Murdoch’s vile rags – the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Brisbane Courier-Mail, Melbourne Herald-Sun and the tablet of reactionary sophistry The Australian – which are running a relentless anti-Labour, anti-Greens campaign and backing an Abbott victory.
When Abbott reaches The Lodge, Murdoch will “own” him and expect generous favours in return for his election coverage. UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher obliged and so did Tony Blair.
Murdoch personally supervised the last anti-ALP vendetta in 1975 against the Whitlam Government. News Ltd journalists were so angry with the trashing of editorial fairness that they went on strike.
This time they are loyally pumping out the daily message of Murdoch vitriol. Instead of masterminding the election coverage himself, Murdoch has despatched his ever-faithful lieutenant Col Allan to supervise the project.
Over the decades, Murdoch has surrounded himself with knuckle-dragging executives such as Allan.
Another Murdoch favourite was Kelvin Mackenzie who edited Murdoch’s premier organ of utter backwardness, the London Sun, between 1981 and 1994.
When the whole world was appalled by phone-hacking of the mobile of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowling, Kelvin (“Thank god for Rupert Murdoch”) Mackenzie explained:
“What? Hacking a missing girl’s phone and deleting some of her messages so they can get more sordid details? That’s bloody good journalism! And if it gets more reaction out of the family, so much the better.”
Language of the loyalists
Another Murdoch loyalist is Richard Caseby who has just concluded 24 years with the Evil Empire’s UK operation where he served as managing editor of the Sunday Times and The News of the World (now deceased).
Caseby was hurt by a column item in The Guardian by Marina Hyde so he sent a roll of toilet paper to editor Alan Rushbridger saying:
“I heard Marina Hyde’s turd landed on your desk. Well, you can use this to wipe her arse.”
Uber-courtesan Kim Williams was head of the Oz branch of the Murdoch empire for two years. When confecting outrage over the Gillard government’s abortive press reforms Williams told a business lunch earlier this year that the proposed legislation was “bollocks”.
By using Murdoch’s blokey language he hoped to ingratiate him with the Supreme Leader, but it didn’t save him. He was unceremoniously dumped following the arrival of Col Allan.
The moral of the story is this: Murdoch uses his minions, saps the life and integrity out of them and then dumps them. Wives and family aren’t spared.
How ironic that he is now doing the same thing to Kevin Rudd and Bob Carr, who have prostrated themselves before Murdoch on countless occasions in the past. (Who do you think gave Murdoch the site for Fox Studios in central Sydney, the land supposedly in perpetual public ownership? Carr, of course.)
On the eve of the 1949 election, Prime Minister Ben Chifley sent a letter to “Laborites” saying:
“The Labor Government, therefore, gives an account of its stewardship to the people without fear. But vested interests, backed by limitless supplies of money, an overwhelming number of newspapers and an army of paid propagandists, have carried on a campaign of invective, malice and venom unknown in our political history. That onslaught can be met and beaten.”
It wasn’t. Chifley’s government went down in flames and Robert Menzies became prime minister of a Coalition government which ruled until 1972.
The Liberal Party’s chief propagandist in Victoria was the despotic Sir Keith Murdoch, of the Herald and Weekly Times, the father of Rupert.