Socialist Worker

Labour's obsession with Murdoch was a disaster

Issue No. 2260

Did Rebekah Brooks oversee the theft of medical records belonging to Gordon Brown’s sick son, Fraser?

Brooks allegedly phoned Brown to tell him that the Sun had his son’s medical records when she edited the paper in 2006. She then splashed the news that he has cystic fibrosis on the front page (below).

But despite this sickening act, Labour’s leadership continued to court the Murdoch press. Many ordinary party members opposed the obsession.

Tony Blair claimed that winning over the media was key to winning elections—and used this to shift Labour to the right.

It’s not true that working class people automatically vote for the party that newspapers tell them to.

But every Labour leader since Blair has adopted his line. And, as the links between Labour and Murdoch grew, so followed drinks, dinners, parties and paid-for trips.

Those who opposed this from the start were right.

Now Labour politicians who wholeheartedly sucked up to the media mogul are jumping on the anti-Murdoch bandwagon.

Peter Mandelson wrote in the Guardian this week, “We simply chose to be cowed because we were too fearful to do otherwise.”

He claims that things can be different in the future—if regulations are changed.

And Labour leader Ed Miliband, who attended a News International party last month, is talking tough about curbing Murdoch’s power.

But leading Labour figures don’t propose the radical solutions that would be needed to drain power away from the multinationals.

And they want to expand “competition”—which helped Murdoch get to the position he’s in today.

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