Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Has the Sun lost it?

Rupert Murdoch isn't the man he used to be. First he bought MySpace for $1/2 billion just as Facebook was taking off. Then he got the New York Post (the American equivalent of the Sun), to endorse John McCain, shortly after McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential candidate. Murdoch was clearly convinced that the Palin appointment was a game-changer...

Then News International announced in August that it made a $3.4bn loss. Then James Murdoch launched a vicious attack on the BBC - which prompted previously indifferent people to rally around the Beeb.

And yesterday we had the news that Rupert Murdoch instructed the Sun to say they were backing the Conservatives in the next general election.

No surprise there - the Sun has been hostile to Labour since Cameron became Tory leader in 2005. So this won't change many Sun readers minds.

But it will affect how Labour voters feel. Labour's problem at the moment is widespread apathy. The September Guardian ICM poll showed Labour certainty to vote at just 53% (compared to 68% for the Tories and 59% for the LibDems). The ICM for 23/24th Sept was a little better - our certainty was 59% (but the Tories certainty had climbed to 70%). Labour needs to get people to the polls, and this could galvanise our voters. One person said to me, if Murdoch is against you, you must be doing something right...


DevonChap said...

How will this galvanise your voters. Those who support Labour but have a low certainlty to vote are political obssesives who nuture grudges against the Sun for 1992. Many of them will be Sun readers or have Sun readers in their circle of friends.

Constant anti-Labour stories will erode their desire to vote, who wants to vote for a loser?

Labour seems to be going to war with the media, Brown had a go at Adam Bolton beause he was from News Interntaional, the BBC is now seen as anti-Labour. You alienate the mainstream media who is going to get your message out? Reams of negative articles are not wiped out by a 2 minute chat on the doorstep with an activist.

DevonChap said...


I was wondering if the female left-leaning blogger mentioned in the comments was you given your interest in the media.

Andreas Paterson said...

I'm intending to try and make a big thing of the Sun's attitude in my local campaigns. TBH I think we're better off without them.

Quietzapple said...

Yes, I have decided to rejoin The Party.

Will be helping in a nearby marginal.

snowflake5 said...

Devon Chap - there has been a sea change in attitudes to Murdoch. I for instance used to read the Times regularly till the Iraq war and was then sickened by the extreme neo-con attitude they took and couldn't bring myself to buy the paper any more. Have not gone back.

People have also been exposed to Fox news too via Sky and they don't see Murdoch as neutral anymore in the way the mainstream (not Labour) genuinely thought he was back in 1992.

So yes, some of our voters are supporting us simply because Murdoch is against us.

Re the link you've posted - I tried to look it up and it says page doesn't exist?

Andreas, Quietzapple, yup you are exactly the type who is galvanised by Murdoch being against us.

Quietzapple said...

Devon Chap:

I don't blame the Sun for 1992, I blame Kinnock and his bizarre triumphalism.

I do blame the Sun for the coarsening of our national life, which ran as part of the Thatcherite tide.

The constant anti Labour stories and libels will have a diminishing return to scale. You cannot fool all the people all the time. Did you?

A fourth Tory defeat will be still more shattering, realignment likely.