Monday, January 23, 2006

Under Media Siege

Angus J Huck commenting on my previous post re Oaten.

"The tabloids had a raft of stories about David Cameron lined up last Autumn, but none of them appeared. That was because Murdoch and his friends decided that Cameron, not Davis, was their man. Other senior Liberal Democrats should watch their backs."

I agree, whilst I have never known such publicity it does seem that we are under media siege at the moment. Daily Telegraph "Lib-Dem's in Free Fall".

Had Mark Oaten not withdrawn from the leadership race last week, when would the story have broken?

If Oaten stood a chance of winning, wait till after the new leader is announced, unless by some quirk of fate Mark won the contest, break the story on March 3rd to sully the new leaders honeymoon period and the Spring Conference. The more likely scenario would be to break the story on the 1st March, when all the postal votes are in yet uncounted.

All this is a campaign to undermine and discredit the party to shore up the Conservatives. Given that no publicity is bad publicity perhaps this will backfire.

We can expect more of this I fear in months to come.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I wonder (cruelly? or not?) if the entire recent LibDem Fiasco might be connected with Oaten's awful public midlife melt-down... Is it possible that without Oaten's sudden and voluble support Kennedy might have gracefully given up earlier, rather than launching that shameful don't-hit-me-i'm-an-alcoholic escape strategy?

Angus J Huck said...

I am seriously puzzled.

Norman Scott was hawking his claims about Jeremy Thorpe to Fleet Street long before the story broke. It was only when Scott used the occasion of an appearance in Barnstaple Magistrates Court to go public, that the newspapers decided to run with it.

The media could have used Scott's allegations to destroy Thorpe during the February, 1974 General Election, but chose not to.

Similarly, there are other Lib Dem politicians who have complicated private lives. Yet the media, despite being very well-informed about them, has kept silent.

Now, we know why the media protected Tom Driberg: he bought them drinks. But Thorpe, and the others?

My suspicion is that the media use the private lives of politicians as a very sparing weapon, only to be deployed when absolutely necessary. In this case, Murdoch and his backers were concerned that the Lib Dems might recover from the Kennedy resignation, and wanted to ensure that we don't.

By the way. Consider the contrast between the opprobrium which was heaped on John Profumo, and the indifference which greeted the news that Callaghan's Defence Secretary, Fred Mulley, had had an affair with the East German spy, Anne Maxwell-Muller. Might this have had something to do with the long list of influential people who had shared Maxwell-Muller's bed? Perhaps it was in everyone's interest to draw a veil over the whole mess?