www.politicalbetting.com noticed the editorials in today’s Sun and Times carry the same message criticising Cameron for asking for an enquiry into the Iraq war. What to make of it?
Many have swallowed the News International pill, which convinces people that Murdoch is eurosceptic. Murdoch is known to be the EU’s power broker in Britain (Lance Price confirmed this). He has to keep onside with the EU Competition Commissioner or they could dismantle his sports and TV privileges. As it is, as long as he plays EU-friendly in terms of keeping europhiles like Blair in power, eurosceptics like IDS and Thatcher out, his papers will maintain a guise of euroscepticism to cover up what they are really up to.
Murdoch is now backing Gordon Brown, which is a clear indicator that Brown is europhile, and has done deals with the EU to push through a programme on their behalf. It is thought possible by some he will go for PR, as only through FPTP could an independent minded conservative party win power. No coalition government would ever escape rule by brussels.
Murdoch’s problem with Cameron is nothing about Iraq. Cameron has refused to do deals with the media, and is going his own way with webcameron and so on. Gordon Brown does not look like a strong suit, so Murdoch’s getting desperate to get Cameron onside. He’s trying a bit of stick, no doubt to be followed by carrot. But Cameron is his own man and Murdoch’s worried.
Murdoch backed Iraq as he is George Bush’s man in America, garnering huge media privileges for being so, by backing the Republicans through his Fox News Empire. The USA wanted the war to go ahead. The EU wanted to keep out of it. So how did Britain get involved? I am not sure, but you could imagine a scenario whereby the Americans got Murdoch to pressure Blair into the war, and the EU went along with Britain going in.
On the assumption that it would be a long drawn out costly exercise like Vietnam, the grinding down of the British Army into a less effective fighting force would suit EU long term objectives. Also the EU could have been offered a lot of military spend from Britain, which is happening, and the British Army is being allowed to rot with poor backing in terms of spending and proper equipment, meeting EU approval. The British Army is part of the backbone of Britain’s national identity, and so it becomes a target like fox hunting, the House of Lords, the Monarchy, Hallmarking, the office of Lord Chancellor and so on. If Dannatt says the Army is being broken in Iraq, I tend to believe him. In this way, the requirements of both the Americans and the EU are being met.
Those who think Murdoch cares one way or the other are mistaken. His father Keith created the myth of Gallipoli in the Australian media, but later cheered on heartily as thousands of Aussies met their deaths in the trenches, once he was sure of Lloyd George’s backing. The Murdochs know how to use war and its attendant political intrigue to build position. It’s the family business.