Alex Massie

Changes in Murdochland

Changes in Murdochland
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The BBC's excellent Nick Robinson speculates that Rupert Murdoch's decision to hand control of his european interests to his son James is more bad news for Gordon Brown:

the man formerly known as Britain's most powerful tycoon was personally, if not always politically, sympathetic to the prime minister. Rupert Murdoch admires Gordon Brown's personal morality and his commitment to hard work. What's more, initially at least, Murdoch Senior was not taken with David Cameron.

Not so the man we will now have to get used to calling Britain's most powerful media tycoon. James Murdoch does not share his father's admiration for Brown or scepticism about Cameron.

What impact will this have? Murdoch Senior recently claimed that he did not shape the opinions of the Times or Sunday Times but acted as publishers always have towards The Sun and the News of the World. So, could this be the day that "It was Dave wot won it"?

This seems quite plausible to me. The odds on The Sun endorsing the Tories - already shortening - just became tighter still. Of course, The Sun, bless it, isn't quite the force it was in, say, 1992 when it ran this election day splash...

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Still, this move ain't chopped liver. As Robinson says, Murdoch's admiration for Brown stems largely from Brown's presbyterian commitment to the redemptive power of work in which methinks Rupert found traces of his own Hebridean grannie.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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