Oh dear. Polly Dutt-Pauker does not like the idea of the Sun on Sunday at all.
Guess Rupert must be doing something right…at last. But please, spare us the Yellandist “isn’t this boy who’s been forced to dress like a girl by his mad parents just toooo cute” stuff, will you?
WEATHER: It is currently 16-deg C in Tuscany, misty, but with a sunny day with low cloud promised for tomorrow. Forecast for SUNDAY: 15-deg C, with 90 per cent chance of grumpy frosted clouds and wild, violent outbursts of tacks, razorblades and hellfire, giving way to scattered servants and free-ranging, scudding interns. A low-level depression named MARR descends over an unknown Tory MP who doesn’t go to church. Scattered things. MONDAY: Settled boredom, with John Humphreys tweeting Alan Rusbridger about how awful the weather from Italy has been on Today (lowlights repeated ad nauseum on BBC News 24).
For some years, I’ve argued that the vacant fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square should be occupied by a statue of a great man, Joseph Bazalgette, the Victorian civil engineer who single-mindedly cleared central London of its slums, created the embankments and Battersea (and other) parks and rid London of the great pestilence of cholera forever. The capital still relies on his sewers today. And they still work.
But increasingly, I’ve come to the conclusion – a difficult one for a New Zealander – that the honoured place should go to an Australian: Rupert Murdoch. For he is the only one who has carried the robust free speech traditions of Cobbett, Horne Tooke, Hazlett, Paine, Johnson and Coleridge into the 21st-century – and willingly paid for it, often to his cost – when the panty-waisted likes of Rusbridger (minor), Toynbee, Thompson, Hari, Snow, Kelner et al stood around saying “oooh, let’s play nice!”, so politically correct they shit where they stand lest they befoul minority toilet bowls.
Don’t get me wrong: Murdoch has his faults. He really needs to see “man made” global warming for the expensive, anti-scientific scam it is, for instance. But on many matters – many of them important, such as freedom of speech – he is on the side of angels.