This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
The Sun's decision is not surprising
It is no surprise to me that The Sun has turned its back on Labour.
Its decision to come out in favour of the Tories today was an unmistakable, deliberate act of sabotage, timed to steal the Prime Minister’s thunder.
No wonder Brown and Mandelson were furious. It has just flat footed us again.
Party members put on an admirably brave face but they must recognise that it is a blow.
The Sun is not as powerful as it once was, but it is a good bellwether of public opinion. And its decision shows that public opinion is shifting towards the Conservatives.
In close elections, like 1992, newspapers do have the power to influence their readers. The Sun’s disgraceful attacks on Kinnock, a good man, in that election did influence what their readers thought of him. And I expect that the Sun’s endorsement of Cameron might just give the Tories an extra edge if the next election is really that close.
But why someone didn’t see this happening two years ago is a mystery to me. It was inevitable that The Sun would switch sides. We haven’t been addressing the concerns of Sun readers for a long time now.
The Sun’s announcement clearly infuriated the Prime Minister. When he stormed out of his interview with Adam Boulton on Sky today, part of me thought, “Oh, good on yer!” But I felt sorry for Brown and even in Blair’s darkest days I never felt sorry for him. Blair was always in control of events around him. Brown’s temper tantrum, on the other hand, only further exposed the personality flaws we have come to know so well. No one votes for a leader because they feel sorry for them.
The loss of the Sun is a blow. But there is a lesson here for us. Our love affair with the Murdoch press never delivered what we expected and hoped for. Let’s remember that next time.
And let’s hope that the ever loyal Mirror is there to support us come the election this time.