The rumble of the Thunderer

10 January 2013

Steerpike is back in this week’s Spectator, and here’s a little taster from Wapping:

James Harding, the ousted Times editor, left with a £1.3 million payoff in his pocket and the praise of Fleet Street ringing in his ears. But why did he go? A chap who polishes the executives’ shoes at News International tells me that just before the hacking scandal blew up, Rupert Murdoch was planning major changes at the Times. He’d decided to pull the newspaper out of the Press Complaints Commission, just as Richard Desmond had done with the Express. Then he’d pull it out of the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which he felt didn’t reflect the new digital world. And he’d put an end to its softish editorial line, directed by George Osborne’s close friend Danny Finkelstein.

Murdoch, my mole tells me, concluded a while ago that Cameron bends to pressure — so he wanted the Times to pile on the pressure, as the Sun has done. Instead, to his dismay, it has acted like a propagandist for the taxman — understandably, given Finkelstein’s role as unofficial chief adviser to the Chancellor. All this was interrupted by the Leveson inquiry, but Murdoch —like the papacy — thinks in decades rather than years. The Dirty Digger may be about to resume Plan A.

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  • rndtechnologies786

    Good view

  • terence patrick hewett

    The Times is now the only paper worth buying: the Telegraph has now morphed into Beaverbrook’s Daily Express but without the charm and fun of Giles, Rupert Bear and J B Morton’s By the Way

  • Chris

    Somebody in Britain really needs to tell Murdoch to get stuffed.

    • The Red Bladder

      Whoever takes on the job you can be your boots he or she will not have to face election.

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