Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Sun Sets on Labour

Alastair Campbell has just made a complete tit of himself on Radio 5 Live, saying it really wasn't important that The Sun had endorsed the Conservatives. It was no big deal. Really. What a complete arse. At least Labour blogger Tom Mclouglin had the good grace to admit that it was a dark day.

It's not just the fact that The Sun has endorsed Cameron that is important, it is also the timing. They only endorsed Tony Blair a mere six weeks before the last election. To endorse Cameron eight months before an election means that it will now be a cheerleader for Cameron with a very important group of voters - the so-called C2s, the aspirational working classes (an expression I hate). They have always been a little sceptical of the Cameron Conservative Party. I suspect that over the next few months that may well start to change.

And how about this Tweet for Tweet of the Day, from Labour's Twitter Czar, Kerry McCarthy MP. Oh dear, oh dear.
Labour doesn't need The Sun. We've got Twitter.

Is this woman for real?


Adam said...

Kerry McCarthy is as dumb as a bag of hammers.

I'm surprised you expected better.

I can't believe she's a qualified solicitor. Although it probably says a lot that she wasn't qualified long before she ran off to politics to be a raving leftie.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

No really Iain - with her couple of thousand followers she will be able to change the voting intentions of people in key marginals and change the course of elections.

I could highlight the fact that given the twitter generation will be those who are least likely to vote at all, let alone be influenced by twitter to change a vote... but I may save that for when you are talking at the google fringe on Monday ;o)

Unknown said...

Looks like David Cameron might have had a point when he said that too many tweets make a twat....

Pam Nash said...

'Alastair Campbell has just made a complete tit of himself on Radio 5 Live'........and, in other breaking news, a bear has just shit in the woods.

KerryMP - total lunatic, like Looby Loo (am I showing my age??) on speed. Unbelievable! If she's an example of a Labour MP, God help them.

WV - hoomenes Yes, honestly!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Kerry McCarthy knows this but The Conservative Party has more than TWICE the number of followers on twitter as the Labour party does, so in absolutely no way possible have Labour "got" twitter. Epic Labour fail.

Steve Tierney said...

Hey! I posted about this before you Iain! A first! I claim my prize.

Unknown said...

Labour supporter (out on the doorstep tonight - Prescott in case you want to traduce me) who was never too happy with the courting of this sort of press but could see the reasons; but for those who did it - Campbell, Prescott etc. to be so obviously two faced is sickening. Have the grace at least to say it matters but here is why it shouldn't. But then both are part of go4rth which hectors about campaigning but not what to campaign for...

Ronnie said...

Surprised at the timing. Murdoch has lost some of his power over the tories if he's given them unconditional backing. Makes me think Cameron will pledge a referendum on Europe next week.

Anonymous said...

Seriously they should ban Kerry McCarthy from going near twitter she makes a twat of herself with every post.

Unknown said...

I see Radio 5 with that prat Richard Bacon (he really is a total tit) is wheeling Liebour spokesman after Liebour spokesman out. Hardly a Tory in sight.

BUT I best next week the BBC ensures that the Liebour scum infest the BBC every night to attack the Tories.

Come on Iain you must know what the Tories have got planned for the BBC?

Scrap the Tax?

Subscription only BBC?

Get rid of the leftists at the BBC that have openly supported Liebour for years?

I know Cameron is a bit wet over the BBC but I know there are Tories out there that want to chop the bollocks off of the BBC with a rusty knife.

Anonymous said...

Sun readers have never disproportionatly voted for the party the paper supports. This was going to happen anyway and all it really says is that the Sun thinks the tories are going to win, which is hardly a surprising insight. As a soft Labour supporter this makes me determined to work for the party at the election. Do what Obama did and smash Murdoch's 'kingmaker' myth. It will be tough but certainly a fight worth having.

Anonymous said...

Remember humility. The Tories have a mountain to climb. To show arrogance is tempting fate. Follow ure leader.

Anonymous said...

aspirational working classes (an expression I hate).

I'm not sure why you hate the term, Iain. Is it such a bad thing for these people to want something better for their progeny than they had?

Where are Tory voters going to come from in the future? We don't breed like rabbits and we don't import them.

The Conservatives must seize the opportunity to offer people a better future for their children, and give people in less-privileged situations the expectation that this will be afforded to them- not through increased benefits, but through jobs, the dismissal of reams of mindless legislation and the reinvention of Britain.

As for Kerry, well, you know that if you twitter too much, you run the risk of becoming a ....

If YOU don't speak for England, nobody else will. said...

Wouldn't it be nice if Cameroon announced that he was now going to launch an enquiry into the Murdoch organisation's grip on political power (through the swing voter in the marginal seat), THE DAY AFTER, such a ridiculous, sail-trimming announcement. Cameroon has 24 hours to save England.

Shame on the Media, shame on Murdoch, shame on ALL media sail-trimmers.

Simon said...

So what if The Sun backs the Tories. What real difference will it make to our lives if we have a Conservative Government? Not much that I can think of, a bit of tinkering with health and education that won't amount to much.

I don't think my life will be very different if I vote Conservative. This time next year the speed cameras will still be raking it in, I will still be spied upon everywhere I go, I won't be allowed to protest outside Parliament without Police permission, the Landlord of my local pub won't be able to choose whether he allows people to smoke on HIS premises, I won't have had a vote in an EU referendum, the State will still interfere in every aspect of my life etc etc.

I expect I'll be able to go hunting if I want to and that's about it. What's the point in voting for that?

If YOU don't speak for England, nobody else will. said...

When archaeologists dig up the remains of this era, and talk about the decline and fall of Western Civilization, one of them will write a book called:

"It was the Murdochs what Lost IT"

Rob said...

She must be tweeting from the bar, or under it.

Jimmy said...

I suspect the significance of these endorsements, if there is one, is that they follow public opinion rather than lead it. Besides, Murdoch's key aim now is to nobble the beeb, and he knows which party will oblige him.

John said...

I think Kerry was being what is known as 'light hearted'. It might be a useful quality to acquire before you become an MP Iain - it's quite frequently observed in human beings.

Anonymous said...

What kept the "Sun?", our grinning anti-English unelected Scotch Ayatolla wants to finish his mission by signing ENGLAND over to his employers in the EU before he gets booted out!....and NOBODY is doing anything about it!!!!!.

Anonymous said...

I heard you on 5 live this evening, and I will just say this, I can't wait for the day when we do have PR. It would signal the end of any future Tory government, because most of us in the UK are sensible and fair. Unfortunately a minority still believe in a kind of warped twenty-first century feudalism of which you no doubt suscribe to.

Ivor Biggun said...

Steve Tierney: "Hey! I posted about this before you Iain! A first! I claim my prize"

If a tree falls over in the woods and there's no one and nothing there to hear it, does it make a noise?

Sunder Katwala said...

It is a tribute to the marketing efforts of The Sun that they manage to create a 'news event' out of announcing switches of parties.

I can see how you can challenge Campbell, based on the scale of effort he put into the Sun himself.

But it is still possible that he was wrong about the influence of The Sun. What evidence is there that it does have a significant influence? Academics who have studied it seem to be sceptical about how much difference this makes, as John Curtice sets out.

Anonymous said...

If the country abandons Labour and votes the toffs in ( a Party so out of touch with the ordinary man in the street) then they have short memories... Thatcher, Poll Tax, need I go on!
My only worry is that the majority of readers of the Sun (not the brightest of folk, and certainly not observers of the political climate) will actually do what the paper says. Then we'll have the blind leading the blind.

I'd personally be happy to keep in an injured Labour Party than have Cameron's toffs running things. We're not fooled by him. He's no man of the people. This is not the 1950's when our leaders were bred at Eton. Send them to The City, make Doctors and Lawyers of them, but please keep them out of politics.

The Ruling classes have never been in touch with the working classes and should never be given the keys to power. Maybe thats why we had the great French Revolution.

Now Cameron will finally have to tell the country what he stands for at the Conference, as none of us still know.
Oh how I shall relish watching the BBC getting their teeth into them.


Tapestry said...

Murdoch switching sides is not so much a cause but an effect of change.

He must,for example, be pretty sure Lisbon is finished anyway to want to start crawling over its corpse.

He must be sure Cameron will win the next election to want to be swapping horses now.

This also means the Irish referendum will probably be a NO on October 2nd.

It means Cameron can beef up his anti-Lisbon credentials for his Party conference.

It means UKIP will pull less votes from Cameron.

It also means Cameron will ensure Murdoch doesn't lose his football-TV privileges.

Murdoch didn't create the situation, but he knows where his bread is buttered.

He could make Cameron's life a lot easier, and secure his own pitch at the same time.

It's only business, you know.

Manfarang said...


Alan Douglas said...

Kerry : "Labour doesn't need the Sun, we've got ... to work in the dark."

Alan Douglas

50 Calibre said...

Alastair Campbell must be going for some sort of has-been award to utter such rubbish. His beloved party is at the door of the political miden and going into denial about it is to join the No 10 denizens queueing up at the midden door.

The really daft bit is that he doesn't have to do it, does he?

Green Heron said...


You could make the same point in reverse about Scotland and Wales. Without the Welsh and the Scots we would have perpetual Conservative government.

Which do you think will come first, Scottish independence or PR?

Anonymous said...

No Iain, she isn't. I've spoken to her on twitter and found her quite repulsive.

You tweet if you want to love, it'll give you a hobby when you're on the dole next year.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I think you misunderstand the demographic makeup of twitter users.

Do not misrepresent them as teenagers, its shown they do not gravitate towards twitter, it is mid 20's semi/professionals upwards.

They WILL vote but not for Labour!

Johnny Norfolk said...

And there you have it. Labour have never been able to face up to the truth.

Anonymous said...

Now what was that notorious headline from the Sun in 1982?


RobertC said...

No doubt the biased BBC will still be supporting Labour.

DespairingLiberal said...

RobertC and other Tories baying for the destruction of the BBC - perhaps you are too young to remember the BBC's slavish toadying to the Thatcher government and the Lady herself. The BBC will always tacitly support whatever government is in office and therefore controls the license fee. The Beeb also has a deep affection for the status quo and will never be seriously radical. The "hotbed of commies" line you all follow is, frankly, bollocks.

Anonymous said...

As someone else has observed, Kerry McCarthy was probably making a joke.

Clearly far too subtle for the knuckle-draggers around here.

On a serious note, what price will Murdoch expect to extract for his support? Removal of the need for balance in broadcast services, so he can turn Sky into Fox News UK? A castrated BBC? The unfettered right to own as much of the UK media as he can afford to buy? De-listing of major sports events such as the World Cup so they can become 'Sky Exclusives'?

I fear for the cultural life of our nation.

DespairingLiberal said...

OK Iain, you say you do not censor. Yet previous to the one of mine you just posted, I submitted a piece cricial of Cameron and Murdoch that you have not let through.

Will this be appended to the bottom of the list in a couple of days time when interest in this article has died down?

Or is this an example of your new Tory Parliamentary Candidate-to-be at work?

Billy Blofeld said...

It was Twitter wot won it!

Anonymous said...

>As someone else has observed, Kerry McCarthy was probably making a joke.

Good for her, I'm pleased she can make light of the destruction of this country under the government of her party.

Perhaps she could throw in a few jokes about 9/11, 7/77 and the Holocaust?

Those who are responsible are the LAST people who should be making wisecracks.

Brian E. said...

All that the Sun might influence are a few floating voters.
I believe that traditional Labour voters looking for a new home are likely to vote BNP rather than Tory.

Hurf Durf said...

"Do what Obama did and smash Murdoch's 'kingmaker' myth."

Murdoch backed Obama though. Or at least, he approved of him. Fox News' ratings are through the roof so he must have done something right.

Hurf Durf said...

"I fear for the cultural life of our nation."

Don't worry. It died long ago thanks to you Liarbore sputum

Unknown said...

Campbell has been making a tit of himself your years. Remember his famous rant at the BBC?

What a tool, he also supports a shite football team Iain.

Weygand said...

As has already been observed, Murdoch is reading the forecast and preparing for what is coming rather than actually making the weather.

It is that he should be so certain that the forecast will prove correct that he can declare his position at this distance from the event that Labour should find dispiriting.

Hugh Jend said...

"Twitter"...methinks she's got one of her vowels mixed up!

Anonymous said...

The Labour supporters here did not criticise Murdoch and the Sun when both were supporting Labour and that Campbell and Blair were rubbing shoulders with Murdoch. In fact Brown was soaking in glory when Murdoch supported him when he took over from Blair and I heard Murdoch praising " the Calvanistic work ethic of Brown".

Brown fights with Boulton for not asking him about the economy. The deluded "saviour of the world" does not want to accept that he presided over the overheating of the economy in this country, his creation, the FSA failed to control the banks and while there an element of global economy influemce, the dire state of our economy was his responsibility alone. His direct and stealth taxes have hit the poor and middle class alike, his immigration policies have brought millions to this shore from outside the EU which has put such strain on the economy etc..etc.. Neither BBC nor Boulton would ask these. Now even Merkel's new coalition will cut the taxes. Tories may not have the room to do much but at least we would be having this dreadful Baroness of Scotland for a start.

Anonymous said...

"Labour doesn't need The Sun. We've got Twitter."

As you say, "Oh dear, oh dear." Clueless in a major way.

There is, of course, a chunk of the population that uses Twitter but I would be interested to know the percentage. I suspect it's smaller than the percentage of the population that doesn't have the kind of internet connection, if any, that is needed for efficient use of such sites. I live in the rich greedy South East, Surrey in fact, but have a few customers tearing their hair out because their telephone lines won't support higher than 256kbps broadband, more that can't get in excess of 512kbps, a legion that can't have more than 1 or 2 mbps. Bearing in mind the general evening slowdown, this means that most of them don't bother with anything interactive, too frustrating, and things like the iPlayer are out of reach. I personally have a generally very good connection, but Twitter strikes me as banal & irrelevant and I don't use it so I'm not going to see all the pearls of un-wisdom propagated there.

While I do have some delightful young customers who think Facebook is an essential of life, they wouldn't have a clue that political groups exist there. The majority of my customer base is in the 50+ age group. This is, I believe, the group most likely to vote. But not one of them is subscribed to Twitter or Facebook. They mostly use the internet for email, the BBC site, shopping, booking flights etc. They don't know about blogs and they buy print newspapers every day. I appreciate this is a small sample in the scheme of things, but it is certainly indicative of my particular area.

I follow many blogs, find them interesting and drop the odd comment, as here. But there's little feedback, I much prefer the discussion groups to which I'm subscribed and the right royal battles that ensue!

After a few efforts, I no longer bother looking at the politcal Party sites, they are bound to be pushing their own agenda, after all, and I haven't much interest in seeing David Cameron having breakfast. Don't mistake me, I think Mr Cameron may be a future saviour of this benighted country of our's, I just don't want to see him chatting over breakfast, the "I'm the same as you" stuff. He isn't the same as us, he has a passion to transform while most of us just sit back and absorb whatever we are whacked with.

I so, so wish he would articulate that more clearly.

Siberian Tory said...

Check out google ad word The Sun has bought them up.

If you google Labour, Labour party etc you the google ad proclaims "Labour's lost it" The sun.co.uk

Gary Elsby stoke said...

Iain, be reasonable, do you honestly believe that any responsible Labour Party member or supporter gave any store to Rupert's Newspaper support?

Winning or losing the 2010 Election will be down to the recession and all pain offered to move away from it.

If Dave wants to up my taxes or cut my services will not matter one jot to me or whether Rupert agrees or not.

Now sell that proposal to the voting public and let us see if their pain tolerances match the two Eton Millionaires.

Unsworth said...

@ Sunder Katwala

"It is a tribute to the marketing efforts of The Sun that they manage to create a 'news event' out of announcing switches of parties."

What was it when The Sun decided to support Blair?

Or maybe you regard all headlines as marketing efforts. There may be some truth in that, of course, but your argument then reduces to saying that all newspapers print only that which will sell copies. Is this anything new?

Next up, the debate about the media and reality.

Old Holborn said...

"The Sun doesn't matter. We can use the Internet, just like Obama did" says Kerry McCarthy, Mogadishu East MP

Let's look at the average Labour voter (not the Islington BBC mob, they vote Tory anyway in secret). Chances are, they are one of the following:

Union Luddite.

I really don't see how Kerry is going to reach any of them. Most of her constituents have Somali as a first language anyway and are too busy trying to master eating with a knife and fork to be bothered with 140 charachter messages on a laptop. Obama used the Internet because Democrats are savvy Liberals with Macs and blackberries. The only blackberries Labour voters know about are down by the railway embankment, covered in used scratchcards.

Now there's a thought Kerry. Spread the message on chip wrappers, cans of Stella, Rizla papers, pizza boxes, Halal kebabs and benefit forms. In Urdu of course. Straight to your core vote.

DespairingLiberal said...

Iain Dale is blocking any comments today that critically suggest Cameron might have made some kind of deal with Murdoch. Yet strangely, he and his fellow Tory bloggers find it perfectly acceptable to allege that the Labour leader is a crazed pill-popper. Quelle surprise.

Alix said...

My fave McCarthism was when she took it upon herself to tweet-poll Lib Dem conference as follows:

"Calling on Lib Dem MPs, PPCs and activists on Twitter. Wd u be prepared to support a minority Tory govt in power? #offthefence #ldconf"

Then half an hour later, in a hurt manner which, so far as I can tell, was not tongue in cheek:

"@RichardAngell To which I've had a total of 3 replies so far - none from MPs, PPCs or high-profile activists #offthefence #ldconf"

Gosh, you'd almost think the Liberal Democrat party doesn't care what Kerry McCarthy thinks, wouldn't you.

Charles Letterman said...

This sort of move by a favoured publication can undoubtedly have an influence on the electorate, and I will be carefully reading the editorial in the next issue of ‘Naked Slippery Pole Dancers Monthly’ to decide where I should place my cross in May.

Charles Letterman

David Lindsay said...

It is disgusting that a supposedly conservative party welcomes the presumed dictation of this country's electoral process by a foreigner.

DMC said...


I heard this story and i thought it would cheer you up.

My Aunt lives in Richmond Park, In London, she has voted Labour in every election, even in 1979 when Rubbish was all over the streets but today she told me, in 2010 she will for the first time vote Conservative because she cannot stand Brown anymore.

Brown has alienated even core Labour voters.

The Grim Reaper said...

Gordon Brown may not be taking drugs, but Kerry McCarthy must have been on something very strong when she wrote that!

Are you looking forward to life on the opposition benches, Kerry?

Anonymous said...

@Hurf Durf:

Don't worry. It died long ago thanks to you Liarbore sputum

As I said before: knuckle-draggers.

What's on Page 3? said...

Anonymous 2:37 AM said...

"If the country abandons Labour and votes the toffs in"

What, you mean toffs like Harriet Harman, Tony Blair, et al?

"My only worry is that the majority of readers of the Sun (not the brightest of folk, and certainly not observers of the political climate)..."

No, Sun readers aren't observers of the political climate... they make the political climate.

I was actually going to take your entire comment apart and give you a serious fisking, but, you know what? There's no point going any further, because not only do you read like an idiot, but, you read like a snob as well; typical New Labour!

Chris said...

"the aspirational working classes (an expression I hate)"

Me too, I prefer "ignorant vigilante scum"

Dimoto said...

I guess we can now look forward to Balls rubbishing his good mate Dacre as boss of another disgusting corrupt red top ?
At least that might stop Dacre smuggling through the occasional bizarre attempt at Cameron character assassination.