Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Matthew d'Ancona told us that attacking Rupert Murdoch was "distinctly retro"

It is time for the latest in my occasional series looking at what politicians and commentators said about phone-hacking before the scandal broke. Past episodes have featured David Cameron, Jenny JonesBoris Johnson.and Guido Fawkes.

This evening we turn to the normally sensible Matthew d'Ancona, writing in September 2010. He cannot be held responsible for the Daily Telegraph subeditor who introduced his article with the words "The campaign against Andy Coulson, David Cameron's communications chief, is partisan, hypocritical and unjust," even though that is a pretty fair summation of his argument.

What d'Ancona offered was paragraphs of praise for Coulson, followed by ad hominem attacks on his main accusers Keith Vaz and Tom Watson. And then this advice for Labour:
Strategically, this is deeply regressive for Labour: the insinuation of dark conspiracies involving the police and the Murdoch media empire is distinctly retro. If David Miliband wins the Labour leadership, I doubt he will want the party to position itself thus for much longer.
I am afraid it is d'Ancona who sounds "distinctly retro" today.

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