The issues arising from the News of the World affair have angered us all in the past few weeks, but I am particularly irritated by the hypocrisy of politicians of different political persuasions who have, in the past, courted vigorously the support of the Murdoch media in the hope of gaining political advantage at the election box.
Like timid children in the playground they offered sweets to the bully to get him on their side. But now that his achilles heel has been exposed they gang up like self-righteous seventeenth century witch hunters.
Yes, the magnitude and power of the Murdoch empire – its 200 plus newspapers worldwide, its control of television and internet interests – make a mockery of the notion of a free press, and the methods employed by some of his journalists extend beyond the indecent to the obscene.
But Murdoch came to this country in 1969. The politicians have had more than forty years in which to curb his power and practices. What have they done?
I am reminded of the Russian proverb: ‘Hypocrites kick with their hind feet while licking with their tongues’.