Monday 15 June 2009

Weddings and Iranian funerals.

This tells you just how important the Sun remains, despite the arrival of the Twatter generation, in the estimation of politicians:

When Rebekah Wade, Sun newspaper editor and one of Britain's most powerful women, married horse trainer Charlie Brooks this weekend, she didn't so much invite a guest list to the reception as a power list.

Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Wade's boss Rupert Murdoch attended a Saturday afternoon reception at Brooks' family estate near Chipping Norton.

Of course, they might have just turned up so they could chat to the actual boss, knowing he'd be in attendance, and while the Sun remains undecided about who it will support at the next election, despite it seeming more than likely that it will back the Tories, there is as they say everything to play for. Can you imagine both leaders of the main political parties being invited to say, the wedding of the Guardian editor, or the BBC director general, or even the Telegraph editor's do?

Stephen Brook also provides us with some apparent information as to when Wade herself might be moved upstairs:

But Murdoch has extracted a promise from her that she will continue to edit the Sun until the general election, before handing over the reins.

Not that the editor makes much difference: it's the master that sets the tone.

P.S. The Sun's editorial today deliberately conflates two completely unrelated issues:

THE dodgy "election" of hardline fanatic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to another term as Iran's President is bad for his country - and terrible for the rest of the world.

With the backing of the ruling Ayatollahs he is likely to continue with Iran's nuclear build-up and keep backing terror groups throughout the Middle East.

But just as important to us is the evidence that growing numbers of young British men are fighting with the terrorists in Afghanistan.

Our soldiers have already told of hearing Birmingham and Manchester accents among Taliban fighters.

And yesterday it was reported that a dead insurgent had an Aston Villa tattoo on his body.

You have to hand it to the writer of this leader column - that's a good connection, and one specifically designed to make the reader believe that Iran and the "terrorists in Afghanistan" are either one and the same thing or being funded by them. Iran might well support and fund Hizbullah, and to a lesser extent Hamas, which is a Sunni Muslim group, but the idea that Iran is doing the same with the Taliban is ridiculous, and not just because Iran originally co-operated with the overthrow of the Talibs in 2001. Iran might well sponsor Sunni jihadism in the form of Hamas, but it does so only because that group has no world view, and is instead dedicated only to the liberation of Palestine. Getting into bed with the Taliban, even the sections of it which are more moderate than the al-Qaida supporters which it also contains and connives with is similar to communists working with fascists (and before someone says Molotov-Ribbentrop, that was cynicism on both sides, knowing that war was inevitable but had to be delayed); they want to destroy each other, not work together.

Equally, the idea that there are "growing" numbers of Brits fighting in Afghanistan is plausible, but not especially likely. The fact that one "insurgent" had an Aston Villa tattoo is neither here nor there; in case the Sun hasn't noticed, the Premier League is global. In any case, I might be in the minority here, but that a tiny number of British Muslims might be fighting those they could have gone to school with, while a cause for concern, is not terribly terrible. Far better that they become insurgents and usually find themselves getting killed in the process than carry out attacks back here. The real problem, much more troubling than Brit Muslims fighting in Afghanistan is them coming back having been trained and graduated from the real "universities of terrorism" which are the camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan; security might be lax in some prisons, but they're not going to learn how to make TATP in there.

If we don't, we are simply playing into the hands of men like Ahmadinejad - who jabbers about democracy while locking up his opponents and supporting our enemies.

If the Sun wanted to do something useful rather than scaremongeringly bleat about terrorists, it would be supporting the young of Iran in what looks increasingly like a potential uprising against the Ayatollahs, but then you rather suspect that the Sun, like Israel and others in both Washington and London secretly wanted Ahmadinejad to stay in power so that the status quo ante, so important to all, stays unchanged.


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And I also thought that it was against Allah to mark your skin in such a way as a tattoo.

Which doesn't correlate with someone wanting to die fo Allah but doesn't mind marking his skin?


Scott T said...

Is this the same Charlie Brooks who "upset parents at Prince Charles' old school - by sending them sex aid brochures." ?

septicisle said...

That almost certainly would be.