Monday, 9 July 2012

Three Cheers for the Death of the News of the World! An Anniversary Tribute !


RUPERT MURDOCH did much to improve the moral well being of the nation when he closed down the News of the World.

Since then, we live in a much less polluted society and our collective soul has been cleansed by the eradication of the evil staff (me) and wicked readers (yes you!).

In the 12 months since the paper closed, no one can have failed to notice how Britain is a finer and more noble place to live.

No peer of the realm has committed perjury, no “happily married” MPs have been taking secret mistresses and all celebrities have chucked their class A drugs into the Thames.

I am immensely reassured by the fact that, search as they may, not one newspaper has been able to locate a single paedophile ring to bust.

As for gun runners, drug dealers, human traffickers and bent cricketers, I am relieved to report that, since the closure of the News of the World, my colleagues on rival newspapers have been unable to find one. They all saw the error of their ways, took Holy Orders or became outreach workers at Lambeth Council.

Why the News of the World wasn’t closed down years ago, I’ll never understand.

To think that seven generations of journalists spent 168 years fooling around, exposing the misdemeanours and crimes of the great and the good for absolutely no reason at all. Those glittering industry awards and the biggest circulation in the world were the fruits of an elaborate hoax on the nation.

Because as soon as we left the stage, so did all the villains who decided they wouldn’t be seen dead in the Sunday Mirror. And they would rather appear in Good Housekeeping than, heaven forbid, in the fluffy Sun on Sunday.

In 1995, we kicked up a bit of a stink when a judge let off some crooks we had exposed. In those not-far-off times, all sorts of misguided fools used to spring to our defence, in case you’ve forgotten.

On August 5 that year, one lad said: “I recognise the valuable role the News of the World has played in bringing criminals to book. I applaud the co-operation the police have received from the newspaper and its investigative reporters.

“If the law is inhibiting the role played by the News of the World then I would certainly want to look at it.”

Poor deluded fool . Michael Howard was his name. What do Home Secretaries know about these things eh? And he was deadly serious when he told me. I stuck it in the paper for a bit of a joke.

These even minded fellows in the Labour Party, especially the understated and even-keeled Tom Watson, were spot on to jump on the bandwagon of our commercial rivals at the Guardian and have us killed off.  It is just what the country and the newspaper industry needed. It would have been OK if we had been found wanting and cleaned up our act. But we hadn’t.

Rupert Murdoch’s adversaries will never force him to sell off his remaining London newspaper assets. The Sun, and the colossal loss makers, the Times and Sunday Times, are very close to his heart. In fact, he has formed a special little company just for them so they can be safe and sound in perpetuity! That was really nice of him I thought. Just goes to show he’ll always be here to make sure these great institutions don’t fall into the hands of a billionaire porn merchant or an asset stripping buccaneer.

Good to see he still has a sense of humour too. Those foolish, misguided “English”, who don’t want his billions. Ho, ho, he loves a jolly little leg-pull does old Rupe! Don’t worry, he’ll be here forever, safeguarding thousands of jobs and subsidising our greatest newspaper titles by pouring in millions of pounds of his own cash.

So relax. All’s well with the world now the old rag has been shut. And investigative journalism has never been sharper. I don’t panic because I live in the real world you see. And on that note, I’ll say “Cheerio and pip-pip ” as I’m off to the bookies – to back  Elvis riding Shergar  in the 2.30 at Brigadoon.

*  This article can also be read in the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/neville-thurlbeck/three-cheers-for-the-deat_b_1658499.html



Neville Thurlbeck is the founder of TalentGB, an on-line directory of showreels of artistes of every genre 
 

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Woah! and here I thought you meant every word you said when I wrote that.

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  2. To quote Harold MacMillan (or maybe not according to Wikiquote) "Events, dear boy, events!"

    It was rumoured beforehand that Ol' Rupe wanted to merge the Screws with the Sun. He'd have done so in a long, drawn-out employment law process (90-days "consultation" on something already decided, possibly a ballot for strike action which would've only hardened his resolve etc...). But this way he got to close the Screws down in double-quick time, with problems covered by a lot of "our hands were tied" and "we had to do this" proclamations etc... I've not followed any employment tribunal claims that resulted, but would guess they were rejected and met with "exceptional circumstances", "management out of control" etc... or possibly settled?

    And now, in a few months or years when he's sold off his newspaper portfolio to focus on the more profitable and better long-term prospects of British Sky Broadcasting, whoever buys the newspapers will also have the brand name "News of the World" to revive in a new form. I'd put money on it appearing as a monthly celebrity squawk sheet and website.

    I'll just be off down the bookies to place that bet along with yours for the 2.30pm at Brigadoon...

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    1. Those are all interesting points. I haven't put my bet on yet - still trying to find Brigadoon on the map.

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  3. Rodney E Lever10 July 2012 07:00

    In memory of little Azaria: Nearly 40 years ago in Central Australia in a tourist camp near Ayer’s Rock, a wild dingo dog searching for food took a small baby from a tent and dragged her away and ate her. Rupert Murdoch was well into his career then and his papers had a field day of hysteria, virtually exonerating the dingo and all but accusing the baby’s mother of having murdered her child in a satanic ritual. The mother went to jail. In 2012, after a long legal argument, a court in Darwin has finally declared the mother’s innocence. No newspaper has accepted any blame for a ten year campaign that resulted in the mother’s cruel punishment. Rupert Murdoch, now a citizen of the United States, was at least partly responsible for this mother’s shame and pain. If this story rings a bell with those who have condemned the Murdoch papers in Britain for their outrageous perversion of truth, so be it.

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  4. I can't work out if you've finally seen the light about Murdoch (bitterness and irony too much of an uncomfortable mix here). Maybe a comment on your old hero's new statement to Leveson about the Max Moseley debacle wouldn't come amiss now ...

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    1. I can live with the "inappropriate" comment. Murdoch isn't slow to criticise his staff (although he took four years to criticise me!) He absolutely roasted Piers for using pictures of Victoria Lockwood (Viscount Althorp's wife) in de-tox. And Kelvin for his Hillsborough coverage. It doesn't make them bad editors or he a bad proprietor. He doesn't endorse the blackmail theory. Nor do the police, who have said they looked at it and dismissed it, that's the important thing to recognise. I explained the context of how this happened at the Leveson Inquiry too. I was asked to send the email by a news editor who fully believed (as did the editor) that we were dealing with women who were taking part in a Nazi orgy. And I take my share of the responsibility for doing that. Now of course, our behaviour is being examined through the prism of the Eady judgement, which we didn't have at the time. All very easy to criticise decisions made in the heat of the moment by taking a long, cool look back into the past and putting it under the microscope. We'd all fall apart under that level of scrutiny. If the worst that comes my way from Rupert is "inappropriate", so be it! And I'm certainly not bitter! You may find this hard to understand but I've never been happier. Thanks for your input

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  5. Hi Neville, waiting for your next blog entry, its been a while!

    Just wondered if you caught this programme on C4 the other night, "Undercover at the news of the world". It didnt paint a great picture of some of the sting operations......

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/undercover-at-the-news-of-the-world/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1

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  6. Sorry, many apologies for the silence. I've been very busy on other business lately. And then there was the small matter of a morning in court too! Yes, I did see the documentary. I'm not sure if it managed to land a conclusive and credible killer blow. But it was interesting to watch.

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