Thursday, August 16, 2007

Eulogising Biffen

The eulogising of John Biffen - even one or two of the Labour blogs are indulging a flair for the sanctimonious - reminds me of nothing so much as this vintage Not The Nine O'Clock News sketch. To his credit, Paul Linford reminds us that it was Biffen, as Trade Secretary, who refused to refer Murdoch's take-over of The Times and Sunday Times to the Monopolies Commission back in 1981, despite the fact that Murdoch already owned The Scum and The News of the Screws. Biffen claimed to be acting independently of Thatcher, a claim which frankly beggars belief. At the time Murdoch gave assurances that the papers would be allowed editorial independence, which were, of course, baloney.


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