As if to prove that the Murdoch empire has an agenda to destroy the Crown in Britain, Australia New Zealand, (probably Canada, the other realms and indeed the whole Commonwealth too) his local flagship The Australian led on 12 January 2009 with the latest News of the World beat-up.
The first thing you see on page one is a prominent pointer to the international news “ Worldwide” and the headlines, “ The Trouble with Harry (Again)” and “Rebuke over racists remark.”
The rebuke of course emanates from a London gutter, and the context of the use of the diminutive is not of course discussed. It also happens to be about a three year old video of friendly banter among young servicemen.
There can be little doubt that apart from the usual purposes of so called stories in this execrable tabloid, it was at least in part a payback for the criminal convictions at the News of the World.
In the meantime, James Jeffrey says of the beat-up in The Australian’s Strewth column, (not yet on line, the web says Strewth is still on leave) “…we can breathe a sigh of relief that Australia didn’t vote for a republic in that beastly referendum and deliver us into the hands of dangerous lunatics.”
Not if The Australian had had its way in 1999.
Can you imagine, a national newpaper pushing free bumper bar banners to promote a republic? As one commentator put it, as the vote approached in 1999, The Australian gave every indication of becoming almost demented.
The Time –Warner AOL gossip and celebrity site TMZ is sometimes seen as an on line world -wide tabloid. It has been running a poll on the beat-up. Not a regular reader, and not used to the argot, I had to think for a moment about the meaning of their questions.
Over twenty seven thousand people had already voted when I did.
The results were “Leave dude alone,” 74%; “ Racist d*********” 26%.
I was not surprised; it's an overwhelming vote for Prince Harry. But the News of the World still sells. I suspect people buy it not because they believe it, but because it entertains them.