If for some bizarre reason you read The Sun, you will have woken up to a headline laying out the most read print newspaper in the UK’s stance on the EU referendum.
And that stance is: Leave. ‘BeLEAVE’ to be precise, as the media company casts its metaphorical front page ballot for a British exit from the European Union.
— The Sun (@TheSun) June 14, 2016
It’s not the first time The Sun has come out to support a particular side – in fact, they’ve done it at numerous elections.
In 1997, they declared their support for Tony Blair’s Labour Party, before switching back to their usual preference of the Tories in 2009, just in time to help scupper Gordon Brown’s chances of staying in power.
So while it’s nothing new for them try and sway a vote, the apparent hypocrisy of an unelected foreigner – proprietor Rupert Murdoch, an Australian born U.S. citizen – telling the UK to leave the EU so that they won’t have ‘unelected’ foreigners telling them what to do is a hard pill to swallow.
The EU referendum is perhaps the single most important political vote of our generation.
Whether you’re voting to leave or to stay, you deserve better than having a paper – whose idea of editorial integrity includes printing vile lies about Liverpool fans after the Hillsborough disaster, then refusing to apologise – telling you what to think.
This is a newspaper whose proprietor owned the now defunct News International media company, where journalists from the News of the World under Rebekah Brooks hacked the voicemails of murder victims, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the July 7 London bombings.
Both Murdoch and Brooks weren’t charged, and Ms Brooks is now the CEO of News UK – the new re-brand of News International, which owns The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
But why would Rupert Murdoch want Britain to leave the EU?
Well, this quote from journalist Anthony Hilton has been doing the rounds again, and may hold the key to Murdoch’s decision:
I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. ‘That’s easy,’ he replied. ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.’
The ageing press baron’s influence on UK politics is undeniable. When in 1992 The Sun printed its infamous Neil Kinnock front page, the Labour Party were slaughtered in the election. Then, when after a dramatic change of heart Murdoch suddenly became pro-Labour in 1997, Blair won by a landslide. And when Rob switched back to the Tories in 2009, David Cameron was soon in power.
Unfortunately for people who want to remain in the EU, Murdoch isn’t known for backing the losing side.
This vote shouldn’t be decided by people like Rupert Murdoch.
Whether you’re in or out, you need to be free to form your own opinion, preferably after reading both sides of the argument – what’s at stake is too important to let press barons, from both the Left and Right, tell you what to think.
June 23 is a huge day for the UK, you need to make the decision you think is right, not what an unelected, unaccountable foreigner thinks you should do.