“The British tabloid newspapers are very addictive.”- Nick Jones
Why is it the most powerful politician in Britain had to rely on an ex-editor? What did Cameron know about the phone hacking scandal being his close relationship to Andy Coulson? Nick Jones, an Author and former BBC Political Correspondent, explained all at a recent Coventry Conversation.
Nick started by talking about one of the biggest powers behind the papers and the media, Rupert Murdoch. He described Murdoch as: “The most promiscuous newspaper proprietor of all.” This referred to the fact that Murdoch has changed his political view numerous times over the past thirty years. Murdoch supported Thatcher and the Conservatives in the eighties and this was shown by his papers backing up all her policies and campaigns. It was his support for Thatcher that led to the expansion of News Corporation as she supported the takeover of the Times in 1981 and also supported the set up of BSkyB who are the richest Television Organisation in Britain. He then in 1997 started supporting Blair, who was Labour and his papers published ‘Vote Labour Today’ with pictures of Blair and Brown as if they would change everything.
When Gordon Brown became Prime-Minister without an election, Murdoch changed his political backing once again. It was then that Murdoch supported Cameron and he began to appear in some of the papers and was writing articles for the Sun and for the News of the World. Nick described this as the: “Beginning of the love affair with Cameron.”
Cameron began to develop a relationship with the tabloids and he began to get close to Coulson. Andy Coulson was also powerful and won an award in 2005 for his editorial skills. The News of the World had lots of power and with Cameron’s strong relationship with Coulson, Cameron’s view and articles were constantly in the tabloids backing up campaigns for the tabloids. Eventually David Cameron came into power as Prime-Minister and the News of the World managed to get the first scoop as their strong relationship with Cameron enabled them to get his thoughts and views on the new Government. Coulson was employed as Cameron’s new Communications Director after he resigned from his Editorial role for News of the World. Nick explained how Coulson then resigned from his new position in January 2011 after a News of the World journalist was jailed for phone hacking.
But what did Cameron know about it and why did he stick by Coulson? Nick said that: “Cameron had needed Coulson to connect him to this tabloid culture.” which arguably led to Cameron’s general election win. Nick described Coulson as: “A master of campaigning journalism.” which again explains why Cameron needed him.
Towards the end of the Coventry Conversation, Nick answered some questions and when asked if he thought the phone hacking scandal could tumble David Cameron he replied that it is possible if someone: “Could prove that he knew what Coulson was up to.”