The Apotheosis of Murdochian Corporatism – Martin Ivens 140

The Sunday Times was once a great newspaper. It has had some great editors, and some very good ones – you may be surprised to learn that I include Andrew Neil in that. Whether you agreed with them or not, virtually all of its editors for 200 years have been formidable intellectuals. Until now, as the apotheosis of Murdochian corporatism, it is “edited” by a genuine intellectual featherweight, Mr Martin Ivens.

When called out on the lie that David Miranda had been arrested at Heathrow after visiting Snowden in Moscow – a lie crucial to the fabric of deceit they had twisted into a story to justify the “snoopers’ charter” – Ivens did not apologise or explain, he merely had the lie excised from the online edition with no explanation. The print edition was already out, and despite the fact that the online “story” which had already been full of holes, now made no sense at all, they continued with it.

I had produced an undeniable (and undenied, anywhere) analysis of why their story had to be a lie, pointing out the confusion of agents and officers, that neither the Russians nor the Chinese have killed an MI6 officer for 50 years, and that the Russians know who almost all the MI6 officers are anyway.

A gentleman called William Douglas sent my analysis to Mr Ivers, asking him for his views. Ivers replied:

Dear Mr Douglas,
: I think you should address your remarks to
: 10 Downing St. If you think
: they have lied to us then so be it.
: Yours faithfully
: Martin

That really is it. The editor of a once great newspaper does not think it is any business of his whether he publishes lies or not. He does not consider that there was any responsibility on himself or his journalists to find out whether the story was true before they published it. They did not attempt to take any other views or do any checking. And now they claim that what the Sunday Times publishes is not the responsibility of the Sunday Times, but rather it is the responsibility of government.

When the correspondent responsible for this disgraceful “story”, Tom Harper, gave his car crash CNN interview, I did not read too much into it. He managed to discredit his story across the mainstream media of the entire world, except of course in the UK, where it was covered up. It provoked great hilarity. For me, it wasn’t actually fun, it was like watching a child dismantle a jellyfish with a beach spade. The jellyfish is not only helpless, it does not even know it is being dismembered. Mr Harper may have the constituents of a brain, but they are distributed around his wobbly torso in disconnected nodules.

Harper’s astonishing admission that “We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British government” caused all of CNN’s audience to rock back in their chairs. But I just took it that a not very bright young man was misspeaking on TV. He did however say almost precisely the same thing twice, in response to two different questions.

But what we have now from Martin Ivens, in his response to Mr Douglas, is confirmation from the Sunday Times editor himself of exactly the same line. It is not the editor’s responsibility whether it is the truth or not, he just publishes what the government tells him to publish. The responsibility for what the Sunday Times publishes lies with the British government.

It is not just that Ivens is a lightbrain with zilch professional pride and a disgrace to his profession. He is in fact totally redundant, and his proprietor Mr Murdoch is sharp enough to realise he actually does not need to spend £200,000 a year on a Sunday Times editor. Software now exists which can put the government’s words straight into the paper without Mr Latham and Mr Ivens having to put their input of – actually absolutely zero – into the process.

Murdoch could then give the gentleman who cleans the toilets a raise of £1 an hour and entitle him the Editor. In fact, perhaps that may be how Martin Ivens got the job, as he seems to have no other qualifications. Oh, I do apologise – I realise I just gratuitously insulted the gentleman who cleans the toilets, who at least has a function.

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140 thoughts on “The Apotheosis of Murdochian Corporatism – Martin Ivens

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  • fred

    “What’s the crack with Fred ? If you ignore him, does he go away ?”

    Try it and see for yourself.

  • Canexpat

    Slightly O.T. I know and I may be terribly old-fashioned, but why does the editor of the Times use “Yours faithfully” when the letter has been addressed “Dear Mr Douglas”? I was always taught that “Yours sincerely” was to be used when the name of the addressee was known.

  • Ishmael Melanie Phillips – Jerusalem 27.1.15 ‘British Jews & the Left, what went wrong….”left” lol. I don’t recommend anyone watch this, but I put myself through most of it. ‘sigh’…

    Wow, I thought it was millions of Muslims who’ve been killed, their countries destroyed. Human rights curtailed throughout the west. But apparently it’s the Christians who are under attack. It must be deeply worrying that it’s bad in that bedrock of colonialist state Christian Brainwashing, Africa.

    In fact, I can’t think when the British establishment was ever civilised. But apparently it was. Not enough for her now it seems. Unless your willing to snub out more Muslims…

    She is undoubtedly a white supremacist. Racist. And there she talks, in Israel, apartheid nation.

    It’s state religion that dangerous and perverted in most forms. And we are certainly not immune from that are we.

    I like to go to Birmingham now and again. Just to soak in the constant antagonism, bombs in the streets etc, of multiculturalism not working…. Ie, for most actual people, religion is a personal thing. And multifaceted. Anyway last time I got talking to a Russian Muslim girl. She was going on about how she was a better Muslim than her fella. It made me smile a bit. I don’t see much different to Christian memes. Perhaps she was, it doesn’t really bother me. The chocolate cakes where very good.

    I’m not normally for quotas, This many women, this many Asians ect. But I think we have really bad intergeneration problems in the establishment. like the small town I live in vs brum. But the social scene of the upper classes, I would not want to imagine how bad that highly controlled environment is for extremist, paranoia of the other, bomb them etc.

    And she doesn’t mention America… There is a way to identify the more extremist. The least have no weapons and are none aggressive. Ect. Then you go up to aggressive violence, knives (rusty or not) guns, rockets, bombs, nukes. Each more arguably extreme in it’s capacity to kill human life. And does so.

    Why it there this total failure to see the facts of the ground.

  • Ishmael

    Never mention reality when discussing western civilisation, and never mention class and power when discussing religion.

    I thought most Muslim nations where ok with a nuclear free zone in the ME, seems like some progress…But as we know…

  • Ishmael

    One of the many things wrong with the “left” is they they now paint dissidents like me as extremists, while swaggering about with nuclear weapons in their back pocket. Bombing the shit out of foreign nations. The left are the people the state tries to tread on. The millions who march.

    They have gone so far off the cliff they have no idea what left right up or down is any more. Reality constricted to fit ideology…This sate religion is clearly the worst and most extreme, reality is, whatever we say it is, whenever we say it, Because we say it.

    And there was never I time I did not feel it was activity trying to fuck me over to maintain their unjust privilege that is the very root if there extremist behavior, money and power.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Hi, Brian,
    Thanks for the update. At what point in the proceedings did Melanie happen to mention her religion? About 30 seconds in, on any topic, is usual. ARGYLL NOTES – Sorry, didn’t actually live on Seil. Long ago, once bought a 21′ Kelvin launch that had been rotting in Easdale Island harbour for some time, though. You may remember that one? (she died in harbour during a storm; a much larger boat sat on top of her. RIP 🙁 )

  • Jiohn Spencer-Davis

    19/06/2015 3:32am

    “Slightly O.T. I know and I may be terribly old-fashioned, but why does the editor of the Times use “Yours faithfully” when the letter has been addressed “Dear Mr Douglas”? I was always taught that “Yours sincerely” was to be used when the name of the addressee was known.”

    So was I.

    Probably because he’s an ignorant berk.

    Kind regards,


  • Mary

    Ba’al and Brian. As is my wont lately, I fell to sleep and then woke up at the end. I did hear a little of Mel though. She did go on about ‘the convulsions in the ME’ and Islam of course (radicalization – of course there being no radicalization in Judaism!) implying that we are going to have millions of refugees. As Brian says, Alex Salmond pointed out the reasons for the ‘convulsions’.

    It is when she switches from her rants to an instant smile that she scares me stiff.

    I was awake at the end for the question for which there was no time to answer (handy that!) but which Dimblebore read out. It went something along these lines.

    ‘I am 52, in good health etc etc but will I live to hear the final decisions of the Chilcot inquiry’ at which the assembled company including the male questioner fell about.

    ZBC programmes like QT and the hangers on like the Dimblebys, the Snows, Robinson, Norman Smith, the ‘news’ presenters and most of the correspondents are a joke.

    Question Time
    David Dimbleby presents topical debate from High Wycombe. The panel includes former leader of the SNP Alex Salmond MP, Conservative former shadow home secretary David Davis MP, Labour’s shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint MP, editor of the Financial Times Lionel Barber and columnist Melanie Phillips.

    Don’t drop off now! The audience’s frenetic applause for anything that was said was really irritating.

  • nevermind

    Lionel Barber went out of his way to reiterate Melanie Phillips point, I was writing something and only listened to it, but he came over right sniveling.

  • Macky

    I also watched Q/T last night; Alex Salmond did very well & all his points were well received; I thought Mad Mel was on her best behaviour, and you could sense that she wanted to be more blunt, but had heeded advise to talk in guarded codes.

    The bits that amused me most was the Asian chap in the audience, who was very vexed about immigrants coming here, obviously sufferring from some sort of irony bypass ! Then at the end, DD said something along the lines of “all being well, next week we will have the Greek Finance Minister”, and it was the way he said those initial extra three words, that caused much merriment in the audience !

  • nevermind

    DD probably knew by then that Varoufakis was on his way to Moscow the next day, Macky.

  • nevermind

    Off course not, more like a good ol’ shake down, maybe offering an island or two for Russia to visit, or buy, a thirty year lease for a base in return for a few billions|? who knows what option he has in his pockets.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    TY Mary. The reviews were uniformly good for Salmond, except for the odd obvious Fred – Alex was generally rated the best performer of the night – and I have the impression someone had slipped Phillips a little Rohypnol in the green room pre-show. But I’d still like to know when her first mention of Judaism / Israel came. Was it the question about setting jam? Or the one on HST? (I’m guessing at the questions, but you get the drift)

    @ Nevermind: Tsipras met Putin in St Petersburg yesterday. (he might also have met Blair and Mandelson there, but since Greece is broke, I imagine he didn’t)

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Here they are. Tsipras still can’t afford a tie. Shut it, Ba’al…

    Russia is prepared to consider financial support for Greece in the words of Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. “We will support any solution for resolving the Greek debt crisis, suggest that to Greece and our European partners,” he said. However, there are, according to the Russian President, still no proposals on possible financial assistance.

  • Googler

    I never really knew that The Sunday Times used to be a decent paper. I think I always confused it with The Sun. Now there is a newspaper that dares to contradict the mob with its pin-ups, and which might be respectable for that reason alone. (I know there will be some twits who read this who will actually take that last remark seriously, so I add this proviso).

    This Ivens fellow strikes me as emblematic of the biggest danger that has always faced humanity. I regard that biggest danger as the ‘just doing my job’ type. These kind of people are more detestable than slugs. They don’t look particularly dangerous, and they probably come across as quite upright and kind in the flesh. But behind their four-corner desks and computing equipment, or out on the streets wielding their batons and inciting violence toward the homeless, they are monsters.

    The ‘just doing my job’ bureaucrat, whether they work for a newspaper or the DWP, is the lowest of the low.

  • Aussie F

    Personally I’ve always found the sort of people who ‘clean toilets’ have more intelligence and humanity than the ‘intellectuals’ who manage our cultural life.
    A respectable intellectual is by definition somebody who finds certain thoughts unthinkable, particularly those that challenge the consensus of the powerful, or suggest that our leaders act from any motive but benign altruism.

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