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.

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

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  • John Goss

    Resident Dissident, last three comments at least. For someone who claims not to be a spook you sure do a lot of defending of them. You also do a lot of attacking of decent people who have tried to show the world the extent of US and UK espionage against their own citizens. Whose side are you on? The people’s? Or the spooks? Just asking.

  • YouKnowMyName

    @RD good RT find! but those wikileaks encrypted doomsday files weren’t explicitly Snowden materiel, as was revealed when the Grauniad released the decryption key, or do you know better? it’s a pity that encryption standards seem to be so weak that important documents seem to be easy to break?

    on the war-subject, which is a fantastic growth-business to be in apparently, the UNHCR 60 million refugees in 2014 is documented here

    I presume, the BBC having mentioned it once around 7am, will now ignore the report and concentrate on the excitement around Mr ex-Billy Piper

  • Resident Dissident

    O/T but nevertheless noteworthy

    Ilan Shor a “biznesman” with joint Russian Moldovan nationality and links to Putin is accused of being behind theft of 1bn from Moldovan banks involving use of UK and HK registered companies.

  • Resident Dissident

    Mr Goss – none of posts were a defence of spooks on either side. I have no problem with anyone demonstrating the extent of surveillance of any state against its own people – the boundary between what is justified and unjustified has to be policed with eternal vigilance – but releasing operational details of genuine surveillance external or internal is another matter.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Our best insurance, as humanity, not just as Edward Snowden, against continuing war including world war 3, is for as many super/ordinary powers as possible to know as much as possible about eachother’s evil intentions.”

    But what if one powers evil intentions/secrets are known and the others are not?

  • Monteverdi

    Try as one might to respect your previous guidelines , the content of your blogs despite having no connection to Israel lead us down a path to ask why there is always some connection . This grovelling apology by Martin Ivens demands a response as to why such subservience to a small country in the middle east by a famous major British newspaper and it’s editor who is the subject of your disdain ?

  • Resident Dissident

    Mr Goss

    Read the link and you will find the questions e.g. what was doing for the c2weeks between leaving Hawaii and arriving in Hong Kong.

    I could ask you about the history of those who accuse people of being fifth columnists when it comes to defending their rights to secrecy?

  • John Goss

    “Ilan Shor a “biznesman” with joint Russian Moldovan nationality and links to Putin is accused of being behind theft of 1bn from Moldovan banks involving use of UK and HK registered companies.”

    You never miss an opportunity to try and discredit Putin. Your strategy is working so well he was awarded Time Magazine personality of the year, and any opposition to his presidency has been virtually wiped out with the illegal coup and civil-war in Ukraine. Russians are not stupid. Keep at it and you’ll be the only one left to criticise him. Yes, I know, all the others will have been poisoned. 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Try as one might to respect your previous guidelines , the content of your blogs despite having no connection to Israel lead us down a path…etc, etc, etc…”


    Are you sure you’re trying?

  • giyane

    Habibi !? Where are you? Staff announcement ‘Come in please, Habibi, anti-semitism call needs dealing …

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Your “comment” – which was actually an unpleasant provocation and a V-sign at Craig – would have been deleted if I were moderating.

    Watch out – I might accelerate my thinking on whether to offer my services.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    You keep telling us you’re an electrician and that you “work”.

    But you’re on here all day long.

    Do you perhaps work nights?

  • giyane

    Maybe it’s one of the mysteries of Christianity that while 20 years of war have been executed by USUKIS, nobody has yet discovered the real reason for the carnage going on…

  • OldMark

    ‘Ilan Shor a “biznesman” with joint Russian Moldovan nationality and links to Putin is accused of being behind theft of 1bn from Moldovan banks involving use of UK and HK registered companies.’

    Res Diss- for the benefit of the 99% of readers who aren’t fluent in Romanian, could you elucidate further on this ‘biznesman’s’ ‘links’ with Vlad the Terrible ?

    The 2 English language links you gave don’t detail what these ‘links’ amount to- although the Beeb article suggests that one of the bank frauds Shor is linked to also possibly implicates around 100 other members of the ‘Moldovan political elite’. Tim Whewell’s article also mentions that Ilan Shor has ‘links’ (via his father) to Israel. But neither of these ‘links’ have you sought to highlight- funny that.

  • Ishmael

    “Try as one might to respect your previous guidelines”

    Geez, your not actually trying are you. I paid minor attention to what I assume are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. If one happens to ‘break’ one, so what..I won’t try but may well…

    I’d rather Israel was not connected to so much nefarious stuff that goes on, so it did not come up so much, and so their incessant representative was not currently anal-izing/personalizing Criags arguably moderate rules. Regardless of the many issues that could be made of them. Ie what is ‘related’.

    In fact, You’d have to say the most unrelated comments on this thread are ones on the ‘rules’, that as posters we don’t have much business interpreting or enforcing (i’m for pushing limits myself). Anyway it’s Certainly an off topic thing to be doing. I hope others get the same leniency…

  • MJ

    This cartoon?

    If that is the cartoon in question then perhaps someone could explain what the objection is exactly. In my view it is the wall that is offensive, not a cartoon of the man responsible.

  • Ishmael

    “Off topic”….But if I was a moderator, looking at this tread as a guideline, I know who’d get the off topic stick again and again. Not to mention the fact that support of human rights violators is really not in keeping what I perceive to be the overall topic, or motivational topic of this blog.

    Theoretically, said poster would have been banned by me for constant unrepentant dragging off topic over and over and over again. Lucky I don’t really like this whole blog thing, as is, so would not put myself in/create that position.

  • giyane



    You keep telling us you’re an electrician and that you “work”.
    But you’re on here all day long.
    Do you perhaps work nights?”

    For your information I have been doing my annual accounts. Some people spend their entire working lives in front of a computer, myself thankfully only from time to time.
    Last night we left the mosque at 01.00 am.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Unlike Martin Ivens, as a NUJ member I have both professional ethics and pride. I have therefore given a right to reply and contacted the government department and source. I shall include their reaction.

    Should you find yourself under an arduous embargo on publishing your discovery please post the message “Jean a une longe moustache” on this thread and we will know…

  • giyane


    Possibly. I used to cycle to work from Canterbury to Sandwich at one stage.

  • Monteverdi

    @Lo Zuccone 12.42pm


    ‘ Your ” comment ” which was actually an unpleasant provocation and a V sign at Craig -would have been deleted if I’d been moderating .
    Watch out-I might accelerate my thinking on whether to offer my services .

    ‘ Men rise from one ambition to another : First they seek to secure themselves against attack , and then they attack others ‘ .

    [ Niccolo Machiavelli ]

  • nevermind

    Just speculated on the chance that we worked together on a certain Ramsgate residence, but we have not.

  • craig Post author


    You know less than you think you know. Private briefings from the press departments of ministries are never attributed to individuals, but to “spokesman” ie “a foreign office spokesman.” In theory and often in practice, these civil servants will not knowingly lie.

    The only “spokesman” attribution from the Sunday Times is to No. 10 saying that nobody was harmed as a result of Snowden’s revelations.

    Nothing else is from “spokesman” it is from “source”. That means someone in the ministry but not the media department – and it is a very fair bet it is Special Advisers.

    I face a dilemma. A very good Home Office source has told me who the Sunday Times primary source was. But I am the opposite of Martin Ivens, I am a good, scrupulous journalist and I have put it to the alleged source who absolutely denies it. This is the sort of dilemma real journalists – ie not the Sunday Times – face about how to publish in these circumstances. Down in London trying to sort this out.

    There is no evidence of any kind that the Russians and Chinese have deciphered the Snowden Files. Asking to disprove the negative is ridiculous. There is evidence there are nothing like the 1.2 million files the Sunday Times is claiming.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    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.

    He would if he got his arse sued every time he printed porkies. That’s why Private Eye is a much more reliable source – it does. Is there some sort of unwritten commandment; Thou Shall Not Sue Murdoch, (nor his ox nor his ass nor any thing that is his?) Or is it simply down to hiring better lawyers to defend lies? Running with that, it looks very much to me as if the ST, having realised it has shat in the street, is blaming the kebab shop it unwisely ate at last night…

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