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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  • Ishmael

    Entertaining the notion that Craig might consider such appointment…I’d not flick those Vs myself and i’m all for it generally…

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    An illuminating article of Greek debt and debt relief. From Reuters in Kathimerini.


    “Greece already got eurozone debt relief, debt now sustainable, says ESM report

    By Jan Strupczewski

    Greece has already received debt relief from its eurozone creditors equal to half of its 2013 GDP in net present value terms, the eurozone bailout fund said in its annual report, noting Greek public debt was now high but sustainable.

    Greece has made debt relief a key demand in its negotiations with international creditors on what reforms it must implement to secure further funding. Without new loans it will default and, possibly, be forced to exit the euro currency.

    But eurozone governments have argued Greece’s debt is sustainable, provided the country implements agreed reforms.

    The report from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) said that after various modifications made to the original terms of bailout loans over the last years, Athens had minimal payment obligations until 2023.

    “From a Greek perspective, the debt relief measures taken by its European creditors provide a substantive benefit in fiscal space and overall payment profile,” said.

    Greek debt is at 175 percent of its gross domestic product.

    “It cannot be argued that the debt level is unsustainable by merely looking at the aggregate nominal debt to GDP ratio,” the ESM said.

    “A proper sustainability analysis must consider the structure of Greek debt. Payment obligations over the years until 2023 are minimal. Thereafter, the repayment is stretched out over several decades which, combined with favourable lending rates, results in an overall high but sustainable debt – provided that Greece continues its reform agenda,” it said.

    The bailout fund said that Athens received debt relief equal to 49 percent of the country’s 2013 GDP in net present value (NPV) terms.

    The NPV approach discounts the difference between the future cash flows of the loans benefiting from lower financing costs and debt relief measures and the cash flows of the same loans had they not benefited from the relief measures.

    Greece is borrowing money from the bailout fund at 1.35 percent — a lower rate than many eurozone countries. This is also almost three times cheaper than borrowing from the International Monetary Fund, which charges 3.6 percent.

    Before the crisis, Greece was able to borrow on the market at around 5 percent, the ESM said.

    The average weighted maturity of the eurozone loans to Greece is 32.5 years and no interest or principal has to be paid back before 2023.

    [Reuters] , Thursday June 18″

  • Republicofscotland

    “Abe Rene. read it again. The lie is that David Miranda was arrested at Heathrow after seeing Snowden from Moscow. he had not been to Moscow. It is fundamental to the argument about where the files were.”

    If indeed the above is the pivotal point,shouldn’t efforts be concentrated on illustrating,this relevance of it.

    I mean how difficult can it be to prove whether someone was in Moscow or not at a certain time.

  • Mary

    Jonathan Cook responds to the alert with a blog post

    Snowden turf war tears off media mask

    The latest, astute Media Lens alert examines the astounding regurgitation – entirely unfiltered – by the Sunday Times and the BBC of British state propaganda against Edward Snowden.

    The misinformation campaign – alleging, without a shred of evidence, that the Russians and Chinese have cracked Snowden’s encrypted files, placing secret agents in harm’s way – was designed both to discredit Snowden and smooth the way for Britain to subject us to new, even more draconian surveillance.

    In Britain, the only major media organisation to come out of this smelling of roses is the Guardian, which questioned the credibility of the allegations. Media Lens observe that kicking back against the Sunday Times / BBC “revelations” offered “an opportunity for liberal journalists to attack the corporate competition in the form of a Murdoch newspaper and make themselves look good”.

    This is certainly true, but I think we can see additional reasons the Guardian took their stance in defence of Snowden.


    plus update


    And just proving that the Sunday Times are, by royal appointment, stenographers to the British establishment, Media Lens have publicised the following response from Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens to criticism of their article by Craig Murray:

    I think you should address your remarks to 10 Downing St. If you think they have lied to us then so be it.

  • Mary

    I can’t remember if the whole of the original S Times piece was made available on here. In case it wasn’t, it is here.

    British spies betrayed to Russians and Chinese

    RUSSIA and China have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Contributions which are primarily just a link to somewhere else will be deleted. You can post links, but give us the benefit of your thoughts upon them.”


    Where are your thoughts on the Jonathan Cook article you cut-and-pasted at 15h49?

    I can’t see any.

    Have you no respect for Craig’s guidelines?

  • Republicofscotland

    Thanks for the link Mary,as Craig said not a single shred of evidence has been put forward to support the accusation,that the files have been compromised.

    To add to that Craig also mentioned that both Russia and China,know most of the officers in their countries,and vice-versa.

    Also could the government through the Times,be trying to damage the reputation of the Guardian newspaper,wasn’t the Guardian the releaser of extracts from Mr Snowden files.

  • Republicofscotland

    Where are your thoughts on the Jonathan Cook article you cut-and-pasted at 15h49?

    I can’t see any.

    Have you no respect for Craig’s guidelines?”

    Oh give it a rest Habb for goodness sake,you’re not a moderator.

    Also your cut-and-paste article on Greece,isn’t on topic either.

    Mary once again thanks for the link.

  • Republicofscotland

    It has occured to me that both Russia and China,could’ve released false information to make Washington and Westminster,think that their officers/agents have been comprimised,even if they haven’t.

  • lysias

    Op ed in today’s Washington Post, Ryan Evans, the editor of the digital media outlet War on the Rocks, tells a similar story about Snowden having harmed U.S. and allied intelligence collection efforts. Why the latest government hack is worse than the Snowden affair:

    Snowden’s betrayal of his country is seen as the single greatest intelligence loss ever suffered by the United States. His stolen cache of hundreds of thousands of documents — most of which, it seems, had little or nothing to do with violations of U.S. civil liberties but rather focused on intelligence programs targeting foreign entities and powers — has already harmed U.S. and allied intelligence collection efforts and damaged the United States’ reputation at home and abroad.

    So it looks like an organized disinformation effort not limited to the UK.

  • Macky

    ROS; “Also your cut-and-paste article on Greece,isn’t on topic either”

    Yes, the odious hypocrite & hapless ignoramus seems to have a chip on his shoulder about the Greeks; maybe they make merciless fun of him whenever he sits on their beaches with a knotted hanky on his head ! 😀

  • giyane


    “There is no evidence of any kind that the Russians and Chinese have deciphered the Snowden Files”

    We are back at Assange and 9/11. If the files were genuine, why did they not reveal the truth about 9/11?

    The purpose of the Malaysian Airline hijacking was not to prevent the Russians and Chinese from de-ciphering USUKIS files by capturing key technical personnel , but to obtain encryption information about other countries including Russia and China.

    Russia and China may be in possession of real information about how USUKIS utilise Islamic extremists like Boko Haram to de-stabilise and colonise. We would not expect Russia and China to publish the damning evidence to discredit USUKIS. We would expect them to oppose USUKIS by backing an effective president in Nigeria or Assad in Syria. In other words to take real action.

    This greatly enhances the security of the world’s populations against the ravages of the Zionists. The embarrassment caused to FCO and Washington officials is really not the world’s major problem.

  • giyane

    In other words, Russia and China are not the real bogeymen. US, UK and IS plus their henchmen are the real threat to global peace. But Russia and China are not Batmen flying through the sky to irradicate Zionist hegemony evil, any more than I am now a stentman.

  • lysias

    The truth about 9/11 may have been highly compartmented within the U.S. government. Most of the people in the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic agencies may have had no more access to the truth than anyone else.

  • Mary

    O/T Alex Salmond is on the QT panel tonight. Also Melanie Phillips!, Caroline Flint, David Davis and FT editor Lionel Barber. 10.35pm BBC1

  • Mary

    Also O/T.

    Craig is off to Ghana.

    I read earlier in the week that the EU made this donation to Ghana.

    EU gives EUR 600 000 to prevent cholera outbreaks in Ghana (16/06/2015)

    The European Union will contribute EUR 600 000 (GHS 2, 603, 310) to a new multi-donor humanitarian project in Ghana to help prevent outbreaks of cholera, a disease which recorded 500 cases in the first quarter of this year alone. This is especially important given the country is dealing with the consequences of major flooding, which increases the risks of cholera resurgence.

    This is the delegation’s website.
    Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Ghana

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I do try to keep my hobby, Tony Blair, off the front thread, honest. But here’s a real journalist reporting the kind of story that doesn’t fit my preconceptions of Lebedev’s Independent. Some integrity may yet remain.

    Cherie’s been in the sunkissed Maldives this week, copping some hard cash for easily-redefined objectives from a government anxious to wash off the smell of oppressive despotism:

  • lysias

    None of the stuff that Manning revealed to Wikileaks was classified higher than Secret. Some of it wasn’t even classified. None of it was classified Top Secret or higher.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    So it looks like an organized disinformation effort not limited to the UK.

    I’d say it was definitely instigated by the US. Snowden’s your man, not ours. We’re more than happy to follow your lead. Just keep the access to your facilities coming…

  • doug scorgie

    Some enlightenment from the British Press:

    The Independent:
    “According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), Pyongyang has purged about 10 officials from Kim Jong-un’s Workers’ Party for watching South Korean soaps.”

    The Daily Telegraph:
    “North Korea ‘executes defence chief’ using anti-aircraft guns.”

    The Guardian:
    “North Korea defence chief reportedly executed with anti-aircraft guns.”

    The Independent:
    “Kim Jong Un criticises turtle farm for failing to breed lobsters.”

    Daily Mail:
    “Fidel Castro the commie hypocrite who lives like a billionaire.”

    Well educated and intelligent people take these reports at face value. I have listened to conversations about such headlines and I am astonished how many people don’t question the veracity of such media stories.

    Perhaps they are intellectually lazy or perhaps they want to believe them for some reason.

  • doug scorgie

    I’ve just visited the Guardian online and saw this:

    “Become a Guardian Member and support fearless investigative journalism”

  • Resident Dissident

    “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.”

    This is not the case – spokesmen are often referred to as sources especially when it comes to Downing Steet. It is just the old Lobby language for a number 10 press spokesman

    A source might be someone other than a press spokesman – but in this case I rather doubt.

    The original article referred to a Downing Street source – as did your post – although you post seems to say that the Downing Street source was confusing officers and agents when what was actually said was as follows:

    “A senior Downing Street source said: “It is the case that Russians and Chinese have information. It has meant agents have had to be moved and that knowledge of how we operate has stopped us getting vital information. There is no evidence of anyone being harmed.”

    The first line of the article also refers to a Downing Street official – my guess is that is the same person, who is also a Downing Street press spokesman,

    As for your faith in civil servant media spokesmen – it is not something I share.

    I should also add that if there was evidence that the Russian and Chinese had cracked the encrypted documents do you seriously think that Security Services would make any details available – as opposed to a broad outline? You know all too well that they would never produce the evidence to refute your counterclaim that there is none, even if they had the details.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    (plug)…and see An Apology @ 8.21 pm. Especially John Goss. You’ll love the latest.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Ah want tae see Salmond pittin the heid on Melanie – Ah’ve nae TV but. Report please, Mary.

  • fred

    “This is off topic but it is very topical…..Just wondering what you think of the SNPs plans to create a database (costing millions) of the medical details of every child in Scotland and potentially storing this information abroad ?”

    And who will have access to the records? It’s sneaking identity cards in through the back door, everyone is against it but they are introducing it anyway.

    The check list for the government appointed state guardian for every child in Scotland is downright creepy too.

    Then there all the other authoritarian laws being imposed, I see there was legislation proposed this morning to control how universities elect their officials.

    Anyone who isn’t extremely concerned about a nationalist government going down this path can’t have read their history books.

  • Defo

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

    Totally topical, the Scottish Sunday Mail !

  • BrianFujisan


    It was a wee bit boring, and rather tame.. Salmond Spoke well on the Boat migrants issue – that the west ( usa /uk ) played a part in destabilizing these Counties – Iraq, Libya.. forgot to mention Syria in that.

    P.s and o.t.. do you remember Ba’al, from you times around Seil, an old bike abandoned over at the Harbour wall, i think it’s a vintage manali bike.. Such a waste Man

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