So, Britain’s best-selling red-top is back in the blue camp again. I can’t say I was particularly surprised when The Sun’s 12 year love-in with New Labour came to an end the other week. Maybe it’s because my political conscience first rolled off the production line during the 1980s, but I’ve always struggled to think of the Soaraway One as anything other than a vicious little Tory rag. For me, at least, its recent volte-face was a bit like the Angling Times announcing a return to fishing-themed coverage after a decade or so spent focusing on musical theatre.
I’ve never much liked The Sun, but I don’t expect that revelation will come as a tremendous surprise to anyone who knows me and/or reads this blog. I don’t really fall into its target demographic, you see. It’s not pitched at those of us lumbered with left-leaning tendencies, celebrity tat allergies and a phobia of xenophobic homophobes. Mind you, this probably won’t give the Murdoch clan too many sleepless nights.
In The Sun’s defence, however, at least it’s not the Daily Mail. I may dislike The Sun, but I really do hate the Daily Mail almost as much as it seems to hate benefit cheats, asylum seekers and Jonathan Ross. That probably won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, either. Still, I shouldn’t just pick on the obvious targets. While I’m on the subject, I detest the Daily Express, despise the Daily Star and wouldn’t eat chips out of most of the broadsheets, either.
These paper prejudices have been with me for years. They weren’t the result of some misspent life of political activism, a disastrous career on Fleet Street or even a Media Studies evening course at the local FE College. No, they have their roots in something far more mundane than that.
It was my paper round wot did it.