Byline: LANCE PRICE
THE morning after David Cameron became Prime Minister, Rupert Murdoch was seen slipping out of the back door of No10. Inside the building, one of his former tabloid editors, Andy Coulson, was starting work as communications director. Even on his first day in office, Mr Cameron believed Murdoch was too powerful a man to say 'no' to. Back home in Scotland, Gordon Brown was convinced that if it weren't for News International, he would still be Prime Minister. It is a view he clings to today.
As first the News of the World, and then the whole of News International, started to turn toxic, David Cameron and Ed Miliband frantically waved their hands through the air above their heads. 'Look, no strings,' they seemed to cry. But the truth is that Murdoch had politicians dancing like puppets for too long.
On one level, it was a relationship born out of hard-headed self-interest on both sides. As Leader of the Opposition, Tony Blair flew to Australia to address senior executives of Murdoch's parent company, News Corporation. Before the meeting, he got some advice from Paul Keating, then prime …