Matthew Norman ON MONDAY
What is needed at this point in the saga, I can't help feeling, is neither a select committee nor a judicial inquiry, but family psychotherapy on an industrial scale. Take Liz Murdoch. If Liz's volcanic rage at being the biological daughter less loved by Daddy than the adopted sister with the Medusa tresses erupted with "Rebekah fucked the company", we must look to the distant past for the genesis of her filial anguish. I make no apology for repeating the anecdote, which is not only the most revealing snapshot of Rupert's soul, but may help us understand Liz's daughterly angst.
As a little girl when the family lived on a home counties farm, she once confided to Tatler, she rushed out to the field to find the pony she adored was missing. Liz charged back to the house to ask after its whereabouts. Ah yes, sweetheart, said Rupert, his memory jogged, I gave it away in a News of the World readers' competition. Can you imagine the old boy doing that with the horse on which Rebekah hacked through the Cotswold countryside with Mr Cameron?
Riven as she is by these ancient paternal resentments, you wonder whether Liz was bamboozled into wedlock by her husband's name. If she thought some dormant recessive gene could be awakened in her spouse, she was mistaken. Judging by the developing clan warfare and its attendant psychodrama, there is nothing of great grandpa Sigmund in Matthew Freud.
If Liz now casts herself as good Cordelia to Rebekah's wicked Goneril while befuddled King Liar rages on the blasted heath, we cannot overlook that part of the tale modelled on The Godfather. What is James if not Michael to Rupert's Don Corleone ... the senescent mobster's younger son charged with abandoning the extortion rackets to turn the business kosher? "Michael, in five years the Corleone family can be completely legitimate," as Brando told Pacino. "Very difficult things have to happen to make that possible. I can't do them any more but you can if you choose to." If only he had made that choice five …