Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Murdoch and monarchy

When Murdoch first arrived in Britain it was still largely the practice for newspaper owners to be Lords or minor aristocrats; seen as a crude, vulgar Australian, his appalled rivals gave him the nickname of 'the dirty digger'. This has relevance for this exam Q given the way he has systematically undermined another key pillar of Britishness.
If WW2, and the pride that the endeavours of the British Army (and airforce and navy) created, were key to the cementing of a common British identity in the last century, then so too was the popular support for the Royal Family. Seen (and certainly marketed as by the state) as a symbol of nationhood, the monarch and her family had achieved a hegemonic status as unquestionable icons of Britishness.
The Australian Murdoch brought with him an intense dislike for the privilege and elitism of monarchy, and personally loathed the idea that a British monarch was his head of state. This republicanism is one rare exception to Murdoch, and his paper's, thoroughly right-wing ideology (left-wingers are more commonly associated with hostility to monarchy).
As the Sarah Ferguson sting in his NoTW recently showed, Murdoch's papers are prepared to be brutally ruthless in their pursuit of sensational, paper-selling scoops, no matter how much damage this does to the whole system of monarchy. Before he came, anything like this would have been utterly unthinkable.

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