"By their pronouns, ye shall know them," writes Peter Wilby in The Guardian
. Many Brits decided that Maggie Thatcher was getting above herself--and maybe losing it altogether--when she began
to employ the royal "we," as in "we are a grandmother." And now Rupert Murdoch is also showing signs that he is osing his grip in the same way. Earlier this week, he told the newspaper The
--which he owns--that current U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair should depart before the next polls because "we would like to see at least a year to 18 months' standoff between Gordon Brown
and David Cameron so we can decide which of those most coincides with our views." Who is the "we," Wilby asks: "Does Murdoch's News Corporation reach a collective decision about which party its four
British national newspapers should support, and do those papers hold all views in common?" Murdoch has always claimed in public that his editors are independent, and once assured the government of
that when he gobbled up the Times
25 years ago. "Or does he mean "we" as in "we, the people," in the belief he is speaking for the British public in general? Or does he think he has some
constitutional role, like the Lord Chancellor, or the speaker of the House of Commons?" Perhaps the oddest thing is that technically, Murdoch doesn't even have a horse in the race, Wilby adds.
"Murdoch, remember, is an Australian by birth and an American citizen by choice. The one thing he certainly isn't is British. He doesn't live in Britain, and his accountants make sure he and his
companies pay very little U.K. tax."
Read the whole story at The Guardian »