Rod Liddle and the Independent

Recently some of my Facebook friends joined a group called something like “I won’t buy the Independent again if Rod Liddle becomes editor”, and I thought briefly of joining. But I haven’t. The simple reason is that I almost never buy the paper anyway, because it’s boring. It’s a paper consisting of shrill front-page headlines with fairly middle-of-the-road news coverage and opinion pieces by people I either don’t care for or have never heard of.

Still, its takeover by Rod Liddle, who has a long record of misogyny and racism (whatever he might like to call it), would be a disaster for both the British media and for the paper itself. The paper isn’t really a liberal paper anymore, but Liddle’s editorship would lead it to be the poor third cousin on the right-wing broadsheet market. What could happen is that the paper could end up as an outlet for a vicious brand of bigoted right-wing thought for the lower middle-classes, away from the neo-cons of the Times and the High Tories of the Telegraph. There isn’t a broadsheet which caters to this kind of mentality, although the Spectator already does. However, it would lose a fair proportion of its existing readership.

It goes to show how lax the ownership rules in the British media are. This whole idea comes from the Russian businessman, Alexander Lebedev, who clearly wants to make a bit of money by stoking pointless controversy and bigotry, like so many British media barons. It should be stopped.

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