Matthew Norman's Diary: Murdoch inquiry could clinch Labour leadership for David Miliband

With a YouGov poll showing the Milibandroid race too close to call and the odds shortening against Forrest Gump, as Little Ed is now known by David's campaign, we are reminded that with elections you never know what you're gonna get.

Happily for David there is a way to neutralise the dangerous perception that he is too attached to his mentor, Mr Tony Blair. He should announce that his first step as leader would be instituting an inquiry into New Labour's relationship with the Murdoch empire. While attacking the Tories over Andy Coulson is justified, he might say, a little light phone-hacking seems trifling next to allowing Rupert dominion over British policy on Europe.

What, he might ask, was Mr Tony thinking when he arrived at a Christmas party at Elisabeth Murdoch's house on the arm of Rebekah Wade (Brooks, as is)? Why was David Blunkett drinking with Rebekah in the hours between his second cabinet sacking and her arrest after then husband Ross Kemp, TV's Hardest Man, summoned the Battersea law? How precisely did The Sun come by a leaked copy of the Hutton report, and why does so respected a critic of journalistic ethics as Alastair Campbell derive an income from News International?

No administration in history yielded to Rupert so pliantly, he could add, nor suffered worse from the STD that must ensue on emerging from the Murdoch bed. The important thing, he should conclude, is to learn the lesson and ensure that Labour never strikes such a venereal Faustian pact again. That might swing it.

* In further encouragement for Mili Snr, he has earned the crucial endorsement of that same Ross Kemp. Writing in the David-supporting Daily Mirror, Ross raided his storehouse of searingly originally political thought to depict him as "a leader who cares about everybody, not just the few". Is it too late for Ross to resurrect the parliamentary ambition he put on hold to cohort with the drug lords of Latin America on behalf of Mr Murdoch's Sky One?

* Should you bump into Mirror political supremo Kevin Maguire, by the way, in either a professional or purely private capacity, don't tell him that David M is the only candidate not rigidly opposed to the spending cuts against which the Mirror so stridently campaigns. Ignorance is bliss.

* As for Ed Balls, he may wish to build on yesterday's Independent on Sunday interview, in which he auditioned for the newly formed anarchist band Chumporwanka?, by pouring a jug of iced water over John Prescott. "Nothing David Cameron can ever say to me would knock me down," insisted Labour's Danbert Nobacon, still singing the public-spending songs that remind him of the better times. "There is nothing the Daily Mail could do to me which could ever knock me down." Defiant stuff. Now come on, everybody, join in. "He drinks a whisky drink, he drinks a vodka drink ..."

* Returning to L'Affair Coulson, I am irked by spiteful allegations that John Whittingdale, Tory chairman of the Media Select Committee, warned colleagues to lay off the Murdoch cabal for fear of having their private lives examined. The portrayal of John as a News International placeman is shameful. His committee investigated phone-hacking with no less rigour than that equally ferocious overseer, the Press Complaints Commission. What else would you expect from a body led by John, who, when once asked which media figure he most admires, replied "Rupert Murdoch"?

* One of the Labour committee members who slurred John, the Labour MP Chris Bryant, had a lively week. His Coulsonian exchange with Kay Burley, the Barbara Walters of Sky News, has become quite a YouTube hit, and no wonder. "Don't lie, madam," was a peach (madam, forsooth!), although the observation "You seem to be a bit dim" was wide of the mark. It was of course Kay who informed viewers, nine years and two days ago, that "the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated by terrorist attack". Retaliate against aggressive interviewers by all means, Chris, but never stray into the absurd. After all, as Ed Miligump would be the first to agree, stoopid is as stoopid does.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Database Executive - Leading Events Marketing Company - London

£23000 - £25000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Databas...

Recruitment Genius: Publishing Assistant

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before