Stephen Glover: Why Cameron will enjoy a world where the sun always shines

Say what you like about The Sun, once it has declared it will back you it does not renege on the agreement. For years it slavishly supported Tony Blair, enthusiastically endorsing his case for war against Iraq, and underplaying or ignoring the bad news when things began to go wrong after the invasion.

Now the paper has switched its loyalties to David Cameron, it is employing similar censorship techniques. Last Monday the Tory leader "messed up" (his words) when he softened a cast-iron commitment to provide tax breaks for married couples should the Tories win the election. Almost alone among the Press, The Sun did not mention his faux pas. Instead it made much of Mr Cameron's championing of the NHS, and attacked Alistair Darling over his "dodgy dossier" alleging a black hole in Tory spending plans.

On Friday most newspapers reported that Steve Hilton, David Cameron's chief adviser and friend, had been arrested after a foul-mouthed tirade at Birmingham railway station. The incident, which happened last October, has only just come to light. After declining to produce a ticket, Mr Hilton let fly verbally, and was carted off to a police station, where he was fined £80 and acquired a criminal record. Not a big deal, perhaps, but surely worth reporting at some length, given Mr Hilton's importance. The Sun could manage only a tiny "news in brief" item.

Just before Christmas there was a startling omission. The multi-millionaire businessman David Ross, a substantial Tory donor and close friend of Mr Cameron's, was involved in a minor scandal. A Lithuanian call girl telephoned the police in the early hours while outside Mr Ross's Belgravia house, claiming she had been assaulted.

Mr Ross and his much younger girlfriend (a scion of the Pilkington glass family) were in the house at the time. He was interviewed for two hours last week, and a file is expected to be sent to the CPS. Here was the kind of carry-on that would have normally gripped The Sun's imagination: well-known wealthy businessman and blonde heiress and call girl, also blonde. And yet while the Daily Mail and some of the posher papers covered the story in detail, The Sun ignored it entirely. Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, and as it happens the last editor of The Sun, killed it dead.

Mr Ross is too close to Mr Cameron for comfort, and the Tory leader must be protected. A further explanation may be that earlier in the evening the businessman had attended a party at the Notting Hill house of the PR guru Matthew Freud, where Mrs Brooks was also present. She and Mr Freud, and arguably David Cameron, are fellow members of the so-called Chipping Norton set, inhabiting the "North-West Oxfordshire triangle".

It is true The Sun's less successful rival the Daily Mirror sometimes suppresses news it does not want to print, or takes dictation from Number 10. I suppose you pays your money and you takes your choice. But in blotting out disagreeable facts, The Sun is in a class of its own. In an odd way it is reassuring to see its instincts are as strong now that it supports David Cameron as they were when it backed Tony Blair.

This was no ordinary 'friend of the student'

Where was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab radicalised? It suits some people to say that the man who tried to blow up an aircraft bound for Detroit was turned in his home country of Nigeria and in Yemen rather than during the three years he spent as a student at University College, London.

On 1 January the BBC website carried an item based on an interview with Qasim Rafiq, who knew Abdulmutallab at UCL. Mr Rafiq said he wanted to know what had driven his former friend "down the road". If the "humble, kind, well-mannered, well-spoken individual" he knew had expressed radical views during their friendship, it would have "raised question marks with him". CNN ran a similar piece on its website.

Both organisations presented Mr Rafiq as a perfectly ordinary student who happened to be a friend of Abdulmutallab's. No mention whatsoever was made of his position as head of media and spokesman of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis).

A modicum of research by the BBC would have established that Fosis has been criticised in some quarters for its radicalism. For example, on behalf of Fosis Mr Rafiq strongly condemned "the repeated attempts to discredit the character of Mohamed Ali Harrath, CEO of Islam Channel". This gentleman may well be upstanding, but happens to be wanted by Interpol on terrorism and related charges.

As Fosis spokesman Mr Rafiq also criticised the BBC in July 2008 for citing a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion which had alleged the growth of Islamic extremism at some British universities.

There is no requirement for the BBC to take any line on the Federation of Student Islamic Societies. But to report the views of Qasim Rafiq about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab without mentioning that he is its head of media is naïve and amateurish journalism.

I fear Charles is not rugged enough for a grim dungeon

Friends of Charles Moore, former editor of The Daily Telegraph, will be relieved that Jonathan Ross is parting company with the BBC. He had informed readers of his Telegraph column that unless Ross were removed by the Corporation he would not be paying his licence fee. Since he reiterated this threat on several occasions, there was no prospect of his getting out of it.

In recent weeks the forces of law and order had finally been closing in. A recent item in Mr Moore's diary in The Spectator magazine revealed that a gentleman representing the licensing authorities had almost felt his collar. I quailed for him at that point. He is not as young as he was, and was never of a notably rugged disposition. The idea of his being incarcerated in some grim dungeon – as he would surely have had to have been in the end, along with elderly ladies who refuse to pay their council tax – was not a pleasant one.

Now friends will be grateful that we will not have to send him food parcels after all. Or will we? Suddenly the dreadful thought arises that Mr Ross may not have been actually sacked by the BBC, and Mr Moore may therefore be reluctant to relieve himself of his pledge. Could Pentonville still beckon?

scmgox@aol.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Graduate Sales Executive

17.5k + Commission (£18.5k after probation period): ESI Media: You will be res...

PPC Account Managers

£25k - £30k (DOE): Guru Careers: Two expert PPC Account Managers are needed to...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn