Front-page Nazi slur against PM Kevin Rudd puts Rupert Murdoch centre stage in Australian election

Sydney tabloid, the Daily Telegraph, carries depiction of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as Colonel Klink


Australia’s federal election campaign has only just started, but already Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is locked in a public spat with Rupert Murdoch, whose Sydney tabloid, the Daily Telegraph, carried a front page depicting him as Colonel Klink, the bumbling Nazi TV character.

Mr Murdoch, who owns 70 per cent of the country’s newspapers, has already made clear he wants the conservative coalition, led by Tony Abbott, to win the 7 September election. In case anyone was in doubt, a front-page headline in the Telegraph on Monday, day one of the campaign, urged readers to “Kick This Mob Out”.

This week, Mr Rudd hit back, accusing Mr Murdoch of using his papers to attack the Labor government in order to further his own business interests. The media tycoon, he claimed, regards Labor’s multi-billion-dollar National Broadband Network, which is to be installed around the country, as a threat to his Foxtel cable TV network. A claim which Mr Murdoch denies.

The Prime Minister also accused Mr Abbott, whose Liberal-National Party coalition is narrowly ahead of Labor in the polls, of colluding with Mr Murdoch in relation to his own broadband policy. “I’ve only just been looking back on the files today, and I’ve discovered that, in fact, Mr Abbott’s NBN policy was launched at the [Murdoch-owned] Fox Studios here in Sydney,” he told ABC TV.

For Mr Rudd, the tables have turned. In 2007, Mr Murdoch’s News Ltd tabloids backed Labor, which ousted the conservative government.

Now, according to the coalition’s broadband spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, the man who was “once the darling of the News Ltd tabloids” is acting “like a jilted lover”.

Referring to Mr Rudd’s campaign to destabilise his predecessor, Julia Gillard, Mr Turnbull said: “His years of sycophancy, and duchessing editors with juicy leaks about his colleagues, count for nothing. No wonder  he’s bitter.”

Mr Abbott denied speaking to Mr Murdoch – who took to Twitter this week to question how the NBN could be financed, given the “present situation” (a  growing budget deficit) – about the coalition’s policy.

The Telegraph’s front pages this week are believed to be the work of Col “Pot” Allan, a veteran Murdoch editor who has just returned to Australia from New York, where he had been the New York Post’s editor-in-chief. Mr Allan was brought back to “ginger up” the Telegraph’s election coverage, according to Melbourne’s The Age.

The front page also featured the Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, as Klink’s inept sidekick, Sergeant Schultz, and a disgraced former Labor MP, Craig Thomson.

voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
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
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
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
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

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