Matthew Norman on Monday: Mr Murdoch's bamboozled tweets make it seem like time for some filial tough love


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Today it falls to all of us who love freedom to stand alongside Rupert Murdoch in his crusade for liberty, one he announced on Saturday in a tweet regarding his command to The Sun to bring royal buttocks to wider attention.

"Needed to demonstrate no such thing as free press in UK," he wrote, and here we glimpse the truth of daughter Elisabeth's observation last week that "my dad had the vision, the will and the sense of purpose to challenge the old world order on behalf of the people".

Oh didn't he though? The only quibble is with her choice of tense. He still has these qualities, if not all his other faculties. And so, inspired by Rupert's clarion call to a cowed press to shrug off the shackles of tyranny, I hereby reclaim the freedom to ask a tasteless question. Is the old boy now completely bananas?

Has the time come, in light of his tweet of "support" for Prince Harry, to eschew close study of all his utterances for signs of Byzantine cunning in favour of a) sitting him down with a nice cup of tea, and asking him: "Now, dear, can you tell me who the Prime Minister is?"; and b), when he duly replies "Lord Palmerston", "Dame Kiri Te Kanawa" or "Desert Orchid", to take the seemly psycho-geriatric action?

The mockery unleashed upon the bamboozled amnesiac on the humblest day of his life begins to look like bullying. This is evidently a bemused, vulnerable elderly gent. and tough love is required. Liz wants to stop playing Cordelia in this reworking of the Lear legend, and unleash her inner Goneril by seeking power of attorney before he destroys the whole damn kingdom.

Wise words on Armstrong death

At such pace does Rupert's career on Twitter rattle along that he may already have reversed Saturday's gem, and attacked The Sun for running the pix. There's no way of guessing what he'll come out with next. But at the time of writing he was scheduled to tweet this, at approximately 11.36pm (GMT) last night. "Armstrong dead – good riddance. He'd never have won seven Tours de Lune races drug-free. Anyway, CIA faked whole moon thing in studio." Louise Mensch, whose voluntary work on Rupert's behalf should be rewarded with a lucrative News Corp post when she moves to New York, is expected to speak in support of the tweet at a school-run press conference this afternoon.

Sugar's masterclass in assertiveness

Also striving for freedom of expression is Rupert's old satellite dish provider, "Lord" Sugar. The platform-shoed Fauntleroy chips into the debate over George Galloway's rape-related remarks. "Galloway entitled to speak mind, like all off us," he tweeted on returning from his annual Prepositional Spelling summer course at Berlitz. "He has no factual detail of the alleged crime committed by Assange, so should shut his trap."

His quasi-literate little lordship's nimble way of avoiding self-contradiction marks him as the age's most underrated intellectual powerhouse. And so say all off us.

Ferguson should ignore detractors

I am gravely distressed by the concerted, deceitful campaign to discredit Niall Ferguson, the "economic historian", over his impeccably researched Obama polemic. Niall, the supposed model for the meretricious teacher in Alan Bennett's The History Boys, must ignore his detractors. They may include such American know-nothings as Paul Krugman, whose economic credentials are limited to a single Nobel Prize for economics, but this is another case of that British disease, Tall Poppy Syndrome.

It was to escape just this sort of build-'em-up-to-knock-em-down jealousy that Niall left our shores for the US, and we wish him every happiness in his new homeland.

Faultless logic of a top Obama baiter

Another leading Obama baiter has a triumph. Fresh from publishing his magnum opus Where's the REAL Birth Certificate? days after the Prez publicly released the long form version, Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily (one of the web's most reliable bastions of sanity: one day Melanie Phillips will join them) asks "Was Obama Married to a Man?"

Concluding that he was indeed, to a Pakistani, this Tea Party Sherlock Holmes then ruins the mystique by revealing his faultless deductive methods. The evidence? "He wore a ring in college and has appointed gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to jobs." Something for Messrs Romney and Ryan to work with at the convention in Florida.