i Editor's Letter: Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch - friendship on the rocks


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The Independent Online


The late Nigel Dempster, the Bombay-born chronicler of high society misbehaviour, once said: “There is a holiday in my heart when I discover another marriage breaking up.” But one need not be a gossip junkie to find yesterday’s revelations about Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch compelling. The Mail on Sunday put into hard form what has been hot political gossip on both sides of the Atlantic since June, when the media titan filed for divorce from his wife Wendi Deng: relations between the two men have collapsed because of Mr Blair’s friendship with her.

Mr Blair’s camp deny absolutely that anything untoward has happened with Ms Deng, a social alpinist. What is clear is that he and Mr Murdoch, whose partnership shaped the British political landscape for 15 years, have had an epic falling-out.

As recently as three years ago the former PM was on the banks of the River Jordan being named godfather to one of the Murdoch children. Now, Mr Blair’s “close friend” – a media euphemism for anything from an actual friend to a salaried representative – is quoted dismissing the rumours as “the ravings of a sad old man”. A friend of Mr Murdoch, meanwhile, told the MoS that he “will have nothing more to do with Tony Blair. Not ever.”

Some will relish seeing Mr Blair suffer a few blows to the kidneys. He has accrued poor karma. But what are we supposed to take from it all? There is little joy, really, to be found in human strife. Hopefully they can all work it out.