It's never a pretty sight when a hitherto strong & celebrated marriage comes to an end & one partner declares a new-found ardour for another. Recriminations & accusations fly, imprecations fill the air & no depth of loathing & malevolence is considered too low.
That's exactly the case with the divorce of New Labour & News International, or Rupert Murdoch, to be precise (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/sep/30/sun-ditches-labour-for-tories ).
David Bartlett last night referred to the story, adding with a degree of understatement which had me wondering if he, too, would soon join Chris Bascombe (http://www.how-do.co.uk/north-west-media-features/special-features/bascombe-keen-to-stress-positives-after-liverpool-fc%10news-international-furore-200711081309/ & http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/09/transfer-too-far.html ) & Tony Barrett in leaving Oldham Hall Street for the Wapping gulag that the Sun is "still extremely unpopular in Merseyside" (http://blogs.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/dalestreetblues/2009/09/the-sun-newspaper-ditches-labo.html ).
When Murdoch & New Labour walked down the aisle back in the late 90s, it said far more about the party than the proprietor; now the rejected rump of what was once a mass party react like a jilted wife & Tony Woodley, his exchange with Paxman last night truly cringeworthy (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/newsnight ), ostentatiously rips up today's edition of Murdoch's rag (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/sep/30/the-tony-ripped-up-labour ). Pathetic.
[I wonder if Woodley has put his own house in order yet (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/12/solidarity-im-all-right-jack.html ) ?]
Woodley's theatricals also ascribe a level of importance to Murdoch's endorsements which no longer applies; it's commonly accepted that the next election will see the role & influence of the web (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) increase at the expense of what we in the blogosphere fondly term the dead tree press.