Why The Sun has got its liberal hat on

Being branded illiberal is bound to be taken by the Daily Mail as a compliment rather than an insult. So why did The Sun waste its breath? The answer seems to be that this was less a message about the Mail’s aversion to the BBC than a message about The Sun’s conversion to liberalism.

Is The Guardian, hereditary standard-bearer of the open-minded, quaking in its sandals?

We have seen nothing like this since The Sun’s conversion to bingo, triggered by fear of the newborn Star employing the mindless game to nab readers. Then, as now, somebody up there helped The Sun editor identify something to start worrying about.

This time it was perceived need for a more socially inclusive readership. Which has to be why David Yelland suddenly proclaimed that he wants The Sun to be "a voice of liberalism in the widest sense".

Not that he aims to lose illiberal readers. "We are, " he hastened to add, "a conservative paper." He did not hasten to add that we are also a Labour paper, having backed Blair at the last two elections. Nor did he hasten to add that, even so, we are the most illiberal anti-EU paper in the game.

How much more inclusive can you get?

Well, politically, not a lot. But, politically correctly, you could begin by banishing the paper’s homophobic image, at its crudest in the days of "Pulpit Poofs" though currently in the tender, loving care of columnist Richard Illiberaljohn.

Which is presumably why The Sun parades as gay its newest contributor, Andrew Pierce. Let’s see if this puts the paper’s No.1 reader-rouser back in his box next time a Commander Paddick hits the fan.

Well, that’s rich


So, just where was The Sunday Times Rich List going to rank Richard Desmond?

His own Sunday Express Rich List (aka the Richard List) had him as 8th richest individual in the land and "the country’s wealthiest publisher". The Mail on Sunday Rich Report had him a mere 152nd.

The Sunday Times placed him equal 111th, down six places on 2001. It put his worth at £300m, half as much again as the Mail but nothing like the £1.2bn asserted by the Sunday Express.

What does the poor man have to do to stop his arithmetic being challenged?


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