A new prime minister – and a whole new set of ministers for the Eye to get its teeth into. From issue 1187:
The Sun declared itself its approval of “Gordon’s Young ‘Uns”, praising every member of the new Prime Minister’s “youthful cabinet”… except one.
“Why the hell has he picked a ferocious anti-American as Minister for the UN?” the paper’s editorial column demanded, homing in on an obscure junior minister, Mark Malloch-Brown. “Nobody here knows Lord Malloch-Brown. But the White House is acutely aware of his bitter personal attacks on Mr Bush and his tirades against the Gulf War. Malloch-Brown is entitled to his opinion. But he should not be a member of the British government. His appointment casts a shadow over Mr Brown’s new-broom Cabinet.”
While most other publications seemed to agree that the new Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN was a relatively blameless herbert, the Times was equally outraged. “This self-promoting former Deputy UN Secretary-General has made some crude public remarks about the US Administration along with the slightly unhinged assertion that the UN’s failure to act decisively on Darfur is partly the fault of the US and UK for invading Iraq,” its leader column huffed. “It will be interesting to see what is uncovered by investigations into the UN Development Programme under his tenure. Lord Malloch-Brown’s elevation is believed to be part of the Prime Ministers’s scheme to bring in ‘all the talents’. He should approach this venture with far more caution. It may sound noble in theory but it could easily result in crass tokenism in practice.”
Could this vitriol be in any way connected to Malloch-Brown’s very public complaint in June 2006 that the UN failed to receive fair coverage because “much of the public discourse that reaches the US heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News,” which was determined to keep “the UN's role in effect a secret in Middle America”? Presumably not – for Rupert Murdoch, who just happens to be the proprietor of Fox News as well as the Times and the Sun, has on several occasions given assurances that he never interferes with the editorial lines of his newspapers.