Glasman turns down the Sun

24th February, 2012 9:59 am

Jim Pickard over at the FT Westminster blog got the story last night that Lord Maurice Glasman has “turned down” the opportunity to write a weekly column for the new Sun on Sunday paper. According to Pickard, the decision came after a discussion between the “Blue Labour” peer and Ed Miliband, who is believed to have urged Glasman to avoid Murdoch’s overtures.

The decision could be a costly one for the peer, as the column was said to be worth £1000 a week. However considering the anger expressed by many within the party (including a number of MPs close to the leader) it’s not surprising that Miliband urged the maverick Lord to “think again”. He shouldn’t be short of cash though, as he still receives a daily allowance for attending the Lords (where he can often be found on the terrace, smoking his trademark roll up cigarettes).

Glasman and the Sun on Sunday always seemed like an unlikely fit. His much quoted recent piece in the New Statesman featured the phrase “the fraternisation of impossibles”, which suggested that the Sun were less interested in his writing style and more interested in his proximity to (and criticism of, Ed Miliband).

Team Ed will have breathed a sigh of relief that Glasman has not provided the “new” paper with that opportunity. Yet.

Update: News International seem to be denying that Glasman was offered a column. That’s not what I’m hearing – in fact, I’m told the rumoured £50k per year for a column may well have been an underestimation of the potential fee.

There are also unconfirmed rumours circulating that Glasman intended to donate any earnings from the column to the Labour Party, an act that might have softened the blow for some within the party.

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  • They would have been disappointed if they were looking for criticism of Ed, given that all of this appears to be based on a New Statesman column which didn’t, in fact, criticise Ed, but took the classic rhetorical form “It has been said that… but in fact…”.

    Then everyone took leave of their senses.

  • AlanGiles

    I can’t imagine that anyone would be that desperate for money they would agree to write for the Sun On Sunday, which is no doubt just the old News Of the World dirtied up a bit

    • treborc

      I’d write for them, they may not like what I had to say, but me thinks somehow they will get somebody to do it.  Prescott anyone.

      • AlanGiles

        I think the problem this rag will have is that “Mr” Rupert (who suddenly stopped being ga-ga after the “Humblest day of my life”) is clever enough to know that they won’t be able to go after news stories where there could be any suggestion that information might have been obtain in an unorthodox way, and the dirty old men for whom the NoTW was designed has been off the market for half a year, so they will use their stockpile of salacious sex stories, (“Menance of Sex Maniac Father Xmas – he filled my stocking and it wasn’t even Christmas”) soap “expose’ (“oh duckie it’s so draining having to play my role three times a week, I’m going into rehab”) and the “journalism” will be very much down to the Jon Gaunt/Jeremy Clarkson school of scribbling. Lord Glasman (or indeed anyone else) would look very cheap if they were to write for it. That said, Polly Toynbee lives in a world of her own……

        • There’s a job for you there, writing headlines!

          • AlanGiles

            There’s scope there, Dave!. There has been some good ones (real but badly written) over the years on the News Quiz, such as:

            “Strip Club Shock – Magistrates to act on indecent shows”

        • treborc

          But the Sun was is a big selling news paper like it or not, and I have never bought the rag, but people do, I’m sure Ed has offered something to get him to stay away.

          The days if ever they existed of telling people your heart was socialist you only came into politics to help people  has long gone, it went out in 1950.

          I suspect Purnell or some other bright New labour person will write for it.

      • I’d like to see you writing for them trebs, because I’m sure you’d tell it the way it is. But they won’t like that, as Jonesy used to say: they don’t like it up ’em. And sadly that’s why you won’t be invited.
        My money would be on Byrne.

  • The Sun on Sunday is almost certain to be a dreadful paper.  But I think it would be a mistake for Ed’s policy to be having no Labour voices writing for it at all.  SoS’ current crop of commentators, Toby Young etc, are all Tory by the looks of things, and it would be wise for Ed to encourage a Labour voice to write for it too to ensure a little balance.  Glasman may not have been the best choice, but I hope Ed hasn’t put a blanket ban on Labour contributors as it would only be counter productive.

    • AlanGiles

      If I were him Jonathan, I’d wait a week or so to see just what this paper turns out to be: I suspect as I have said elsewhere that it is virtually the NoTW just with the Sun mast over it. I take your point about being represented, but for example The Daily Star on Sunday apparently has Sally Bercow writing for it, and with all due respect I can’t see that paper’s readers buying it for Mrs Bercow. In the same way, given the recent history of News International, I can’t see any serious big Labour names rushing to write for it – the danger always is that you will get a maverick (I think Woodrow Wyatt wrote years ago for The People or NoTW – one of the red tops anyway. I think Toby Young probably needs the money for his independent school, BTW

  • Hugh

    I love our legislators. A “daily allowance”= £300 a day or £42k a year (assuming 140 days sitting) = £75k a year pro rata.

    It’s a good thing we don’t pay them, eh? Imagine how expensive that would be.

  • Maurice has done well to decline the invitation. The piece in the N.S. is well worth a look and very insightful.
    Maurice’s call for a fundamental change in corporate governance, an end to New Labour’s disregard for the workforce with its abusive relationship the unions and the implementation of “everyday democracy” is exactly where we should be heading.

    I’m glad that proposals of this sort won’t have their credibility diminished by appearing in a Murdoch rag.

    • treborc

       I totally agree with you, I notice council workers are not having a pay rise again this year and we are seeing workers talking about strike action, the last time we had this was Callaghan trying to control inflation with keeping wages low which ended up with Thatcher being in power, and the winter of discontent.

      Labour has to be more open to the work force unless it’s going to again try and show us how conservative it can be.

  • I have mixed feelings about this.
    On the one hand I detest Murdoch and what he has done to journalism in the UK and the US.

    On the other, it is good to have at least someone with a left of centre point of view in the right wing newspapers (I am thinking of Suzanne Moore in the Mail and Mary Riddell in the Telegraph).

    On the third hand, it is not clear that Glasman would actually be a left-wing voice, so perhaps it is better he did not take the bait.

  • treborc

     We need to honour work.  Not welfare but real work.

    well I mean Glasman was going to work for the Sun as we see here, so I suppose a bloke who see writing for the Sun as real work.

    I get the feeling these people believe some of the crap they write, a lot of  very young soldiers now on welfare for the wars of labour. Glasman after reading some of his other great works would or should fit right in with the New labour or Newer labour

  • AlanGiles

    What a good job Lord Glasman did turn down the offer to write for the New News Of The World.

    According to a press review on radio this morning the “new” paper has secured the services of  Ms Katie Price (a.k. “Jordan”) as a columnist.

    Who on earth could possibly live up to that sort of high standard?. It would have been like getting me to stand in for George Orwell at Tribune on those weeks he was too ill to produce his “As I Please” column.

    I suppose it just proves Mr Rupert’s organ is going to have colourful columnists – each of them will write in a different coloured crayon

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