The Sun stopped backing Labour the day Blair left Downing Street, today they formalised their position and came to a testy accommodation with David Cameron, merely giving him a grudging endorsement.
The Sun is ur-Thatcherite in outlook, reflecting the true beliefs of Rupert Murdoch, who does not deny acting as a “traditional proprietor” setting the editorial direction of the tabloid. Murdoch liked Blair’s hawkishness and is suspicious of Cameron’s timidity on economics. Trevor Kavanagh is also less than impressed with Cameron, don’t forget when Gordon became PM he predicted that Brown would win the next general election and “win big”. The Sun is fallible.
People who think Andy Coulson is overpaid should reflect on the timing of The Sun’s endorsement. At the most neuralgic point for Labour, in the midst of Mandelson trying to change the media narrative, when party morale just blipped up from flat-lining, The Sun disrupts the storyline.
Spin is about timing, a story works best in the right context, at the right time. Andy Coulson knows a good headline, it is his sense of timing that is priceless. Guido will bet a currant bun that Coulson suggested to his successor on the “Bizarre” column, Dominic Mohan, the new Sun editor, that the night of Brown’s fightback speech might be the best time to knock him back to maximum effect.