Tony Blair and his "New Labour" party will win the General Election in Britain on 5 May 2005. The result was decided yesterday in a secret meeting by powerful media executives. The announcement was heralded by the release of red smoke from a make-shift chimney on the roof of the offices of The Sun "newspaper", a publicity stunt designed to imitate the recent election of the new Pope.
UK election result decided in advance
With a circulation in the UK of around 4 million readers, The Sun is read by more people than any of the other tabloids, and reaches more readers than all of the broadsheet newspapers combined -- millions more. The Sun is part of Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, which also exerts great influence on the American public, through the notorious Fox News TV "news" channel.
The Sun is notoriously biased and untrustworthy, serving a daily menu of simple articles and pictures depicting titillation, nudity, pornography, sex, celebrity, gossip, sport and consumerism to hold the reader's attention with basal incentives, richly laced with advertisements, propaganda, spin, and outright lies in support of elite interests.
Most of the public obtain their perception of "real life" in the outside world from the corporate mass media. Thus, the opinions and bias expressed in the most influential sections of the media become the opinions and bias of the general public.
The political economy of the mass media ensures that public opinion is always confined to well-defined boundaries that suit the agenda of elite groups, particularly large corporations and the state.
Sun sends smoke signal to Labour
Britain's biggest-selling daily newspaper, the Sun, has decided to back Labour at the coming general election.
The Sun made its decision known by sending a plume of red smoke from a chimney on the roof of its London HQ - a cheeky homage to the papal election.
The Sun has backed Labour at the last two general elections, but the move will still be a boost to Tony Blair.
And it may surprise some as many of the issues the paper has raised have been taken up by the Conservatives.
In a clear parody of the Vatican's ancient method of announcing it has chosen a new pope, earlier in the day the Sun said it was "on the verge of an historic decision".
"The newspaper's executives have assembled in secret to debate which political party the newspaper will back at next month's general election.
"To mark the momentous meeting, a chimney has been erected on the roof of the paper's east London headquarters. A plume of black smoke confirms the discussions have begun.
"The smoke will turn white to signal a decision has been reached. The announcement of which party The Sun chooses to back in the election will be made by the smoke turning either red, blue or, in the event of a miracle, yellow."
The Sun's political editor Trevor Kavanagh said the newspaper had decided to back the Labour Party because they had delivered on the economy.
But he said that the support was "not a blank cheque" because they still had a few grumbles with the government.
The asylum system was a "shambles" and too little action had been taken on hospital superbugs, he said.
He added: "We feel at this point in the political cycle we would not be in touch with our readers if we backed the Conservatives."
BBC News, "Sun sends smoke signal to Labour", 20 April 2005.
BRITISH NEWSPAPER CIRCULATION FIGURES
The Daily Telegraph (1 million)
The Times (700,000)
The Guardian (400,000)
The Financial Times (300,000)
The Independent (300,000)
The Sun (4 million)
The Mirror (2.5 million)
The Daily Mail (2 million)
The Daily Express (1.3 million)
The Daily Star (700,000)
"The Insider" mailing list article, 21 April 2005.
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