David Mitchell: Rupert Murdoch may be evil, but that doesn’t mean his paywall is

Rupert Murdoch is a pretty uncontroversial figure among people I know. Everyone agrees that he’s a monstrous arsehole who wants to ruin everything for everyone. Liberals who’ve reluctantly come round to thinking that Margaret Thatcher might have had a point about the extremes of 1970s trade unionism, that Kim Jong-il just feels excluded from the international community and that Noel Edmonds is actually bloody good at what he does are unswerving in their hatred of the Murdoch empire and everything it stands for. This is the man Dennis Potter named his cancer after and, to most of my friends, that seems about right.Perhaps this sums up all that is unrepresentative and self-serving about my circle of acquaintance: like a smug and insular cult predicting the end of the world and having sex with each other’s children, we’re holed up with our certainties and only ever indulge in self-affirming conversations. Or maybe we’re right and Murdoch is a man whose dedication to money is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for the merciless elements of the political and economic rightwing and his determination to bludgeon the British liberal establishment to smithereens with the granite-hard, post-colonial chip on his shoulder.

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