Now, I have to declare an interest: I knew and enormously admired his father, Sir Nicholas Hunt – one of the finest (not just the best) admirals in the Royal Navy during the past half century. (Not bad for a son of a soldier).
Hunt Snr was at Charterhouse and then the usual PPE degree at Oxford – the standard qualifications of a future admiral in the Conservative Party. He also speaks pretty good Japanese and has made pots in business. Oh, one more thing – he was a contemporary of Cameron at Oxford.
There were some who put a couple of quid on him to become a future leader. So he sounds the sort of cove we should all recognize instantly. The British and their politics are not like that. For example, Hunt replaced an extremely well known Tory minister when he won his Surrey seat. She was Virginia Bottomley. Virginia who? The British don’t much remember politicians because the British are arrogant enough to be unfussed by their political ignorance.
This leads us to the whole ‘did-he-or-did-he-not’ Jeremy Hunt saga: the BBC, ITN and all the newspapers other than The Sun have been wall-to-wall about ‘Murdoch versus the Government’. This means that lots of other news has been spiked. Don’t you feel a bit uneasy? You see, I can’t think of many people apart from BBC and other editors who could care a tinker’s cuss about Murdoch versus Hunt.
We, the public, assume all newspapers are packed with scurvy knaves. We like that. Equally, we assume that the Murdoch empire is smart enough to use every trick in the book to get what it wants. Why not? That’s why the Murdoch empire is worth a sovereign when others have failed.
As for the politicians, well, we all assume they’re either a bunch of incompetents, bent or, rule benders. Anyway, what’s wrong with a senior minister or the entire government deciding to fix a deal? Isn’t that what we hope we pay them for? We want them to be deal makers and breakers as long as it’s to our advantage.
I’m not saying I am in favour of ditching the Murdoch versus the Admiral’s lad story, but I reckon the majority of us could not care a toss.
Murdoch’s getting his own back in this gig. Good luck to him. That’s what happens in business and politics. Stick this in a BBC drama schedule and it would get zero ratings. That’s how good editors in times past ran their programmes and newspapers.
So instead of CSI: Murdoch versus Hunt what about some digging into the MI6 case of Mr Gareth Williams that’s got Le Carre written all over it? And what about the petrol tanker drivers’ dispute? If that runs, the whole country will be at David Cameron’s throat. But most of all, what about the future of Chelsea’s Di Matteo?
Sad to say but Jeremy Who probably wishes he was where he and his predecessors have always been: one paragraph on page 16 at the very best.