Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion, Platitude of the Year Winner 2010
Rupert Murdoch gets treated very unfairly by some people. This generous, cuddly, grandfatherly figure, who regularly dispenses Werther's Original toffees to destitute children, is surely to be spoken kindly of, admired, worshipped even.
He and the Pope get on very well together. For some reason, he sees in the Pope a kindred spirit: an old white guy in charge of a huge organisation, that does exactly what he tells it to and knows how to cover up its crimes when needed. I myself have been employed by Rupert Murdoch, and who knows, perhaps in some dim and distant future, might once again be employed by this fine, wonderful, decent individual.
Dear, dear Rupert, is not the only press baron to see such fine qualities in the Pope. Conrad Black, from the security of his jail cell, expressed similar sentiments.
As if Rupert Murdoch admiring the Catholic Church weren't recommendation enough, Lord Griffiths thinks the Pope's economic solutions are absolutely fab. Lord Griffiths is a very famous economist, advisor to Margaret Thatcher, vice-chairman of Goldman Sacks and a great believer in bankers' bonuses. It's people like Lord Griffiths that got the economy where it is today, and made himself very rich in the process, so he knows what he's talking about. If someone as successful as Lord Griffths, who just happens to be a director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, says the Pope's great, shouldn't you just believe him?
The Pope's formula for economic reform is utterly stunning, mind blowing and completely unexpected. He says that, as well as making profit and generating a return for their shareholders, corporations should consider being nice to people. If only corporations had decided to be nice to people, Lehman Brothers would never have collapsed and the News of the World would not have closed. These two closures are almost identical: Lehman because it went bust leaving hundreds of billions of dollars of transactions outstanding, and the other because it was closed by the nice people of News International who wanted to sack them anyway but got to pretend that it was actually a moral act to root out illegal activity.
I know for a fact, that if word were to come down from their owners, that tabloid journalists would be delighted to spread heart warming stories of friendship, fidelity and love. Deep down, all they want to do is spread a little happiness in this world.
News International, nearly as nice and holy and friendly as the Catholic Church.