OPINION - The Standard View: Rupert Murdoch’s reign was one like no other

 (Christian Adams)
(Christian Adams)

The announcement would have made for extraordinary timing, whether or not it occurred part-way through the Standard’s serialisation of The Fall: The End of the Murdoch Empire by Michael Wolff.

Rupert Murdoch is to retire as chairman of Fox and News Corp, set to be replaced in both roles by his eldest son, Lachlan. In a letter to colleagues, 92-year-old Murdoch said “the time is right for me to take on different roles”, adding that he and his companies were in “robust health”. It caps the end of a career like no other. Born into an Australian media family, Murdoch accumulated power, wealth and influence — while also generating reams of controversy — over a period of 70 years.

For fans of HBO’s Succession, life has not quite imitated art. But the palace intrigue is unlikely to abate quickly into a man, and family, that has so shaped politics, media and culture for more than half a century.

Lib Dems’ high hopes

From the halls of power and influence to… the Liberal Democrats. The party, under the management of Sir Ed Davey, has high hopes for the next general election. Currently the fourth-largest in Parliament with 15 MPs, the Lib Dems hope to double its seats.

In recent times it has picked up some remarkable by-election victories. But the party knows all too well that midterm victories do not always translate into votes and seats at an election. Much will come down to how closely Labour and the Lib Dems work together in seats where a split vote could allow the Conservative candidate to come through the middle, such as Mid Bedfordshire.

Challenges remain. Sir Ed, who has spoken to the Standard ahead of his party’s conference, is still having to defend the Lib Dems’ time in coalition with the Tories, when he himself sat alongside Jeremy Hunt in David Cameron’s cabinet. But this is a confident leader hoping to regain third-party status in the next Parliament.

A thriller awaits

It is not only the north London derby, but also an (almost) top-of-the-table clash. Arsenal host Tottenham on Sunday with bragging rights — as well as a vital three points — on the line.

The Gunners, fresh off a victorious return to the Champions League, will be looking to extend their excellent home record against Spurs, who haven’t won at the Emirates since late 2010. Tottenham will be hoping to keep the good vibes going, following the appointment of the avuncular Ange Postecoglou.

Either way, with both sides conceding goals, it should make for compelling viewing.