Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

At least Rupert had the decency to say sorry

Is it complete heresy in these hacking times to say a kind word about Rupert Murdoch?

This is not to condone anything that has gone on within News International (or the Metropolitan Police) but I was struck by the fact that the 80-year-old boss of the whole News Corp shebang was the one to take it upon himself to sit down and personally apologise to the family of little Milly Dowler.

That's as should be, of course. But in a world where public figures issue statements and get their spokespersons to do their dirty work he could so easily have sent his executives.

He could have sent his editors. He could have sent his sons. Instead he went himself for what he would have known would have been a very difficult meeting - for both sides.

It doesn't make everything - it doesn't make anything - right. But it does say something about the man.

Respect too to Dave Gilmour, stepfather of 20-year-old Charlie who got sent down this week for a rioting rampage that included swinging off the flag on the Cenotaph.

The Pink Floyd star has been the real father to the lad and was again by his side this week when he needed him most.

Was the 16-month sentence too much? That's now a subject for much comment and debate, with some supporters claiming the heavy tariff was political.

Not really if you judge it by sentences handed out to our local rioters.

On the interface young people are also being sucked into violence they later regret.

Well-off Charlie is not (in any sense) alone.

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