Tag Archives: Margaret Thatcher

Rupert Murdoch and Wapping

29 May

In a tour de force performance much blogged about, Rupert Murdoch wrapped up the second day of the ‘D ‘Conference this evening. Some highlights from Bloomberg here –>; http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTVbDsf.hq6g

I won’t repeat here most of what he said — except what he just told me exclusively (because only he, I and his security guard rode downstairs in the elevator together).

It will interest now only those who were there — as I was — when he opened his Wapping printing plant in the 1980s and basically crushed the trade unions that were then all-powerful on Fleet Street, England’s newspaper publishing center. His move, coming as the Thatcher government faced tough labor protests in the coal, steel and power industry could have toppled the then-young Thatcher government. Instead, the Thatcher government totally backed his initiative to bring in new technology and thus began the end of traditional labor’s strong role at the center of the British economy.

I asked him if any other person could have pulled off what Thatcher did. “No,” he said. “No one else. And – I never once talked to her about it. Not during, and not after,” he said.


A quick update: Today Rupert Murdoch was asked in the British phone hacking inquiry about his relationship with Mrs. Thatcher and he essentially repeated what he told me in an elevator after a glass of wine in 2008. Consistency in this case, it seems to me, is a virtue!

Here is the NYTimes: NYTimes