The top picture shows the first ever edition of the News of the World, underneath is shown the last ever edition, tomorrow’s edition. The notorious Sunday newspaper was born on 1 October 1843 and will die on 10 July 2010 at the grand old age of 168. In some ways it’s a shame that something that’s been around as long as that has to go; it’s an iconic part of British life after all. For me it has always been an ingredient of Sundays along with roast beefand the Antiques Roadshow.
But it was becoming an increasingly vicious beast as it reached old age and often represented a part of the British psyche which was aggressive, intolerant and thuggish. It’s recent role as pimp to the political elite was vile and unhealthy; Rupert Murdoch the embodiment of it all. For years it (and he) seemed invulnerable but that has all changed in 2011. This may be the end of an era but it’s also the start of a new one in which politicians no longer draft policies with one eye on the leaders of the red tops. This age of recession is causing a lot of stones to get lifted; arrogant, fat politicians have had to stop creaming money off their expenses, ruthless media bosses have had to stop taking their customers for granted. It’s turning out to be a proper shake-up this age of austerity and, it seems, not a moment too soon. I can’t stand the Antiques Roadshow either.