The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Stephen Lawrence: the media united

For once, the Sun and Socialist Worker have the same front page.


It's a rare day when the Sun and Socialist Worker run near-identical front pages. But the conviction of Stephen Lawrence's killers has seen an unusual outbreak of unity across the media. Jonathan Freedland has a fine column in today's Guardian on why tabloid newspapers can be a force for good, rightly describing the Daily Mail's Lawrence campaign as the paper's "finest hour".

But it's worth noting something which few did yesterday. Mail editor Paul Dacre took a particular interest in the case because Lawrence's father, Neville, had worked for him as a plasterer. As Dacre told the Leeds Student in 2006, "he had done several days plastering work in my house some years previously". This detracts nothing from the Mail's principled campaign but at least partly explains why Dacre pursued this cause with such tenacity. Would that the Mail's formidable resources were always deployed in the services of justice.

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