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6 December 2017

Does Boris Johnson have anything better to do than defend right-wing tabloids?

The Foreign Secretary has written a defence of companies advertising in papers like The Sun.

By Media Mole

The wonderful thing about Britain is that during one of the biggest foreign policy crises of our age, our Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs still finds the time to defend the dear old English daily press.

Yes, Boris Johnson has written an opinion piece in The Sun criticising the Stop Funding Hate campaign, which urges companies not to advertise in right-wing tabloids. The organisation tries to persuade advertisers to pull their support for the Mail, Express and Sun, taking issue with how those papers demonise minorities and perpetuate division and prejudice.

Aside from the very good point made by your mole’s fellow curmudgeon Jonn recently in these webpages – that this is how markets, so celebrated by the Tories, work – why is the Foreign Secretary concentrating his energy on dicking around writing op-eds for The Sun about minor media disputes?

The Middle East is on the brink of further turmoil as Donald Trump signals he will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed while the Saudis are blockading Yemen, which is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and Ukraine is in renewed political chaos as the former Georgian president fled arrest after a rooftop stand-off. Oh, and a woman imprisoned in Iran could face a longer sentence because of Johnson himself.

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Your mole has never been Foreign Secretary, but it assumes – just has a little hunch – that world affairs and protecting British citizens overseas are probably more significant to the role than a navel-gazing debate about the ethics of how our print press is funded.

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