David Ottewell of the Manchester Evening News is pretty much on the money, reminding us that Manchester’s supercasino has been sacrificed to help Gordon Brown develop a more friendly relationship with Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail.
And goodness what a result.
The Daily Mail initially reported the story under the gloating headline ‘Labour heartlands to be regenerated to curb grassroots revolt over supercasino axe’; a real kick in Gordon’s teeth. That story is no longer online… nor is it in Google’s cache… but try searching ‘“Government was today set to launch huge regeneration projects in Labour heartlands”’… for a limited time you’ll get:
Click the link and you’ll find that story’s been replaced with the apparently more conciliatory ‘At last Labour owns up to casino fears over gambling, crime and family breakdown’.
What a triumph for Gordon Brown’s campaign to bring Paul Dacre’s Daily Mail into the ‘government of all the talents’; Paul Dacre is chief censor of government secrets from the Thatcher years… placing Thatcher’s historical legacy in the hands of one of her most hysterical fans.
Of course, the Daily Mail should not be worrying about money being spent on ‘huge regeneration projects’. Tuesday’s £10m pay off (which looked like a white elephant anyway; a massive BMX park and a ground for rugby club nobody goes to see) was Wednesday’s sham. Meanwhile Tory controlled Blackpool, which will have been quite shocked to be labelled a Labour heartland by the Daily Mail, was promised a runners-up prize of £300m (yep, thirty times the first prize), but as the Manchester Evening News reports: ‘it is understood £250m of this had already been announced – and spent.’
Gordon Brown needs to understand that Paul Dacre may smile to his face, but the Daily Mail will never be his friend.