Murdoch's anti-Britain rant puts Boris's judgment in question

Should Boris have rolled out the red carpet for a man who can get the country's mood so wrong?

Column LAST UPDATED AT 08:27 ON Mon 6 Aug 2012

RUPERT MURDOCH has cast further doubts over Boris Johnson's judgment by using Twitter to cast Britain as a country of losers which needs a miracle to turn it around.

Boris is clearly hoping the Digger will back him when he runs for the leadership, should David Cameron trip up at the next election, but he cannot have done himself any good by rolling out the red carpet for a man who has got the national mood so badly wrong.

Two days after being feted as a guest of the London Mayor at the Olympic swimming events, Murdoch tweeted on Sunday: "British spirit shows nation transformable by strong, pragmatic no nonsense, non EU type govt. Any prospect? Miracle needed."

Not content with this crass observation, Murdoch added: "London Olympics great lift to UK. Low defeatist morale gone for now. Can it last? Entire organization shows what can be done."

Perhaps he was hacked off at seeing multicultural Britain joyfully celebrate the weekend haul of gold medals eclipsing Australia, the country of his birth, which did so badly in the swimming events it once dominated that it is now trailing at 24th in the medals table with just one gold.

But it says more about the Tories and Boris that they are still prepared to fete Murdoch while the media tycoon's former executives such as Rebekah Brooks are facing criminal trials for alleged phone hacking and perverting the course of justice.

Channel Four News had footage of Murdoch emerging from the Aquatic Centre with his wife - the Kung Foo expert Wendy Deng - and bumping into Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary.

Hunt came close to losing his Cabinet post after being mired by his close association with Murdoch. He could have been forgiven for treating him like a dose of Ebola virus but when he saw Murdoch, out shot Hunt's hand for a warm handshake. C4 got in a lip reader to find out what they said to each other. That drew a blank, but the body language was clear enough. Murdoch is still on some Tories' most honoured guest list.

Cameron was wisely nowhere to be seen, though he has been a regular spectator at the swimming and he was in the stadium on Saturday night to see Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and the Ginger Long-jump Wonder win their golds.

This put a dampener on the theory that whoever Dave watches fails to win a medal. After a flood of posts on the #curseofcameron hashtag, tweeters are now asking where is Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. Is he not allowed into the stadiums, asked one.

Tory grassroots website ConservativeHome this morning awarded the gold medals for organising the Olympics to Tories Lord Coe, John Major - for the lottery funding for sportsmen and women - and honorary Conservative Tony Blair while Boris gets a silver and the bronze goes to Cameron and Hunt.

In fact, the Olympics will have no long-term impact on politics, apart from making the Scots Nats look sad in the light of Alex Salmond's vain efforts to cash in on Andy Murray's victory over Roger Federer. Andy draped himself in the Union Jack and sang God Save the Queen.

Nor should Dave be fooled into thinking that Britain's Olympic medal success will boost his own long-term prospects. By 2015, it will be a distant dream to most voters. Dave will have got little out of the Olympics apart, perhaps, from seeing Boris exposed as a fool. So, it's not all bad then. ·