The Mayor of London has invited Rupert Murdoch and his wife to the Olympic Games. Boris Johnson, through the London & Partners organisation, is using the Games to show off the virtues of our city to big business and attract investment.
Quite why Murdoch is on Boris's 'to woo' list is something of a mystery if taken at face value. The News Corporation Chair is currently enjoying a renewed unpopularity following the endless revelations about misbehaviour at his newspapers. The Mayor is inviting a public spanking by entertaining the Murdochs, and must know it. But lack of love aside, Murdoch is more experienced at doing business in London than just about anyone alive. Why does he need courting in this way? Will a couple of freebie tickets to watch Rebecca Adlington going for gold convince him to invest more money in the capital? Of course not. Boris Johnson seems to be playing that age-old game of grease-the-Murdoch as part of his strategy for reaching higher office, at least according to the Telegraph.
London Assembly member Len Duvall (Labour) told the BBC: "There are serious questions as to the appropriateness of Boris Johnson taking Mr Murdoch to the Olympics". Not least because City Hall is currently investigating an undeclared meeting between the pair at the height of the phone-hacking scandal. Green Assembly Member Jenny Jones described the invitation as "Appalling judgement".
Image by David Shankbone under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.