Rupert Murdoch & My Dad- News of the World

News of the World Rupert Murdoch

News of The World

Here’s a somewhat prophetic painting my dad, Alan Storkey, created over a year ago depicting the end of The News of the World. My dad’s a sharp cookie, sees what others don’t, and likes to take a little poke where the pokes are needed. And I know he for one will be grinning from ear to ear about the thought of The News of the World closing down. Along with me I’ve a feeling he’s not going to be the only one…….(though clearly it’s rather a cynical move).

My dad has never been a fan of Rupert Murdoch. And when I say he’s never been a fan, allow me to elaborate.

I grew up in North London and on a regular basis we would sit down for our family dinner at 6.30pm and the phone would ring. It would often be telesales people on the other end. My dad would walk out to the phone in the hallway, and about 1 in 10 times he’d end up not coming straight back into the room. Patient, yet sharp, he tended to take delight in these ‘telesales’ moments. And when it came to certain phone calls we knew he’d be there for a while. These calls were from the poor helpless salespeople at Sky. Rupert Murdoch was their ultimate boss. They had called my dad. Silly mistake.

My dad didn’t like Murdoch. He didn’t like Sky. But he did like telesales people calling from Sky. It gave him a chance to ask them questions that wouldn’t have been part of the normal sales pitter patter. My dad is a quiet, subtle but strong revolutionary.

‘Do you like the fact that your boss, Rupert Murdoch avoids paying corporation tax despite making £11.4bn profit.’
‘Are you aware that your boss, Rupert Murdoch reports one side of the story, is sensational, dampens down any intelligent debate, polarises people and has the cheek to call it journalism?’
‘Do you realise just how much power your boss Rupert Murdoch has, without any accountability built-in at all. Is that good for society, when he is motivated by greed and able to influence so many politically?’
‘Do you like the deals that your boss Rupert Murdoch is making with Thatcher and Reagan? Do you think he’s going to be looking after you as a result of the actions that come through from these deals?

And on it would go. We would love listening in, as he chatted away, cheekily jibing the poor telesales person. They were just trying to sell him a Sky package. Salespeople back then weren’t rude in the same way they are now and able to just put the phone down, when they realise you’re not going to buy from them (I know as I’ve carried on the tradition my father modelled to me). And because my father never said he didn’t want to buy a Sky subscription till the end of the call, they had to stay on the line and talk with him.

It was beautiful, just beautiful.

So with the recent news, I thought it only fitting that as many people as possible got to see my dads painting of Rupert Murdoch. Goodbye News of The World. Not quite goodbye Rupert Murdoch.

And I’d like to toast my quiet revolutionary father, of whom I am very proud.

PS If you want to use the painting, go right ahead (Creative Commons and all that). Please just let me know where you put it, so I can let him know. It would really make him chuckle.

  • Marijke hoek

    Nice one!

    • Caleb Storkey

      Thought you’d like that :) Maz- get yee signed up to Disqus. Be good to see your comments around and about :)

  • Steve

    Great post! Yes to Dad’s like yours

    • Caleb Storkey

      Thanks Steve- I’ll second that :)

  • Christina de Jong

    Thanks for posting this Caleb!  Love it.

    • Caleb Storkey

      Your welcome Christina…. is it news over there in Canada?

  • Ruthie Wainaina

    I’ve never read your blog Caleb but had to click on the facebook link to this…and I’m glad I did! Fantastic painting, brilliant words. Say hi to your wonderful dad from me :) 

    • Caleb Storkey

      Hey Ruthie- I certainly will!

      Do come back and say hello again from time to time. Be great to catch up and find out your news. If you’re ever in Manchester- come and visit us :)

  • maggi dawn

    fantastic! I read a book by your father some years ago so I already knew he’s smart. But this painting is quite brilliant. Hope you are well! 

  • maggi dawn

    PS I’ve tweeted a link