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'We were addicted to Murdoch like crack cocaine': UK Labour Party politician

September 25, 2011 - London

A senior member of British Labour Party politician Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet has said that the Labour lost the confidence of voters after 13 years in power because it was addicted to the "crack cocaine" of courting media barons such as Rupert Murdoch rather than listening to the public's concerns.

Shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has warned that, "nobody is listening" to Labour because of a breakdown in trust with the public on the economy, its relations with the media, and a failure to talk about welfare and immigration.

Voters can only hear "white noise", she said adding that Labour must promise to open the "gilded cages" of the Westminster, media and City establishments, The Independent reports.

"What we've got to accept is that in the country more widely, nobody is listening. The biggest battle that Labour has at the moment is to be relevant and to be heard. For so many people, it's just white noise," she said during an interview with The IoS.

"If we are to become a more meritocratic country where there really is a sense that opportunity is there, if you have the initiative and the will to seize it, then we've got to open up these gilded cages," she added.

Jowell was then asked whether she believes the Labour government should have been more robust with News International over phone-hacking allegations.

"I think that the mistake that we made, it's a bit like the crack cocaine of politics, isn't it?," replied Jowell, a victim of hacking and a core participant in the Leveson inquiry

"Getting a good write-up, or the horror of a bad write-up. At its worst, Westminster politics is like a private conversation between Westminster media and Westminster politicians, and the rest of the world are eavesdroppers on a private conversation, and that's got to change," she added.


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