PM's tip about media mogul Murdoch

Ex-prime minister Tony Blair's notorious former 'spin doctor's' new self-censored book is at least revealing about the world's most influential media tycoon.

Alastair Campbell, who was the chief media adviser for British Prime Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, discloses in his volume, The Blair Years, that former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, offered Blair some advice on how to deal with his countryman Rupert Murdoch at a 1995 gathering.

Labour premier Keating pulled no punches when he said: "He's a big bad bastard, and the only way you can deal with him is to make sure he thinks you can be a big bad bastard too. You can do deals with him, without ever saying a deal is done. But the only thing he cares about is his business and the only language he respects is strength,"

It doesn't seem that Blair heeded the advice because, before he became PM in 1997, he and Campbell ran to meet with the News Corporation chief in Australia, and subsequently failed to curb Murdoch's control of a significant chunk of the British media. In return, Murdoch, 'the dirty digger', threw the political weight of the Sun, News of the World, Times newspapers and Sky Tv behind Blair.