22 JANUARY 1972, Page 5

Dogs destroying dogs

It is clear that Vere Harmsworth's family pride, which at the last moment precluded a deal between the Express and the Mail, is becoming very expensive pride indeed. It is not television that threatens to destroy Fleet Street, but the giants themselves. Rupert Murdoch's Sun weakens what is still Hugh Cudlipp's Mirror, without itself becoming strong. The Express fails to take readers from the dead Sketch and the weak Mail, and its own circulation is failing: it is down to 3,390,000, and it must continue to sink the more editor Ian MacColl turns it into the local London edition of the Scottish Daily Express.