Media Medium
16 March 2001


Yelland's Heavens

David Yelland's editorship since 1998 marks a cautious move towards
a more informed political stance but has he got the style and
personality to make the sun shine?

The downmarket pitch of the British tabloids is world (in)famous, and The Sun remains leader of the pack with a house style set by ex-editor Higgins and the good ladies of Page 3. David Yelland's editorship since 1998 marks a cautious move towards a more informed political stance and circulation is holding, but has Yelland got the style and personality to make the Sun shine?

Yelland is a Taurean Bull and his birth date (May 14 1963) shows a hard horoscope for a hard man. Tight and closed, giving little away, it has the Sun square to self-disciplined Saturn, making Yelland a heavyweight when it comes to work and responsibility. Things don't come easy with a horoscope like this, and life can feel like an uphill struggle:

" Everything is earned the hard way; nothing comes freely... this aspect builds character; but it can also lead to a sour disposition, expressed in a Spartan outlook. It can also be manifested in rigidity, and the natives may be too traditional in their approach to problems. They must cultivate the virtues of optimism and cheerfulness. " (Sackoian & Acker, The Astrologer's Handbook)

Yelland's birthday is almost exactly six months in the year away from the tabloid's Murdoch relaunch (November 17 1969), and this puts his own slow and deliberate Taurus Sun in opposition to the paper's Sun in Scorpio. It's not the best connection for an editor's ability to stay tuned to what a Scorpio readership wants - a paper that's sexy, provocative, full of human interest and above all, visual.

Both horoscopes have a passive and reactive streak, and claiming credit for Major's victory in the 1992 election - "it was the Sun wot won it" - has always been something of an illusion. The Sun's watery, Scorpio horoscope, with a fickle, Pisces Moon, isn't a leader of opinion. Like water, and like fishy Pisces Murdoch, it goes with the flow and swims along in the winning stream.

Right now, revolutionary Uranus is putting the spotlight on Yelland's Saturn, demanding that he doesn't straitjacket himself with a rigid or narrow approach. He has had to put his own politically conservative tendencies to one side to back New Labour for the coming election, and for much of this year he may not feel in control of the agenda. June and July are turbulent months when events triggered by underworld Pluto could pull the rug from under his feet. Despite election support for New Labour, Yelland can expect little thanks afterwards from Tony Blair if The Sun keeps up its anti-Euro stance. Blair is also a Taurean and if these two Bulls clash, we can expect a savage locking of horns. Yet despite his Taurus stickability, by spring 2003, Yelland could decide he's had enough. His Uranus mid-life crisis kicks in then, and he may seek a different, more political role.

Although he is probably not comfortable at the paper, he does share with it a striking planetary line-up of Mars and Saturn. The tabloid has a brutal square aspect of Saturn to its red-top Mars, and as astrologer Alan Leo says, this " encounters hostility, opposition and criticism, even from friends... (it is) indifferent to the feelings of others ...hard, cruel, spiteful, and revengeful". Yelland's own Mars-Saturn benefits from Mars in fiery, leadership Leo, so although he can sometimes be over- competitive, this saves the aspect from the pits. According to Charles Carter, when Saturn and mars work well, people with this contact are " excellent explorers, rulers of savage tribes, or organisers of men needing firm control". Just wot an editor needs to survive at Wapping.

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