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One man, one newspaper!

Ed Miliband put in a good performance at Prime Ministers Questions today — calling for a halt to News International’s bid for control of BSkyB and for a full, independent public inquiry into the current river of sewage streaming out of the media’s biggest gutter in Wapping. Needless to say, these allegations that News of the World journalists hacked into the phones of murder victims like Milly Dowler and bought off the police show us the dark heart of News International. Let’s be under no illusions — that is exactly what the problem is, News International itself not just the actions of Rebekah Brooks and its other senior figures.

News International has, up to now, operated with such impunity, such disregard for the law, purely and simply because it feels it is above the law. It is this that nurtured the likes of Brooks and allowed them to operate with such impunity. The power the Murdoch press has hitherto exercised over politicians (from all parties, Labour included) and the political process is the problem — the running sore at the heart of our allegedly ‘free’ press. All are guilty, right-up to Murdoch himself and it follows that it is this power, this structural dominance over our democracy that must be tackled.

So, yes, let’s stop the BSkyB bid but that must not be the end. News International must be broken-up and there must be strict regulation in place to prevent a monopoly like it arising ever again. Nobody should be allowed to own more than newspaper and there must be firewalls in place to stop media moguls advancing their empires into other areas. Meanwhile, the government should actively intervene and support, not ‘control’ but support, with resources and money flourishing local and independent media, which will act as a natural break on media monopolies  as well as providing vital resources for local communities. Let’s widen the breach between Labour and News International, making it final and permanent by making us the party of a truly free press.

15 Comments

  1. Gary Elsby says:

    Forgive me for being a spoilsport……..
    But doesn’t an allegation have to be proven before you ruin a mans business?

    What hope for the left and what hope for the Labour Party if guilt is proven with no evidence to show for it?

    By all means, just present the truth and the proof and I’ll join the witch-hunt but in the meantime I’ll stick to good old fashioned justice.

  2. Gavin,

    Obviously you need to book yourself in for a long conversation with Tom Watson ;), he has brought forward all the evidence you need and also where are the denials? There are none because they all know they are as guilty as a puppy standing next to a pile of poop.

    Regardless, my main point stands on democratic grounds…News International has too much power and is undemocratic, I am quite happy ruining this contemptible man’s ‘business’; he is a parasite, a leech, and the sooner his dominion over our media is ended the better.

    Heaven help Labour and the left if they listen to people like you….

  3. Gary Elsby says:

    I don’t dispute the allegations of media stars having their phones hacked into.
    I’m waiting for proof of phone hackings involving dead children.

  4. Gavin,

    I refer the honourable gentlemen to the reply I gave some moments ago 😉

  5. Gary Elsby says:

    The facts I see are that MPs and TV/sports stars have been hacked.
    Compensation (guilt) is paid out.
    It would be a mistake for the rest of us to believe that public uproar is because Prescott and Ferdinand have been hacked.
    It isn’t the case at all.
    It seems to be the case that senior staff and police have acted illegally in promoting phone hacking and the NOTW is to close putting hundreds of innocent workers on the dole.

    Murdoch is moving towards the moral high ground and as yet, little blame comes his way.
    The onus is on the rest to prove the outrageous allegations to be true.

    You are acting like a wayward journalist yourself in demanding a denial as proof of your cause.

    Just give me the proof of the allegation that dead children and soldiers have been illegally hacked and by whom.

    My guess is that most of the rest of ‘old’ newspapers will be in the shadow of the new SUNday paper rumoured to be launched soon.

  6. Gavin,

    Well given the fact they are so outrageous wouldn’t you think it would be sensible of the people involved to flatly deny them if they weren’t? Of course they are true…I have limited sympathy for those workers; the fact is that if News International is broken up then more will go and that’s a price I am willing to pay for a democratic media.

    And secondly some of those will be not-so-innocent hacks who have ruined peoples lives and made up complete rubbish about benefit ‘scroungers’ so overall not feeling the pain much.

  7. Gary Elsby says:

    You are totally on the wrong path if you think this is about ‘unscrupulous hacks’.

    The claim (yet unsubstantiated) is that police colluded with the press involving personal details.

    This goes way beyond the media and way beyond Murdoch.

    To attack the right wing press is completely the wrong tactic.

    No chance has Murdoch shut down his attack dog newspaper because it hacked (alleged) into a dead child’s phone.

    No chance whatsoever.

  8. Gary,

    I don’t think its about ‘bad apples’; its about the entrenched and undemocratic power that News International has and that is why I am calling for it to be broken up.

    It does go beyond the media I agree; but to ignore the media element is also wrong.

    I’m not attacking the right-wing press; i’m attacking a media monopoly and calling for it to be ended. There is a substantial amount of difference.

  9. Gary Elsby says:

    It seems therfore that you have hitched a lift on story that has no connection to your own.
    My guess is that you are not alone in this hysteria and notable public figures should beware of such wrongdoings.

    The law exists to jail John Prescott’s hacker and it also exists to jail anyone giving permission to hack a child’s phone also.

    Mursdoch has taken control of this event by doing the decent thing and shutting down his business. How’s that for decency?
    The unfortunate thing is that 200+ workers are onthe dole and 2m+ loyal readers are ready to support any Phoenix paper business being launched soon.

    Until collusion by the press, freelance investigators and police is proven, then Murdoch will gain the upper hand and come out as the model family of news media coverage.

    To hitch a ride on destroying the ‘right wing’ press or NI on the back of on yet unsubstantiated claims is a complete mistake by the left of politics in this Country.

    Cameron and Murdoch are now in front suggesting some sort of break between the media and politicians. Somewhere in all this is little Ed coming out with something that doesn’t really matter.

    The death of the News Of The World is best described as a British tradegy bought down on what could be just petty baseless lies.

    To date, the claims of children and soldiers having their phones hacked is not conservant with interviewing star witnesses and then releasing them on bail.

    The left needs to get a grip on the facts and leave hyperbolic staements to people not really trusted.

  10. @Gary,

    How silly do you look now, as the rot spreads to the Sunday Times and the Sun? This is a corrupt and degenerate ‘business’ and its disappearing down the plughole. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say.

  11. Gary Elsby says:

    All I see is no action and just hot air and words.
    Lots of accusations by people who do not wish to see the Murdoch’s expand their business interests.
    The faint hope lies in the Murdoch’s not being fit and proper to obtain a bigger slice of the ‘known’ readership and viewership of the products. They have sacrificed the ‘unknown’ readers and viewers to further their cause.
    The fascinating observation is the halucinatory belief that misdeed only occur in the Murdoch arena.
    Is it not the case that the Murdoch empire has done the dceent thing and any other guilty party must follow suit?
    Who’s Tom Baldwin and why are the Murdoch’s promoting his role in politics?

  12. Gary,

    Now there we have some level of agreement. It has been a highly rhetorical war in some regards. No, the Murdoch empire has not done the decent thing. Rebekah Brooks is still in situ and it still hasnt shut itself down, dismantled itself and the Murdoch’s havent retired a long way from here. By here, I mean planet earth. Seriously, no they havent.

  13. Gary Elsby says:

    The retreat by very senior MPs is now in full swing, just as I’ve always thought.
    A former Prime Minister with his hands tied by staff? Come on.
    Yet more lurid accusations against the Murdochs and now an apology from the accusing broadsheet.
    What a complete joke.
    This has now turned into a witch-hunt and more severe(?) slanders go across the pond and into 9/11.
    My guess is that at least one MP is going to have his bottom smacked by Rupert soon and Tom Watson owns that bottom.
    I don’t queue up to defend the right wing (Labour loving) News Corp press, I wait patiently to hear the facts of which to base my long held principles of innocent until proven guilty.
    At the moment, Westminster is looking a little bit sick and Rupert may deliver a bit of medicine to it soon.
    The polls appear not to sustain the collective British view that I’m hearing on the ground.
    Hacking is very wrong and our laws are here to defend us (proven).
    The left is about to lose the high ground, if Rupert performs well but the left should always defend my right to some form of privacy and not exposure via illegal means.

  14. Matty says:

    You’re deluded Gary, the Murdochs keep on scoring own goals. The latest being refusing to attend the Media Select Committee next week and then caving in later. As for the broadsheet apology, it is still most people’s opinion I would bet that The Sun were immoral in publishing the story about Gordon Brown’s son that. Lord knows why you’re defending Murdoch. Remember Wapping 1986 and the sacking of 6,000 strikers.

  15. Gary,

    Matty has it right. Your totally deluded. This is not a ‘witch-hunt’ to punish the wicked; it’s a democratic rising of people who are sick to the back teeth of Murdoch and the undemocratic dominion he holds over not just our media but the media of other countries too. Once he is gone, once his empire is shattered the others will quickly fall too because the public no longer want his parasitic for of ‘business’ to continue.

    Nothing Murdoch could possibly do will change that and that is a good thing; for democracy and for the media. So, ye, jog on basically….:)

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