Skip to main content

Murdoch: into the Endgame

Two weeks ago Rupert Murdoch-controlled News International has a minority holding in BSkyB and full ownership of four national Daily and Sunday newspapers. True, He had explored turning his Dailies into seven day operations, but that looked to be a little while away. Also true, he was bidding for 100% control of BSkyB.

Now he has a minority holding in BSkyB and full ownership of three Daily and Sunday newspapers. A seven day Sun looks to be only a few weeks away and although the current bid for BSkyB has been shelved, another bid could be tabled within a few months, if need be.

It rather looks as though Murdoch has lost a battle, but not yet lost the war.

Yet there is still the ongoing political shitstorm to get through. Though the pressure from the BSkyB bid may take some of the heat away, there is still the ongoing police investigation and the political and judicial inquiry and the real possibility of a backlash in the US.

From the point of view of the UK, Murdoch has had a small defeat: his papers can never again behave with such impunity, and British politicians will now be extremely wary in their dealings with the press. We will see if that will be enough to satisfy the wrath of political and public opinion.

I suspect it will, which will mean that the Murdoch serpent has been only partially de-fanged.

For me, however, it is not enough: it merely restates that breaking the law is a bad idea, it does not take sufficient sanction against the criminals responsible in the first place. The judicial inquiry and the police investigation must be backed to the hilt until full completion.

Never again should the press or the police, still less politicians, believe themselves to be above the law.


Richard T said…
The re-erection of a Murdoch Sunday paper may lead News International into more trouble. As the precipitate closure of the News of the World made the staff redundant without notice and outwith the statuory 90 day consultation period, the organisation is going to walk into serious unfair dismissal problems if the Sunday Sun appears at any time within the 90 days and probably within whatever statutory notice was in the employees' contracts. The redundancy terms are going to have to be very generous to avoid trouble and, bearing in mind the manner of the dismissals, I can't see much hope for forbearance from the former employees of the News of the World. We shall see.
Tim Worstall said…
Not quite. News I owns the newspapers. News Corp owns News I plus the BSkyB stake.

Popular posts from this blog

Concert and Blues

Tallinn is full tonight... Big concerts on at the Song field The Weeknd and Bonnie Tyler (!). The place is buzzing and some sixty thousand concert goers have booked every bed for thirty miles around Tallinn. It should be a busy high summer, but it isn´t. Tourism is down sharply overall. Only 70 cruise ships calling this season, versus over 300 before Ukraine. Since no one goes to St Pete, demand has fallen, and of course people think that Estonia is not safe. We are tired. The economy is still under big pressure, and the fall of tourism is a significant part of that. The credit rating for Estonia has been downgraded as the government struggles with spending. The summer has been a little gloomy, and soon the long and slow autumn will drift into the dark of the year. Yesterday I met with more refugees: the usual horrible stories, the usual tears. I try to make myself immune, but I can´t. These people are wounded in spirit, carrying their grief in a terrible cradling. I try to project hop

Media misdirection

In the small print of the UK budget we find that the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British Finance Minister) has allocated a further 15 billion Pounds to the funding for the UK track and trace system. This means that the cost of the UK´s track and trace system is now 37 billion Pounds.  That is approximately €43 billion or US$51 billion, which is to say that it is amount of money greater than the national GDP of over 110 countries, or if you prefer, it is roughly the same number as the combined GDP of the 34 smallest economies of the planet.  As at December 2020, 70% of the contracts for the track and trace system were awarded by the Conservative government without a competitive tender being made . The program is overseen by Dido Harding , who is not only a Conservative Life Peer, but the wife of a Conservative MP, John Penrose, and a contemporary of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Oxford. Many of these untendered contracts have been given to companies that seem to have no notewo

KamiKwasi brings an end to the illusion of Tory economic competence

After a long time, Politics seems to be getting interesting again, so I thought it might be time to restart my blog. With regard to this weeks mini budget, as with all budgets, there are two aspects: the economic and the political. The economic rationale for this package is questionable at best. The problems of the UK economy are structural. Productivity and investment are weak, infrastructure is under-invested and decaying. Small businesses are going to the wall and despite entrepreneurship being relatively strong in Britain, self-employment is increasingly unattractive. Red tape since Brexit has led to a significant fall in exports and the damage has been disproportionately on small businesses. Literally none of these problems are being addressed by this package. Even if the package were to stimulate some kind of short term consumption-led growth boom, this is unlikely to be sustainable, not least because what is being added on the fiscal side will be need to be offset, to a great de