The British government caved in today to Rupert Murdoch and in its most pathetic move yet gave the go ahead for Mr. Murdoch to buy the remaining part of BSkyB that he does not already own.
The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt reckons the new deal that Mr. Murdoch has put forward will guarantee a degree of independence from the influence of the media mogul who is so beloved by Conservative politicians.
The proposed deal suggests that Sky News will be independently managed by a new independent board and a new chairman who will not be a member of Mr. Murdoch’s family. This is supposed to be a defense against plurality or to put it another way, it is supposed to limit the influence of the Murdoch’s empire on the political decisions made by the British government.
TheOpinionSite.org does not believe for one moment that there is anything straightforward about this deal. Indeed, the more you look at it, the more suspicious one becomes.
Murdoch has been after the total ownership of BSkyB for a long time now and whilst the Business Secretary, Vince cable was ready to stand up to Mr. Murdoch, it is quite clear that the self serving Culture Secretary is not.
It would not be so unreasonable perhaps as to ask whether there was anything material in this for Mr. Hunt who suddenly seems to have gone into reverse and is determined to give Mr. Murdoch everything he wants.
Clearly, transparency is not an important principle to the Conservative government, whatever they may say in public. As for the Liberal Democrats, they are nowhere to be seen but are probably burrowing as deep as possible into their rabbit hole in order not to get involved in this rather contentious argument.
Mr Murdoch already owns the Times newspaper, the Sun and the Wall Street Journal as well as having a controlling interest in 20th Century Fox film studios, the Fox cable network and numerous other information and media outlets. By getting his hands on that part of BSkyB that he did not already own, he would be able to exact disproportionate influence upon the British and other governments across the world.
The deal that Jeremy Hunt seems to have accepted is in direct contradiction to that which was proposed by Vince Cable. Mr. Cable you will remember, was slapped down very hard when he declared open warfare against Rupert Murdoch and his empire.
Whilst Mr. Cable’s stand was applauded by the general public who are not as stupid as Mr. Murdoch thinks they are, David Cameron actually relieved Mr. Cable of his responsibilities towards any dealings with Mr. Murdoch and his takeover plans.
It should not be forgotten either that Rupert Murdoch was one of the very first people to visit David Cameron once he had become prime minister. This was no coincidence as Mr. Murdoch had put millions into ensuring that Cameron was elected as prime minister and it is almost certain that Murdoch has been heavily influencing the coalition government since its inception.
Furthermore, TheOpinionSite.org, along with many of its readers is by no means convinced that Mr. Murdoch can be trusted when he says he is prepared to give Sky News independence in its own affairs. Whenever a sensitive issue has arisen in the past, Murdoch has taken hands-on control of the Sun newspaper as well as its tabloid sister, the News of the World.
Why any of us should therefore believe that Mr. Murdoch is being honest in this particular case is a mystery to TheOpinionSite.org and no doubt to all those who share our views.
Ever since the time of Margaret Thatcher, Rupert Murdoch has exercised undue influence over the policy making decisions of the British government. It is simply not credible to believe that he is prepared to relinquish his power and it looks very much as if like his predecessors, Prime Minister Cameron is prepared to accept that in order to stay in power, he must always give way to Mr. Murdoch’s views.
Murdoch was directly responsible for ensuring that Andy Coulson was appointed as Mr. Cameron’s spokesman and advisor and it was no doubt a great blow to Murdoch that Coulson was finally forced to resign following accusations that he had been involved in, or at least had known about phone hacking by the News of the World.
Jeremy Hunt’s decision is both a betrayal of his own credibility and also that of the supposedly independent coalition government. Whilst this does not come as a surprise to TheOpinionSite.org, it is extremely disappointing.
The deal however is not yet completed and it is yet possible that Mr. Murdoch’s ambitions may be frustrated. There is a great deal of opposition to Jeremy Hunt’s decision and the forces that are opposed to Mr. Murdoch are gathering strength already.
Most of the major newspapers not owned by Murdoch are intending to challenge the decision and are determined to expose any inadequacies of the proposed formula to the critical eye of the public. It is also possible that the BBC may voice their objections as well.
Nevertheless, TheOpinionSite.org believes that it is still highly possible for Mr. Murdoch to get his own way. Let’s face it, he usually does where politicians are concerned.
Through his influence over the years, Rupert Murdoch has caused misery and mayhem to many British citizens by indoctrinating them with his puritan, dogmatic opinions. This would be forgivable if it were not for the fact that he has somehow managed to bribe or blackmail successive British governments, including those of Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and now it seems, David Cameron into going along with his ideas.
TheOpinionSite.org hopes sincerely that somewhere along the line someone is prepared to stand up to a man whose increasing influence over news and media outlets throughout the world makes him a real and viable threat to truth, independence and transparency of information. Not to mention the fact that he also seems to be a bigot, a zealot and completely uncaring when it comes to the welfare and prosperity of ordinary British people.