The email from Tom Baldwin, Ed’s director of strategy read:
“Tom Baldwin has requested that any front bench spokesperson use the following line when questioned on phone hacking.
BSkyB and phone tapping
These issues should not be linked. One is a competition issue, the other an allegation of criminal activity.”
Oh come on Tom! What complete and utter tosh, how can they possibly not be linked? Why would you make such a ridiculous assertion? Wait a minute, you used to work for Rupert Murdoch didn’t you? Did he put you up to this? Oh, I see you’re hedging your bets. Doing what Rupie asks, smoothing his path just in case Ed makes a bog-up of the leadership and you need a job. What a clever, forward thinking chap you are!
You really couldn’t make it up, could you? No sooner has Dave got rid of Coulson, we find that the boy Ed has a Murdoch mole as his director of strategy. Crazy!
The BSkyB bid is a competition issue, but it’s also about the plurality of the British media. If Rupert Murdoch succeeds in obtaining the remaining shares in BSkyB, within 10 years he will control half the British TV and newspaper revenues. Do we really want someone who allows illegal phone hacking by one of his newspapers to be in such a position? Absolutely not!
Let’s be clear, an employee of the News of the World has already done time for phone hacking. There is nothing alleged about the issue. Murdoch has also already paid off two people to prevent further court action: unfortunately there are nearly 90 other injured parties who are lining up for a bit of compo.
There is a link between the BSkyB bid and phone hacking, no question, but there is a much more serious issue. It is the amount of power Murdoch wields over our politicians. What is important to politicians today is not necessarily what is best for the country, but what is acceptable to Rupert Murdoch. How his hacks will react to their decisions is their first concern. We are very much down the pecking order. We only become important when their jobs are at stake. When we’ve planted our crosses on the ballot paper we become irrelevant.
It is really a very pathetic sight to see David Cameron and Ed Miliband kow-towing to Murdoch. Their behaviour needs to change if our democracy is not to be hijacked by the plutocracy – and plutocrats such as Murdoch in particular.