David Cameron and News International

Strange how all News International titles from the Sun to The Times gave a unanimous thumbs up to the Tory party conference – and there was scarcely a harsh word to be seen about the child benefit cock-up. Andy ‘not me guv’ Coulson had obviously been doing his stuff – with a little help from the Wizard of Oz.

It will be interesting to see the reaction of the Murdoch mouthpieces when the cuts are announced in a couple of week’s time. Murdoch wants to be allowed to obtain the remaining 60% of the BSkyB shares, so it’s a fair bet that the instruction has gone out to pull the punches on the cuts. All Dave has to do is to clear the way for Murdoch to get his hands on the 60%.

If Rupert Murdoch is allowed to obtain the remaining shares in BSkyB, within less than ten years he will control half Britain’s television revenues and half the newspaper revenues. This will be the largest concentration of media power in any democracy. It couldn’t happen anywhere else. One has to wonder what sweeteners and threats have been used to persuade our politicians to allow this to happen. Is it plain stupidity or corruption? What do you think?

The question is whether our politicians – and particularly David Cameron – are prepared to stand up to Rupert Murdoch? If we are to retrieve the plurality of our media, the Communications Act needs to be amended, and quickly. The number of titles owned by any one person or organisation must be limited to no more than two, and cross media ownership should be forbidden.

So, what’s Cameron likely to do, chop Murdoch off at the knees and amend the Communications Act or condemn us to forever being under the malign influence of News International?

Rupert Murdoch is a smart cookie. Right now he’s like a fox in a hen house. He’s got a naive, wet behind the ears Prime Minister and a placeman in No10. He probably thinks he can’t lose, and he may well be right.

We are about to see what David Cameron is really made of. If he fails to do anything about News International he will have betrayed his country. If he has the courage to kick placeman Coulson through the door, then he might have seen the light. Don’t hold your breath.

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