Evil on course for triumph
The FT seems to have beaten the field this morning, using insider confirmation to assert that Murdoch’s BSkyB takeover is as good as in the bag.
But there are still three things that can stop Newscorp. First, a public outcry so enormous that David Cameron is forced to heed it. Second, the BSkyB directors wanting a lot more for their shares than the Digger is prepared to give. And third, the media and the Met Police coming up with yet more damning evidence to show that Newscorp is a corrupting, crooked, and dangerously powerful unelected factor in the political and social life of any country it infects.
My view as of now is that only a huge dump of the third factor will evoke the first factor. Cameron won’t heed public feeling alone: he faces a weak and unattractive Opposition Party, and to date 40,000 objections to the bid served only to slow things down a little. But he might get nervous if truculent LibDems and Labour combined to make life in the Commons tricky. And serious pressure from hacked luvvies would add to this.
The BSkyB directors are interested in but one thing, money. It would be nice to think they could tell Murdoch to shove off, but personally I can’t see it. Somewhere at around £9 a share, they’ll come across. The only commercial route to stopping Roop (and it’s a faint one) is if he were to be caught by an income or currency trap of some kind or other.
So this leaves the focus on two areas: the media, and the Metropolitan police. As to the latter, the latest information I have is that, as yet, none of the really big Newscorp targets has been nailed by Sue Akers and her team.
The media present a different sort of problem. The equally guilty ranks opposing Murdoch are in a cleft stick, as the last thing they want is to encourage further police enquiries. We can therefore expect only the Independent, the Guardian or (perhaps) the Mirror to take up the cudgels. The Mirror is the least likely of the three to run anything, as they too – it is alleged by some – have had phone nuisance habits in the past.
Without a degree of behind-the-scenes coordination then, concerted opposition to the bid going through isn’t going to work. The dream order of play would be some heavily discrediting journalism, another two civil cases fingering heavyweight Whapping Liars, and then some determined Commons sabotage, and with growing public disgust playing in the background….rounded off by some kind of result from the Met.
But I hear the Forces of Evil are already slithering along the corridors of police and political power. There is even talk of amnesties in the air. Jude Law now finds himself in a position to inflict a crippling blow upon Newscorp: will he grasp that opportunity?
From here on, it’s up to all of us who value a free press, and want an unimpeachably honest legislature. The sleazy way in which this culturally damaging bid is being allowed to move forward is an attempt to end the electorate’s democratic voice….and an obvious bid to shut up the small, honest people in our culture. Newscorp is a company that bribes with money, owns politicians, threatens with legal harassment (or worse) and corrupts everything on a macro or micro scale – be that professional soccer or Prime Ministers. Their victory will be a victory for Might is Right, and the start of a Dark Age from which we may never re-emerge.
None of this is hyperbole: it is a near and present danger. It must be resisted by all the legal means at our disposal.