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Posts Tagged ‘UK politics’

Revel in the humiliation of Mucky Murdoch – it won’t last….

In Britain, Current affairs, Media, Politics, UK, United Kingdom on July 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm

A VICTORY, or is it? The mighty Murdoch has finally been humbled and we revel in his humiliation. The level of public disgust at his news organisation has even prompted a former prime minister to call their methods “disgusting”. Of course Gordon Brown has forgotten how he courted the same disgusting people, went to Rebekah Brooks’ wedding, invited her the Chequers and generally failed to rein in the Murdochs while he was in power.

A judge-led inquiry will investigate the phone-hacking scandal and Murdoch has apparently agreed to appear before a parliamentary select committee for a grilling, but is this the end of the road for the Dirty Digger? Probably not, and by some distance. The old bugger has a hide like a rhino and he has been making billions for decades, so to suggest that  this could be the start of his demise risks underestimating him at our peril.

Let’s not forget he faced a far greater danger in the 1990s when he overextended himself on the launch of Sky and nearly went bust. If the folklore is to be believed, one small savings and loan in the US seemed to holding News Corp by the short and curlies until the larger of the 150 or so banks Murdoch was dealing with at the time placed the smaller institution in a similar hearts and minds-style grip and encouraged them to let Murdoch survive.

Murdoch’s lesson from that was to hoard cash, keep the revenue stream flowing steadily and never be beholden to banks again (a lesson the rest of the world could learn and then we’d be teaching another bunch of miscreants a proper lesson). That has served his empire well and will not change. Sure, he has a large omelette’s worth of eggs all over his dial right now, and no-one can understand why Brooks is still employed at this juncture when so many innocents have been booted, but really, are we that surprised that his papers behave in this way? The almost hourly outrage of Labour lightweights like Chris Bryant and Tom Watson is almost as disgusting as the hacking scandal.

In any case he still has 39 percent of BSkyB and a couple of seats on the board. That’s hefty influence in anyone’s money and in the time Murdoch now has on his hands before he can even consider another bid, there’s scope for some serious plotting on how to take the prize. We can expect a lot of grudging contrition from his UK titles in the short-term, but once he sorts out his plans for a Sunday tabloid title (most likely a Sunday Sun) the old Wapping arrogance will be back.

However, while Rupert is a newspaper man through and through – to be admired whatever you think of his politics – his sons and other shareholders are not massive fans. Apart from the News of the World, the others don’t make masses of cash. Even the Sun has to rely on bingo and its fantasy football competitions to turn a quid. With the News Corp share price bouncing after the decision there may be pressure on Murdoch senior to ditch his UK papers on the grounds that all have been infected with the same virus.

But the beginning of the end? Not on your life.

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Let Lumley loose in Lancashire

In Current affairs, Politics on November 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Who's been a naughty boy then....?

NAUGHTY PHIL Woolas might just get his comeuppance after being found guilty of making false statements about his Liberal Democrat opponent in May’s general election. A rerun of the poll has been ordered by the courts.

However, with the LibDem approval rating now in single figures after their sell-out decision to get into bed with David Cameron, simply turning up to claim Oldham East and Saddleworth just isn’t an option.

So, in these austere times of budget cuts and self-flagellation, we propose something that should brighten up our bleak political landscape.

Today we launch the “Lumley for Oldham” campaign. Yep. Having handbagged feckless Phil over the Ghurka issue, we think there’d be no better sight than watching her kick him out of the commons altogether.

Get ready for the hypocrite stakes (or how I was pro-war until I ran for the Labour leadership)

In Current affairs, Politics on May 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

There’s nothing like having the courage of your convictions, and in recent days we have seen nothing like it as far as some of the candidates seeking the Labour Party leadership are concerned.

Yes folks, it’s official, the invasion of Iraq was BAD. Well, it’s bad now. When they were in power the invasion of Iraq was GOOD. Now it’s very, very, BAD. Got it?

Ed Balls, Ed MiliBand and his brother David were all in favour of Britain’s decision to help invade Iraq. Now they all say it’s BAD.

Ok, maybe we’re labouring (pun intended) this good and bad thing, but, really, is this the cream of the crop from which the party faithful have to choose from? More of the same old nonsense from the Blairites and Brownites? Where’s the true party reformer going to come from?

Then we have the rest of the field – Andy Burnham, nice bloke, but seriously overpromoted during his time as a minister. This was only to keep a Blairite in the Cabinet as the bottom of the barrel marked “talent” was well and truly scraped. Diane Abbot, insufferable, but has at least said the party should admit Iraq was a mistake. She also said something the new coalition should be implementing as policy: bankers should pay for screwing up the economy, not us. However, she blotted her copybook when she suggested that the other leftie candidate, the excellent John McDonnell, did not have enough support to secure the 33 votes necessary to get on the ballot and would withdraw. She also against spending cuts, which is economic madness.

So far the Miliband boys have secured enough nominations to enter the race. Ed Balls, not as clever as he thinks he is, is made hard work of it, but now has exactly 33 votes. Burnham has 17, while McDonnell has six and Abbott a solitary vote, which just about sums up her eligibility for this contest.

McDonnell has too many things working against him. He has principles for starters. How galled must he be to see a ConDem coalition overturn the third runway at Heathrow when his own party was ready to ram the monstrosity right through his constituency without a backward glance.

Meanwhile, while on the subject of hypocrisy, John “I won’t sit in the Lords” Prescott yesterday said “I will sit in the Lords” and took his shilling. What a guy.