Politics is a massive part of our lives. Whether or not you trust a politician or take an active interest in the subject, the truth of the matter is that it’s important.
The last week has been a political battleground. With Rupert Murdoch and his son, James making their statement’s at the Leveson inquiry into media eithics, their influence in Westminster has been under scrutiny. Part of the reason why this has gathered such momentum is due to a failed bid to take over BskyB, (British Sky Broadcasting) a satellite television provider. News International is massive, like really big – they own Fox in America, FoxTel in Australia and the biggest selling newpapers in the UK, they currently have 39% Non-majority, controlling stake in BskyB and last year, they wanted to purchase the outstanding 61%. Rupert Murdoch is the 13th most powerful man in the world today.
During the process of the purchase of the outstanding 61% of BskyB, OFCOM (the office of communications) were looking at the legal side of things; basically the problem is the monopoly or controlling influence that the Murdoch empire would have should they come to own Sky TV – But who cares? and why should I care? I hear some of you ask –
The media is powerful, very powerful – the truth is that more people vote in The X Factor final, than they do in the General election; How crazy is that?! As a society, we’re more interested in Jedward prancing around a stage dressing in red lycra attempting to sing ‘Oops I did it again’ than making a decision about a group of gentlemen (and a few women) who will essentially make decisions about how much income tax will be taken from our salary, how the people who care of us when we get sick will be administered and how our criminals will be punished. They pass laws and legislate and you best believe that each and every one of them has an agenda, and that agenda is to keep their job for as long as they possibly can.
So what have politicians got to do with a purchase of a television broadcaster?
Well, the media is essentially how we get our information, it’s impossible for a journalist to be impartial, the BBC does do a good job, but does fail from time to time, and when a corporation with political ideals decides, I’m going to back this guy or that girl, then basically, you can guarantee that it’ll influence the vote, through the barrage of information it’ll throw at is.
They have even, stupidly, I should add, taken responsibility for winning elections.
So who is Jeremy Hunt?
Jeremy Hunt is a conservative MP who is the culture secretary, apparently he was a high flyer and could one day be Prime Minister, that’s what I read – personally, I don’t quite see it.
Anyway, Jeremy was given the job of looking over Murdoch’s bid to purchase the rest of BskyB after Vince Cable, the business secretary was dismissed after being caught admitting to ‘waging war on the Murdoch’s’, this statement massively showed that Cable’s job of him being impartial though out the bid process was flawed, because politics and business and the media should be separate. So now it’s become clear through 186 pages of emails, which have been submitted to the Leveson Inquiry, that Hunt wasn’t impartial at all, in fact it looks like he was breaking guidelines and giving News International guidance favouring the sale – and why wouldn’t he? with Murdoch throwing his newspapers behind the political party it would seem in the best interests of the Tory’s to give him what we wanted. Thoughout the whole process, and for years Prime Ministers have been licking Murdochs arse, even yesterday it was said by Murdoch himself that when his newspaper threw it’s support behind David Cameron in the last General election, that Gordon Brown, the then PM, actually phoned Murdoch and said “You’ve waged war on my Government, and we have no choice but to wage war on you” – it’s worth noting that this was denied by Brown several hours later.
Anyway, so as it stands, Jeremy Hunt has refused to resign, he says that he has acted impartially and that people are jumping on the political bandwagon, however, and his is true, the emails were between Hunt’s and James Murdoch’s advisors – of which Hunt’s advisor has resigned over – Political cannon fodder? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
But this much, I know to be true.
Frederic Michel of News Corp emailed James Murdoch on 10/01/2011, saying that in a conversation with him Jeremy Hunt had “made again a plea to try to find as many legal errors as we can in the Ofcom report”.
The email suggests that just weeks after he took on a quasi-judicial role to decide on the BSkyB takeover bid, Hunt was advising News Corp on how to succeed in its bid.
I personally think that Hunt should resign and soon – The entire process seems seeped in corruption and whether the failed bid – it was withdrawn in light of the phone hacking scandal, has a connection to the many headlines disparaging the conservatives, I’m not going to speculate on now – suffice to say that it is dangerous when politics and the media become bedfellows, simply because of the control they have.
We should never underestimate how apathetic our society has become. We’re in a double dip recession, but we’re still (in the majority) more interested in who is going to win The X Factor that who is going to lead us out of our economic mess.
Note – If you’re wondering about references to the Phone Hacking Scandal. I’ll be writing about this separately.