Goodbye, News of the Screws. It came as a bit of a shock to hear that Murdoch has closed the News of the World, but typical of our times that I first heard of it on Twitter. The twitterati and today’s print press are all predicting the launch of the Sun on Sunday, and now that News International doesn’t own the “Screws”, it hopes it’s free to be able to buy the outstanding public shareholding of BSkyB.
Plus ca change, plus la meme chose!
It seems that firing 200 people is a small price to pay to get hold of BSkyB.
The Government, at the time of writing, are stating that they are constrained by law from taking into account if News Corporation are ‘fit and proper’ to own the UK’s largest private broadcaster. But just because the News of the World has gone, doesn’t mean that the investigation into these crimes should or will stop. News International management and management systems permitted these acts to occur and couldn’t allegedly discover them when originally asked by the police and courts. Is this a fit and proper organisation to own BSkyB? The least the Government should do on the BSkyB takeover is delay the decision and ask Ofcom to investigate if News International is a fit and proper organisation to own BSkyB.
Furthermore, the wrong doers need to be brought to court, and if guilty punished. Part of the wrong doing is, like after the Watergate burglary, the cover up. There are allegations that police officers were paid corruptly by News International, and questions as to the direction of the Met’s early investigations.
The tsunami of public outrage is caused by the allegation that agents of News International illegally hacked a murder victim’s phone, deleted messages and hacked the phones of war heroes, their families and the families of victims of the 7/7 Al-Queda attacks in London. If they’d stuck to royalty, politicians and celebrities, then Boris Johnson’s comments that this was a storm in a teacup stirred up by the left wing media & the Labour Party, an issue he dismissed as “Codswallop” might have held, but this is not the case. In fact, News International’s paying off of the first twelve celebrities, authorised by their European chairman, James Murdoch, might have been, and now seems more clearly to be a cynical attempt to close off judicial enquiry.
So we need to ask, “What did James Murdoch know about the hacking of Milly Dowler’s, the 7/7 victim’s and the War Heroes’ and their families phones?”, when he paid off Sienna Miller and some of the other famous victims. Was it a genuine attempt to apologise to the wronged or a cover-up?
The investigating police force in this sordid affair is London’s Metropolitan Police, which has not exactly uncovered themselves in glory. The Metropolitan Police is led by an appointed Commissioner and supervised by the Metropolitan Police Authority, whose members are appointed by Boris Johnson, the tory Mayor of London. Read more …