Our values do not inform our opposition….

Vince Cable’s position within the government seems to be in considerable doubt as I am writing this. It comes following revelations that he told the two bogus constituents who were really Daily Telegraph reporters that he has ‘declared war on Rupert Murdoch’. Cable is right in this instance. It’s high time government had the courage to stand up to Murdoch and his empire. It treats the democratic wishes of the country as its plaything; to be manipulated at will in its own self-interest.

So, what did Labour say in response? It called for Cable to be moved from his post and involvement from the B Sky B takeover rather than stand up for its values it stood up for Murdoch. This has been symptomatic of our approach throughout the tenure of this leadership and it has failed in its central pledge to return values to the defining position within Labour.

Our values are against the monopoly of media by one interest. They are democratic values and those values would demand exactly what Cable is saying he will do (but arguably isn’t doing that well); going to war with Rupert Murdoch to break his monopoly. Anti-monopolistic legislation aimed at breaking the Murdoch empire apart should be the priority of a Labour government. However, it obviously is not the priority of this leadership that is so scared of the media it actually puts the spin of the Blair days to shame.  No wonder, in his remarks, John Denham cant bring himself to endorse the sentiment of Cable’s remarks which is correct. Instead he acts as the pawn of News Corp by calling for Cable’s removal.

Who owns this Party? Do we, the membership own it or is it controlled by a group subservient to the anti-democratic interests of large corporations and rich individuals? This is a question we should all be asking ourselves tonight and to me the true answers are more than a little disturbing.


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4 responses to “Our values do not inform our opposition….”

  1. de g. says :

    I have to disagree. When a minister takes decisions like this, it has to be beyond reproach – which is exactly why Cable has to go.

    Yes, we have a common objection to the dominance of the media by Murdoch and News International, but Cable making the decision risks it being seen (and reported) as a decision taken for the wrong reasons, rather than because plurality of the media is inherently in the public interest. Whether Cable is right or not to have taken that approach (and I think the intention was right), Denham is right – Cable is tainted and must be removed from the decision making process. It was horrendously unprofessional and he deserves to be criticised for jeopardising the credibility of such an important decision.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Ministers shouldn’t have to take decisions like this. Its simple. Monopolies like Murdoch’s are anti democratic and should be broken up and stopped from growing further. Job done.

    We do no favours to anybody by maintain the façade this process can be impartial in any way; a fantasy cruelly exposed by the recipient of this decision which Denham, to his credit has challenged.


  3. de g. says :

    Ideally, such a decision should not have to be taken in the first place. But we are where we are – and such decisions can only have to be taken fairly and in the public (rather than party political) interest. The problem caused by Cable was that he spoke about taking the decision for party political reasons, something which would have tainted any decision he had subsequently made and put in jeopardy the opportunity for ministers, rather than the courts, to take such decisions in future.

    On a wider point, it clearly goes without saying that there should be much less opportunity for media control to be concentrated in such a way, with controls on the partiality about broadcast news maintained. I’d like to see a review of foreign ownership of the press (particularly with regards to editorial influence) and major broadcasters.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    There I agree with you. I think however, a war on Murdoch is in the public interest so I don’t see Cable as being at fault there. He specifically said he didn’t want to politicise it and we well know that no Conservative can take this decision impartially for party political reasons. The problem is this decision cannot be taken separately from political ones and to pretend otherwise is wrong in my eyes.

    I agree though I think we need to focus the legislation of all forms of monopoly control not just those exercised by foreign owners.


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