The enemy of the free press…..
Rupert Murdoch will tell you that he is just an honest businessman trying to make his way; a successful one he will add, who has in the lickspittle words of Kelvin MacKenzie been an “enormous force for good”. He would tell you this but he would do so with an enforced lisp stemming from the forked nature of his tounge. Nothing could be further from the truth, though it is true to say Murdoch’s News International is not the only media monopoly (Trinity Mirror spring to mind), it is also true to say that when it comes to a free and democratic press, Mr Murdoch is public enemy number 1.
He has no desire to ever see a free press in this or any country he has his tentacles wrapped around. In fact, even a cursory viewing of the deliberations of the Leveson Inquiry exposes how at every turn his cronies seek to subvert the democratic process and even the rule of law for their own ends. Today, you could not help but notice the glaring irony of The Sun leading with a benefit fraud story while other newspapers led with the web of corruption and lies spun in the dark heart of the Sun‘s Wapping fastness. Maybe the smog that rises from Wapping is actually a physical manifestation of the toxic hypocrisy that rolls daily off its printing presses.
‘One man, one newspaper’ should become Labour policy and we should absolutely commit to breaking-up News International‘s monopoly of the British media. Of course, other monopolies will have to be broken-up too in a general bonfire of all media monopolies. If Ed Miliband is serious about challenging vested interests then here is a huge one that needs challenging and defeating. My fear however, is now that momentum has gone out of the hacking story the dissipation of its importance in the popular public consciousness will be used to ensure any changes made are entirely cosmetic and nowhere near as far-reaching as they need to be.
A campaign for a free press is needed to take the place of the boycottist ones that were so effective against the News of the World. This is urgently needed to counter the grand lie that Murdoch always brings out in a crisis – that he, and his ownership of so many titles, is the expression of a ‘free press’. The outcry over hacking created a unprecendented scale of public revolt against the Murdocracy that has taken hold of our media and politics – let’s not fritter that away and let’s make sure we free our press from the deathly embrace of this viper and his rotten company.