Like A Circle in A Circle, Like A Wheel Within A Wheel

by craig on July 9, 2011 10:13 am in Uncategorized

Hat-tip to Mary for pointing me in the right direction.

For those of us who experienced a surge of naive hope that News International have been referred to Ofcom for a ruling on the “Fit and Proper Persons” test, here is a bucket of cold water. Rather than being disinterested public servants, the Board of Ofcom represent the political and financial establishments which are so irreversibly penetrated by the spores of News International. Many of them hold directorships of companies – like banks and insurance companies – which have a direct interest in seeing no further plunge in News Corp/News International share price. They are also beneficiaries of the policies Murdoch has championed – private equity firms and privatised utilities, for example.

Bluntly, there is no chance that a body of which the Chairman, Colette Bowe, is a Director of Morgan Stanley and of Electra Private Equity is going to pull the rug on News Corp.

Here is but a selection of some of the Directorships held by Ofcom board members:

Morgan Stanley
Electra Private Equity
Thames Water
Betfair Group
JJB Sports
Pace Plc – supplier of set top boxes to Murdoch’s Sky
Nujira Ltd – defence contractors to US military
Standard Life

That is just a selection. In addition, the Chairman is a director of the Wincott Foundation, a “charity” whose purpose is to spread the far right economic doctrines of Milton Friedman in Eastern Europe – to the benefit, ultimate if incidental, of Morgan Stanley and Electra Private Equity, in which she also holds directorships.

She is most unlikely to find the Murdoch influence pernicious, wouldn’t you say?

How on earth did we come to have a regulatory body for the communications industry composed of these kind of parasites? Why is it so overpacked with businessmen and so devoid of intellectuals? Again, to put that simply, why the Chairman of JJB Sports and no Eric Hobsbawm?

Our entire fabric of government is a sick fucking joke.

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  1. Off Topic…I will be in London next weekend and am thinking about popping down to stay with you on Sat and a spare room ? Promise to arrive with a decent vino and some steaks for a BBQ.

  2. Frazer

    Got six spare bedrooms!!

  3. From the Ofcom website-

    * Mike McTighe (Appointed 1 September 2007) is the Non-executive Director of Pace plc which, among its other activities, supplies set top boxes to Ofcom-regulated companies.

    In line with the Board’s Conflicts of Interests policy, Mike McTighe will not see papers on or take part in Board discussions in relation to those companies or any other matter which could reasonably be expected to affect the share price of Pace plc.

  4. I’d be happy for this whole affair to be investigated by a jury backed up by a couple of qcs, some seconded detectives and with george galloway or similar persona non grata in the chair. With a similar set up for the pcc anytime an issue arises they could just select a jury from any jury pool to decide the issue, and consequences. Cheap and cheerful.

  5. Phil,

    Yes, but what is he doing on the board in thefirst place with such a staggering conflict of interests?

  6. Call you next Friday..

  7. Thats a shocker – must take a closer look at the all the senior regulatory bodies.

  8. Indeed Craig, it looks very off.

    I would say though if they did just wave this deal through, the public and media outcry would be so great as to makwe their positions completely untenable anyway and the organisation dead in the water. it would be like turkeys voting for Xmas

  9. As you said, Craig, government has increasingly shuffled off its responsibilities onto a horde of anonymous, secretive quangos – and many of those are penetrated and even led by members of the industries they are supposed to be regulating.

    This is very close to the textbook dictionary of fascism: an all-powerful state closely cooperating with huge powerful corporations. The difference is that, whereas Mussolini and Hitler trumpeted their fascism and marched through the streets flying flags and banging drums, modern fascism has learned to be silent, disguise itself meticulously, and be shocked – shocked! – at any mention of its true name.

  10. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 11:38 am

    Largely forgotten factor in toxically cosy relations between Murdoch satraps & Tory twosome:

    NB: Craig et al:
    Don’t wish to seem like a crank, but this is my fourth attempt across 24 hours to post here the above (nothing special about them) links. Had similar mysterious experience, if you recall, in immediate run-up to the disgraceful self-promotional New Statesman ‘Whistleblower’ Fest at Kensington Town a few months back, from which you were suddenly disinvited ~ still unexplained & in which, some suggested at the time, the long arm of the FCO may have been involved. Anyway, as I say, fourth time of trying.
    [Moderator’s note: more than one link in a comment always leads to it being held for moderation. To post more than one link, remove the h t t p : / / , or I think enclosing the links in curly brackets works, too.]

  11. “which have a direct interest in seeing no further plunge in News Corp/News International share price.”

    Although I wouldn’t put a spot of short selling past these arseholes.

  12. Lets all the face the terrible truth about not just this, but about EVERY facet of the power that rules us all, it is a cancer on the body of our very being. We can blog till the end of time about it, it won`t stop it. There must and has to be an alternative, if there is not then one must be found, or the cancer will turn out to be…Terminal.

  13. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 11:56 am


  14. Trance Devil

    9 Jul, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Time to stir up situation a bit more. Isn’t blackmailing the politician the same as terrorism. A great method for an organization such as al-Qaeda, then they get sharia law in place. Clearly a more effective form of terrorism than IRA. That the situation I see News International in. Hugh Grant on Question Time such all the politician are terrified of Murdock empire.

  15. Q. How long till the Public Inquiry starts?

    A. The time it takes for NotW to get rid of the evidence.

    I am not surprised by many of these revelations or the way the government has handled it, lacking lustre.

    I am interested to what extent the police can accept bribes and still get away with it!

    But still, it is all quite sickening how the system is a rotten, politicians entertaining media moguls, vice versa.

    And another thing, appointing Rebbeca Brooks to head an investigation into phone hacking, at the newspaper, she was editor (and ultimately responsible for) of at the time of the alledged offences!

    Have you ever tried to bite your own teeth?
    Social media and the internet have given us the ability to quickly spread ideas and messages, we can react and collectively ‘speak with our feet’ or “fingertips” for instance a quick search on google brought me to a page where I could automatically send twitter messages to companies that advertise with NotW, in a few mintes I was able to send them all messages to ask them to think twice.

  16. I cannot see how the investigation or anyone can claim that they “have got rid of evidence”. As far as I was aware ISP (internet Service Providers), are obliged to keep copies of emails and texts for years. Yes it might be a bit difficult to sift through billions of deleted emails, but there are surely methods to filter all the emails from NoW.. I cannot believe the technology is not capable, it is whether the investigators are willing! and that is the million dollar question.

  17. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 1:12 pm

    Hugh Grant, in his admirable Question Time pugilistic stance, did in fact characterize Murdoch’s UK ~ one hesitates to say British ~ tabloid operation as ‘a protection racket.’ Other pundits, I note, have referred to his sustained & repeated use of ‘blackmail’ to bend Government Ministers to his will.
    Most brazenly spectacular instance, perhaps, concerns bag-carrier Rebekah ‘Gorgon’ Brooks’ refusal to appear before a Commons Select Committee. She reportedly conveyed to them the intelligence that, should they persist in their attempts, their personal lives would be ‘destroyed.’
    Would David Cameron & old school chum George conceivably wish, particularly once in office, to suffer a fate similar to that of, say, Chris Bryant MP? Obviously not.
    Rupert Murdoch is, despite his years, both fit & proper. By the exacting standards of Tony Soprano.

  18. @Jonangus – the use of cocaine seems to be all pervasive in the Notting Hill and the Chipping Norton sets.
    Matthew Freud, son of Clement, brother of Emma and married to Elisabeth Murdoch (second marriage for both) is described here as having been familiar with the substance!
    His ex wife Caroline has recently married Princess Diana’s brother btw. There is a meld of links to show business, business, politics, PR, and royalty all connected to Murdoch in some way.
    This rather long rambling piece in the Guardian goes into details about the social life of the ‘players’. There is also much about Blair and Wade/Brooks a deux.
    Again many connections.
    ……..According to those who know Freud and Murdoch, it is their talent for hosting high-powered get-togethers that underpins their bond with Blair. “He parties with Liz and Matthew,” says one source who has observed Blair at close quarters. “When Cherie’s out of town, he often turns up in his jeans, often with Rebekah Wade, to their house in Notting Hill and the house they’ve got in Oxfordshire.” Blair tends to go solo, says this source, for two reasons. “It’s partly that (I think he means Cherie here)she’s a less welcome guest; she’s less liked by that crowd. And it’s partly that when she’s away, he finds himself at a loose end.” For Blair, apparently, part of the attraction of the Freud-Murdoch milieu is simple: “He just loves hanging out with celebs.
    “A Freud-Murdoch soiree held in 2006 provides glorious proof of this, complete with Blair in jeans, and the Wade connection. Back then, Freud was working with the Texan billionaire Philip Anschutz and South African casino magnate Sol Kerzner (who created the infamous apartheid-era resort Sun City). The pair had teamed up to try and win approval for a giant gambling venue at the Millennium Dome. There had already been a flurry of headlines when Freud had apparently used a private dinner to introduce the then culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, to Anschutz, but on September 20 2006, his jockeying on their behalf entered the realms of the absurd.
    That evening, Blair had been having dinner with Wade at Cecconi’s restaurant in Mayfair, owned by the Freud client Nick Jones. Wade apparently convinced Blair to come with her to a house party thrown by Freud to promote another of his clients: the Red credit card, launched by U2 singer Bono and American Express, and aimed at raising money to fight disease in Africa. With a year to go until he left office, Blair was – to quote one insider – “at the stage of ‘Why not?'”, and the pair duly arrived at Freud and Murdoch’s west London home. “You go first and I’ll follow,” he told Wade, whereupon the pair entered a throng that included Bono, 50 Cent, Claudia Schiffer, Alicia Keys – and Kerzner. The story was, said one PR industry high-up, “classic Freud”. “In one hit he publicises the restaurant and shows Kerzner rubbing shoulders with the prime minister. Blair was used.” ………

    A good dose of Harpic is needed or else call for Dyno-Rod.

  19. What a meanie. Or perhaps Cherie wouldn’t allow it but he never invited Rebekah to dinner at Chequers. I see Les Hinton there, now running Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, James and Elisabeth Murdoch and partners, Emma Freud and Richard Curtis and all the other hangers on, but no sign of Rebekah. Bliar did love the celebs didn’t he?

  20. deepgreenpuddock

    9 Jul, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    Out of curiosity-how are the members of Ofcom and other boards selected? I assume some kind of political appointment-by the Home secretary? PM?

    Well, whatever method exists it is assuredly to be politically motivated. It can only mean that the people were chosen by the Labour government-people like David Blunkett or Tony Blair or Gordon Brown-assuming there has been no major overhaul since the arrival of Cameron.

    I actually remember Gordon Brown from his Constituency Labour Party days- even pre-university, and what he used to say and presumably think and believe-(my cousin was a contemporary, and was actually a better scholar than Brown)

    Blunkett’s labour party past in Sheffield has the same qualities- of outspoken radicalism, speaking out about the iniquities of power, seeking a change.

    Now I am not naive enough to think that one maintains youthful zeal and energy indefinitely, or that compromise, adjustment and accommodation of opposing views are a necessary part of any political career, as well as many other careers.
    But there is not a single politician of any value who does not realise how critical communication, and the technology of communication, are to politics. it is the very essence of politics.

    Realpolitik may dictate that one has to accommodate different perspectives or competing interests, when confronted by the business of setting up some kind of industry regulating body.

    However my intuition on such a matter suggests to me that one might want to achieve some kind of balance of interests-partly to provoke powerful debate of difficult issues, in order to tease out the intricacies and meanings and consequences of any course of action. The casting vote or chair’s role is (intuitively) best located in some figure who has no particular connections or interests. One might choose an intellectual-perhaps an academic of some standing accustomed to the weighing of arguments.

    Strangely,there is no appearance here of any attempt to develop such a balance or neutrality and since we must assume that people like Blunkett and Brown and Blair were responsible for overseeing such appointments, it seems as if there has been the most extraordinary volte-face of what they have repeatedly professed a belief in-plurality,democratic principles, and balanced open debate, and a distaste for cronyism, and power/influence hungry cliques and hidden influence.

    I was moderated off the Guardian for a comment about the NI scandal, for asking the question-Just what is it that someone like David Blunkett needs to discuss with Rebekah Brooks late at night, immediately after important parliamentary or government ‘events’?
    I suggested( alleged) that it was very possible to infer quite reasonably, that Blunkett may well have been party to the culture of hacking, and had actual knowledge of it. One can even imagine that he might participate in the activity-the ‘game’ of manipulating public opinion and obscuring important information.

    I notice that Marina Hyde has come in with an article saying more or less the same thing, that the real issue is collusion between politicians and Murdoch- (the MET plods taking money is cheap and squalid and ‘important’, but not the central issue.

    In other words there is such a compelling sense of an entrenched, deeply improper, unaccountable, unreported, secret connections to the media.

    We have to then ask questions such as why senior politicians appear to have ‘neglected’ their duties in trying to achieve balance and plurality in such important functions of state as regulating communication.

    What would very close attention to the reasons for certain appointments reveal?

    Basically there is a very strong case that the connections between politicians and the media have been actually corrupt in some way-(not just corrupt in a vague sense of institutionally corrupt, or there being an undetectable drift of standards in the absence of guidance).

    Politicians are really not naive. They understand perfectly the importance of these relationships and entering and promoting such relationships cannot be ‘naive’.

    We really are facing a serious challenge to start some process of change which will correct this endemic corruption. It would mean that people like Brown and Blair and Blunkett would be called to account for specific decisions and actions such as why they permitted such unbalanced structures in important quangos.
    I think the devil in these three B’s is probably deep down in the detail.
    That doesn’t mean it can’t still be dug up.

  21. “Time to stir up situation a bit more. Isn’t blackmailing the politician the same as terrorism. A great method for an organization such as al-Qaeda, then they get sharia law in place. Clearly a more effective form of terrorism than IRA. That the situation I see News International in. Hugh Grant on Question Time such all the politician are terrified of Murdock empire.”
    Trance Devil, More to the point, what kind of people are we electing to power who do things that can leave them open to “blackmailing”. From what we see it must mean that most of our politicians are rotten to the core, taken Murdoch out of the picture will not solve the problem, not even dent it!.

  22. “Like A Circle in A Circle, Like A Wheel Within A Wheel”
    “Never ending or beginning, on an ever-spinning reel”…The gravy train never runs out of track for those who wield power.

  23. Everybody seems to be away today or perhaps they are feeling disillusioned knowing full well what is going on at Wapping this weekend.

    My post (just below Jonangus Mackay’s second post) is about the dinners à deux of Blair and Wade when he was in power and about Matthew Freud’s influence on Blair is awaiting moderation.

  24. Some retaliation from NI.
    Tom Baldwin was a journalist with The Times. He named Dr Kelly and is a friend of Campbell.
    ‘Baldwin was the Times journalist who named the weapons expert as the secret source behind the BBC’s claim that the Blair government had ‘sexed up’ a dossier about Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to justify going to war against Saddam Hussein.’

  25. In attempting to find out how the board of Ofcom is ‘selected’, I see that Craig’s friend from the British Library has just been put on.

  26. Ostensibly Brown and Burnham shooed in Bowe but most probably it was Mandelslime.
    She was chosen following a recruitment process handled by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
    “I am delighted to announce that Colette Bowe is our choice for chairman of Ofcom,” said the culture secretary, Andy Burnham. “Colette has the right mix of skills and experience for this role and I’m confident she also has the vision necessary to take Ofcom forward and tackle its future challenges.”
    The business secretary, Peter Mandelson, added: “The communications industries have huge significance for our economy during these challenging times, and Colette’s knowledge and experience across business, regulation and Whitehall will be invaluable at Ofcom in helping deliver greater choice and innovation across the sector.”

  27. Andy Hayman in the Times April 2010. He works for NI.
    In this technological age criminals use state-of-the-art methods to commit and conceal crimes. Most investigations combine conventional methods to gather evidence from witnesses alongside contemporary specialisms. These new skills involve scrutinising and analysing pages of telephone call data, terabytes of computer hard drives and days of closed-circuit television images to identify criminal associations, to detect suspicious spending patterns or decode complex financial statements.
    Well I never.

    Ge works f

  28. Craig

    It’d be good to think you’re wrong, but of course you’re right.
    The only thing going for us in this case is that Ofcom members are probably aware that the lamp post rope beckons if they give the BSkyB deal the go-ahead.
    Also remember that the BSkyB big cheeses themselves almost certainly see Murdoch now as too toxic to taken on board. Plus, his share price is falling, and theirs is rising.
    There is a Christian part of me feeling sympathy for Rupe. But it is hidden so deeply in the inner recesses of my low-technology brain parts, I can’t find it.

  29. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 5:53 pm

    Mogul Murdoch’s nemesis ~ though I’m sure he wouldn’t think of himself as such ~ is finally starting to get proper credit. Without efforts for years by apparently fearless reporter Nick Davies, none of this would be happening: Coulson would still be in post & Murdoch himself would still be operating his Westminster/Whitehall/Scotland Yard protection racket with utter impunity.

    BBC Radio 4 runs a profile of the author of ‘Flat Earth News’ at 7:pm this evening (Saturday).

    Davies was given a year off from the Guardian, where he’s technically a freelance, to write the volume that blows the whistle on Britain’s Press ~ on the understanding that the paper would in exchange get the serial rights.

    In the event, Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian’s editor, reneged on the deal. Why? Chapter 7: The Dark Arts, on phone hacking, police bribes etc. And, in particular, Chapter 9: The Blinded Observer, exposing the Guardian’s stable-mate. Lord Gnome, as a consequence, had to pick up the baton. No other paper would dare. The only time in its history I can recall Private Eye buying serial rights to a book. It ran a double-page spread of excerpts.

    Tory political commentator Peter Oborne said of the volume when it appeared: ‘Nick Davies has amassed an overwhelming weight of evidence that the British media lies, distorts the facts & routinely breaks the law. It is hypnotically readable, commands attention right to the end & has troubled me profoundly ever since . . . His book should be read by every reporter, editor & proprietor as well as newspaper readers. Its real importance goes well beyond journalism.’

    Note Oborne’s final sentence. BBC Newsnight economics correspondent Paul Mason on Thursday morning tweeted towards the end of Cameron’s self-delusory press conference on the crisis ~ sparked in truth by Davies’s efforts: ‘Cameron’s closing bit signals systematic crisis of the Brit establishment: cops, press, executive power ~ like a nightmare scripted by Chomsky.’

    In the penultimate paragraph of his chapter on wholesale deployment of private private detectives by Britain’s national tabloids, interception of phone messages & bribing of police, Davies writes:

    ‘The truth is that what was once the occasional indulgence of a few shifty crime correspondents has become the regular habit of most news organisations. The hypocrisy is wonderful to behold. These organisations exist to tell the truth and yet routinely they lie about themselves. Many of these organisations have been the loudest voices in the law-and-order lobby, calling for tougher penalties against villains, tougher action against anti-social behaviour, even while they themselves indulge in bribery, corruption & the theft of confidential information.’

    The News of the World is (was) known to be merely fifth, in fact, in Fleet Street’s Premier League of big spenders on the Dark Arts. Topping the table is the Daily Mail. This may surprise newspaper readers, but it’s no surprise to anyone working in Britain’s national news organisations.

    Would-be Hackgate buffs who’ve not done so already might do worse than bookmark Davies’s online archive. I suspect they may find it increasingly handy for reference purposes as Ukania’s institutional mudslide widens.

    Very short notice, I know: should you miss tonight’s broadcast, you can hear it for the next seven days via the BBC iPlayer.

    PS: Davies’s Dark Arts chapter includes specific mention of Tom Baldwin, the former Murdoch reporter chosen by hapless Opposition leader Ed Milliband, dirty tricks or no, to be his chief spin doctor.

  30. Azra said :
    [quote]I cannot see how the investigation or anyone can claim that they “have got rid of evidence”. As far as I was aware ISP (internet Service Providers), are obliged to keep copies of emails and texts for years. Yes it might be a bit difficult to sift through billions of deleted emails, but there are surely methods to filter all the emails from NoW.. I cannot believe the technology is not capable, it is whether the investigators are willing! and that is the million dollar question.[/quote]

    ISPs are only obliged to keep copies of emails originating/destined to their own mail servers. A company like NI will be operating their own mail servers. Any mail from one NI employee to another would travel entirely in house and never reach their ISP.

    ISPs do not keep copies of emails which are merely transiting their network. The technology exists, they could do it, but it would be expensive and since most email is spam anyway it would be pointless. Having said that the Echelon network operated by the CIA does intercept emails from all over the world but it would be ridiculous to suggest that even Echelon is capable of archiving every email sent.

  31. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen…

  32. Derek, Thanks for the information.
    Now regarding Ofcom, I am as sceptical as anyone else, but there is a glimmer of hope. Ofcom and Murdoch locked horns only couple of years ago (if my memory serves me right), over some rights of showing football or something like that. I remember Murdoch’s paper and their poisons against Ofcom, and subsequent Cameron’s attack on Quangos..and Ofcom being singled out to be axed.

    In one of the threads someone said that ” somebody must have wanted RM out”, maybe it was Ofcom! after all they have few powerful people on the board there and we all have heard the expression “dog eat dog”

  33. Jonangus Mackay, thanks, but damn, I missed it, and guess what? It’s not on BBC iPlayer! However, you can read some of Flat Earth News here:

  34. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 8:28 pm

    Usually a delay in recordings going up on iPlayer. Should certainly be there by tomorrow.

  35. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    Carl Bernstein. writing in Newsweek, articulates the reasonably obvious:
    ‘News of the World was always Murdoch’s “baby” . . . As anyone in the business will tell you, the standards and culture of a journalistic institution are set from the top down, by its owner, publisher, and top editors. Reporters and editors do not routinely break the law, bribe policemen, wiretap, and generally conduct themselves like thugs unless it is a matter of recognized and understood policy. Private detectives and phone hackers do not become the primary sources of a newspaper’s information without the tacit knowledge and approval of the people at the top, all the more so in the case of newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, according to those who know him best.’
    Were this a narcotics ring, it would not be a matter of controversy; there would be no hesitation. As soon as the Boss, as his underlings call him, sets foot on British tarmac, as he’s expected to any time now, he would be stopped by police. He would be arrested on suspicion of conspiracy. Particularly given the scale & nature of the crimes involved, including prima facie evidence of wholesale destruction of evidence, I have a question:
    Why not?
    Stupid question. Time, might I suggest, for a mob-handed citizens’ arrest.

  36. Azra, whatever is going to happen has already been decided!. All that is going on and is going to go on is just to make it look all fair and above board for the “gullibility of the British mass public”. It has always been that way.

  37. Jonangus Mackay, thanks, it is on iPlayer now.

  38. Some retaliation from NI.
    Tom Baldwin was a journalist with The Times. He named Dr Kelly and is a friend of Campbell.
    ‘Baldwin was the Times journalist who named the weapons expert as the secret source behind the BBC’s claim that the Blair government had ‘sexed up’ a dossier about Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to justify going to war against Saddam Hussein.’

  39. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 10:12 pm

    Nick Davies on ‘criminal conspiracy’ in Fleet Street, Frontline Club, 2009:

  40. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 10:17 pm

    Davies on ‘Churnalism,’ Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School, 2009:

  41. Jonangus Mackay

    9 Jul, 2011 - 10:19 pm

    Davies on Bradley Manning:

  42. It’s not just News International/Murdoch plc which is imploding and crumbling before our eyes. It’s UK plc. Look at the dirty footprints and grubby fingerprints all around this cesspit. The Murdoch operation, the police, the PCC, both major political parties,the Press Association, the phone companies(?) and who knows who else. This is a deep-rooted cancer in the UK bone marrow and Alex Salmond will be rubbing his hands. Good luck to him and the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists in extricating themselves out of the UK establishment miasma.

  43. “Our entire fabric of government is a sick fucking joke.” Craig Murray July 9th 2011
    An analysis by Annie Machon Children of Iraq supporter:
    Well worth a look if you have time (about 40 minutes)

  44. “Investors have already been dumping BSkyB shares (of which Murdoch controls 40 per cent), as any hopes of a full bid for the broadcaster from NewsCorp have been dashed. It now looks inconceivable that the Government will permit a Murdoch bid for the broadcaster, which means that almost a year of delicate negotiations have all been for naught.

    “With each new allegation of hacking and bribery of police officers, it’s looking less likely that even Murdoch’s son, James, who runs News International which owns the NOTW, can survive. Another investor added: “The greatest fear for the group now is that US investors will start selling because of the uncertainty that this scandal spreads to the US and that legal action will be taken against top Murdoch management – even James …”

    Lots more here

  45. The Battle of Wapping, Mk II
    “David Cameron was given a personal guarantee by Rupert Murdoch that Andy Coulson was safe to take on as his Downing Street press chief, The Independent on Sunday learnt yesterday, as the fallout from the News of the World phone-hacking scandal threatened to escalate into all-out war between the UK’s two most powerful men …”
    And again, lots more here

  46. Hah!
    More of your circles and wheels, Craig:
    James Murdoch “now sits on the boards of drugs giant GSK and Sotheby’s”.

  47. Methuselah Now

    10 Jul, 2011 - 2:11 am


    Anyone remember Enron, Tyco, Worldcom? These companies, as always, had an internal anything-goes-to-“win” corporate ethos emanating from their buccaneering founders, News Corp. has been no different, as with those other example of ethical bankruptcy, wiser people warned for many years, but were ignored, dismissed and slandered, while corrupt had access to political power.

    Will we learn and dismantle the colossal machinery of Rupert Murdoch, all will the same continue, a single opportunity wasted?

    While he has the momentum, Ed Milliband and all other MP’s should pursue an emergency bill – so beloved of some ministers pandering to News Corp’s journalism – that introduces residency requirements on media owners of a certain size.

    Also, advertisers should be made to realise that it’s not one newspaper, or one division, but the heart and soul of anything related to NewsCorp. and the Murdoch.

    People should remember that while the Murdoch’s might have been the most ambitious and connected ( however achieved it ), but so were the likes of Leo Kirch and Conrad Black, and how quickly did the rats that were abandon the sinking ship, and their boards sack and sue their former founders and chairmen?

    Kind regards,


  48. Holocaust ignoring, censorship & Murdoch media
    Posted by Dr Gideon Polya on July 10, 2011, 1:55 am
    On Friday 8 July 2011 The Age (arguably Australia’s most progressive Mainstream newspaper) published an article about the Rupert Murdoch media Empire hacking and bribery scandal by Tim Dick, media editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, and entitled “Wrong red-top goes”.
    The Age partly censored my comment on the article thereby evidently indicating what it does not want its readers to read (link here)
    The part The Age did not want its readers to read was in the second last sentence and read: “(2) hold the News Corporation CEO Murdoch legally responsible for everything from criminal phone hacking and bribing of policemen to genocide ignoring”:
    My complete comment read as follows:
    “Outstanding expatriate Australian journalist John Pilger has described the UK, US and Australia as Murdochracies in which Big Media falsely determine public perception and how people will vote.
    Clearly the Murdoch management including Murdoch should be investigated, arraigned, tried and punished over the phone hacking and police bribery scandals but these sleazy scandals are the least of the crimes of the Murdoch media empire.
    The most monstrous and unforgivable crime of the pro-war Murdoch media (including 70% of Australian city daily newspapers) has been to resolutely ignore the carnage of the ongoing Iraqi Genocide (1990-2011) and Afghan Genocide (2001-2011) involving violent deaths totaling 1.7 million and 1.2 million, respectively, avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation totaling 2.9 million and 3.8 million, respectively, under-5 infant deaths totaling 2.0 million and 2,7 million, respectively, and refugees totaling 5-6 million and 3-4 million, respectively (Google Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide).

  49. Obviously in retaliation, The Sun have carried a smear against Tom Baldwin, Miliband’s spin doctor, reportedly issued by Ashcroft the Tory donor and tax exile, saying that he is a cocaine addict.
    Tom Baldwin was a journalist with The Times. He named Dr Kelly and is a friend of Campbell.
    ‘Baldwin was the Times journalist who named the weapons expert as the secret source behind the BBC’s claim that the Blair government had ‘sexed up’ a dossier about Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to justify going to war against Saddam Hussein.’

  50. Jonangus Mackay

    10 Jul, 2011 - 7:31 am

    The real front page:

  51. Good on you, Mary – I think that all of your messages got through, though, in spite of the deletion. In some ways, the deletion was of a sentence that elegantly codified what you’ve said elsewhere just as eloquently but in detail in the letter. So, although your neat coda/riposte relating to the original article’s title has been lost, the stats, etc. are in; your point comes across very clearly; except for the word, ‘genocide’ your points actually are all still in there; so count that one as a success!

  52. Quangos the PCC, police and media are riddled with graduates from ‘common purpose’ no debate on these issues is complete where consideration of ‘common purpose’ is absent.

  53. Probably sound holier than thou but I am pleased to say that I never bought or read a copy of the NotW. Last issue below. Enough said. Also that I have never given a penny to the Murdoch empire and never will.

  54. Thank-you Mary – another true angel in an ocean of love.

  55. Mary, same here,Never bought it, never picked it up to have a look at even when it was left around at work or on the train.. and never bought any of his other papers or subscribe to SKY. Although I must say every now and again I have read some of the articles from Times online.

  56. “Thank-you Mary – another true angel in an ocean of love.” Mark Golding. Steady on, man! Is this not Mariolatry (!)

  57. My other angel Suhayl –

  58. murdochs in town presumably to tell the govt how he is to acquire bskyb .

    the real questions must be about t blairs role in the original investigation , the role of senior met police and the interactions that took place with NI.

    today its been said by tom watson live on lbc973 that NI threatened to pursue him for the rest of his life if he did follow through on the hacking scandal .. he was also warned off by blairs aides.

    if anyone expects cameron to deny the bskyb deal or for NI / murdoch to be thrown to the wolves .. then your expectations are in lala land at present.

    its all about the neo cons.

  59. “the real questions must be about t blairs role in the original investigation”
    Wendy, there are a lot of pages, but well, WELL, worth a read…

  60. Methuselah Now

    10 Jul, 2011 - 3:49 pm


    I would urge everyone to either read this transcript or find the video online to view, the hints and warnings:

    + Adam Curtis’ review/archive of Murdoch:

    Kind regards,


  61. @Mark
    The only angel hereabouts is the one on top of Guildford Cathedral!
    Said angel saw Surrey Police shoot dead an unarmed man on the steps of the cathedral a few years back. The man who was depressed thought of the cathedral as his sanctuary and regularly sought solace and peace there.
    As is usual in these cases we never get to read of the eventual findings of an inquest with rare exceptions like Ian Tomlinson’s death. Have we ever heard anymore about Gareth Williams for instance? And the nuclear scientist who fell to his death from a staircase in Vienna? {}. Answer No.

  62. Jonangus Mackay

    10 Jul, 2011 - 4:30 pm

    Murdoch: the network defeats the hierarchy:

  63. Mary, your apt (incipiently venerable, though not yet entirely seraphic) post reminded me of my monotonous and very simple question, one which I periodically post hereabouts. Does the UK state, or its outsourced agents, on occasion assassinate non-combatant British civilians, either outwith or within the territorial borders of the UK?

  64. You really make me laugh Suhayl.
    “Does the UK state, or its outsourced agents, on occasion assassinate non-combatant British civilians, either outwith or within the territorial borders of the UK?”….The answer is of course yes. Or else they bang them up for some crime they did not commit.
    Do you know of this organisation in Glasgow set up by Paddy Hill of the Birmingham 6 and John McManus to help with rehabilitation?
    btw Theresa May has still got Sheikh Raed Salah banged up. He did and said nothing.

  65. Thanks, Mary. Yes, I know John McManus and have heard of Mojo. John also used to run a groovy literary and music festival in Glasgow (at which I read) and he much much else good work besides. He’s a good guy. That’s dreadful about Sheikh Salah. And yet, Royalty and our ‘leaders’ do business with, and seem in subordinate position to, real crooks, both at home and abroad. Shouldn’t Rupert Murdoch be banned from entering the UK? And arrested the moment he sets foot here? We all now have convincing evidence that he is a danger to the British public and that he is a flight risk. Arrest Rupert!

  66. “Why is it so overpacked with businessmen and so devoid of intellectuals?”

    Forgive me but sod that.

    In a democracy, watchdogs should be made up of the public, run by the public, for the public.

    As should, y’know, the BBC.

  67. Jonangus Mackay

    10 Jul, 2011 - 8:38 pm

    ‘Berlusconi without the laughs.’

  68. Jonangus Mackay

    10 Jul, 2011 - 9:09 pm

    Arrest #Murdoch now! He knew. Any drugs ring boss would be busted by now for suspected conspiracy. #notw #bustMurdoch
    Operation Murdoch? Operation tWeeting:
    Let’s get started. What’s your twit address/handle, whatever?
    Let’s test the waters. Look what Avaaz achieved in days.
    Time is ripe.
    He’s here now. Rare opportunity.
    Could catch on.
    Kick off with the above.
    Email to all.

  69. Jonangus Mackay

    10 Jul, 2011 - 9:17 pm

    my twit address:
    If you don’t have an account, dead easy to start:

  70. Jonangus Mackay

    10 Jul, 2011 - 9:23 pm

    that address again:
    BBC Newsnight’s economics editor provides the context:

  71. Do it! Arrest Rupert Today! Red-top Headline: ‘Murdoch, Gotcha!’

  72. Belmarsh Prison. Orange jumpsuit. The Carpenters.

  73. I think the revolting old monster is senile and has the hots for Rebekah.
    I wish she would get her hair cut or tamed. The flame haired beauty has to resort to the bottle now I noticed in a photograph. It is obviously an attraction to men but judging from those in her circle she is welcome. In the animal world isn’t it is the males of the species who display?

  74. “Matthew Freud, son of Clement”
    Mary, Strange that there is such a connection with Murdoch, who is using the propaganda and public relations to control peoples minds that Freud saw all those years ago

  75. So many deaths and not enough angels it seems Mary. Yet in many circumstances especially if we free ourselves and then using our sixth sense or extraordinary perception certain events become crystal clear.
    As an example take a look at George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of Bush senior. There exist according to my source an MI6 file on him locked away for 100 years. Can you tune in and reveal what that file might contain? Not really a futile, delusive or nugatory exercise I believe. Many others will disagree.

  76. Shale’s death Mark.
    Credits: plus the Fairford Air Tattoo bike ride and Bristol squatters on the Conservative government’s proposal to criminalise squatting.
    Former squatter Kitty O’Donaghue and Bristol Housing Action Movement spokesman Ben Ritchie talk about the LibCon government’s plans to criminalise squatting.
    Kevin Lister explains next weekend’s Bike Ride To Fairford Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire.
    NATO’s Secret Armies: discussion with historial Danielle Ganser about NATO’s ‘Strategy of Tension using terror against European civilians and pretending it was the Russians or their agents, the notorious Operation Gladio.
    Tony Farrell was a principle police intelligence analyst for South Yorkshire police but he was sacked when he told his bosses what they didn’t want to hear, that the 7/7 London Bombings were not carried out by Muslim terrorists but by the enemy within.
    The strange death of David Cameron’s Constituency party chair Christopher Shale at the Glastonbury festival, assassination expert and barrister Michael Shrimpton believes that GO2, a rogue element in MI6, may have murdered him.
    David Cameron’s aide was assassinated
    Posted by themediumdog on July 11, 2011, 1:54 am
    Around two-thirds of the way through this show – the Bristol friday drivetime show which is good for a listen generally; this is the second hour. Go to the bottom of the page for the download/stream link).

    Also, earlier, is some interesting stuff about the role of NATO in post-war Europe, carrying out underground ‘terrorist’ operations which were then blamed on communist parties – this stuff is fairly well known.

  77. Observer Editorial
    The moment the Guardian published its July 2009 story into the James Murdoch-authorised cover-up payments to Gordon Taylor and others, the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, ordered a review of the original police investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World. That investigation didn’t last very long. Within hours Assistant Commissioner John Yates popped up to announce that no further investigation was necessary. He added that the original inquiry had been very careful; that it had only identified a few victims of “tapping”; and the police had contacted “all” the cases where there was clear evidence that their phones might have been hacked. He specifically ruled out the possibility that John Prescott’s phone was a victim. Mr Yates emphasised that the Yard’s decisions at the time of the original investigation had been taken in close consultation with the then head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Ken Macdonald.
    That statement was immensely useful to News International as it braced itself for the follow-up to the Guardian story by other journalists
    How much was Yates’ ‘bung’?

  78. Mary, it varies – I mean wrt the animal kingdom and attractiveness vis a vis the sexes; in many species it’s the male but in others, the female. The red-head thing is interesting; there are some sources which suggest that ‘red-headedness’ in human eventually will disappear. I’m not a geneticist, but I’m not so sure, I think that such phenotypic features actually are more resilient than people think.

    Yeah. Arrest Murdoch – fine, he’s casting in his lot with those already tainted, let him too carry the can, the buck stops at him. Arrest Murdoch!

    Re. Shale, I note that the PM indicated an unknown cause of death – so he didn’t have a heart attack, then. If someone dies of a heart attack, there usually is clear evidence in the myocardial tissue; it doesn’t state whether or not he had coronary artery disease; if he did not, it’s rather unlikely that he died of a heart attack. If, on the other hand, someone dies of a sudden cardiac arrhythmia (rhythm disturbance) in the absence of coronary artery or other anatomical heart disease, then there might not be any physical evidence of it. There is a syndrome known as ‘SADS’ (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome’, or soemtimes, ‘Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome’)) of which SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy’) is a subset. I knew someone who tragically died of ‘SADS’, a young person and pal, aged 19 years, who wanted to be a journalist and who collapsed while giving a speech at a conference; this clearly was due to natural causes.

    On the other hand, some years ago a relative of mine was found dead in Saudi Arabia. It was clear that they’d been horribly tortured and then murdered. They’d been openly threatening to blow the whistle on alleged criminal dealings of some sort (I do not know details). When they ran to the UK, my brother accompanied them from Glasgow to London, where it was clear too that they were being followed everywhere – up and down escalators, in and out of dept stores, everywhere – by ‘men of Middle Eastern appearance’ (as the BBC might put it). It sounded terrifying. Within weeks of returning to Saudi Arabia, they were dead. It was ruled ‘suicide’. I know, from what I know of the circumstances of their death, that it was grossly physically impossible for it to have been suicide. This was a cover-up of a murder, which leads me to speculate that at some level, the Saudi authorities may also have been involved/bribed in some way (surprise, surprise).

    Here’s a pathology essay on ‘unascertained’ causes of death:

    The subject is by no means, clear-cut. “5-10% of all sudden unexpected deaths show no gross anatomic cause at necropsy”. I emphasise that I’m not a pathologist, though. The results of the toxicology tests will take some time to come in. One suspects they will show nothing; on its own, this ought not to be taken as evidence of ‘something’.

    Unless a link can be demonstrated b/w Shale and significant shady goings-on of some sort (beyond the normal stuff, rivalries, etc. that go on every day in all political parties everywhere), and unless there is some suggestion that he was going to blow some sort of significantly large public whistle on these goings-on (and internally or even externally complaining about poor recruitment policies to the Party does not amount to this), I think we’d be best to continue to reserve judgement on this one.

  79. Thanks for that Suhayl. Since writing I have been told that Michael Shrimpton is someone to disregard completely. The cause of Christopher Shale’s death though does remain unresolved.

  80. Jeremy CHunt’s letter to Ed Richards, CEO Ofcom.
    You will have to enlarge it.

  81. Above was the DCMS letter to the OFT. This is the letter to OFCOM.

  82. conflictofinterest

    18 Jul, 2011 - 8:39 pm

    here is something else on this story but that indicates colette bowe’s arm of morgan stanley was providing direct advice to bskyb on this deal. It has references as well (including official documents with dates that show her very dubious conflict of interest) and they all check out, so why the deal was initially passed needs a strong investigation:


  1. Ofcom’s involvement in the BskyB takeover is already compromised | wallofcontroversy
  2. Quasi-judicial nonsense « Liberal Eye
  3. Like A Circle in A Circle, Like A Wheel Within A Wheel « The Truth is Where?

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