Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Murdoch To Be Kicked In Slats

Britain's MPs must feel it could have been worse. For years they've been puppets of Rupert Murdoch's ghastly News International media empire, obliged to kiss his ring; now their longest, sharpest knives will be out. Today should provide a pleasant diversion from the longer-term ramifications of the NOTW/Sun/Times debacle.

In a surreal twist for British politics, cross-party unity will be absolute as Murdoch faces the humiliation of a unanimous Commons vote for the withdrawal of his BSkyB bid. On top of that, David Pillsbury will announce that a judge is to oversee a root-and-branch enquiry into telephone hacking, which will also examine the relationship between NI and the police.

Nick Clegg's spokesman had a go at capturing the driving sentiment behind this. Of the coming vote he said: "It represents an extraordinary unified statement of the will of the people." What he really meant was, by riding the continuing wave of public repugnance at NI's methods the politicians have finally been able to temporarily unite, and kick Murdoch where it hurts most. After years of his omnipotence, it's safe to say that with two exceptions there won't be a wet eye in the House.

But the fun will really begin when the parties debate who knew what and who did what, prior to NI's bubble bursting. Will MPs behave solely in the interests of the people who've been harmed by NI, or will political capital come into it?

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