Monday, July 25, 2011

Frank Field's Apologia For Murdoch

Never let it be said that the Oldham Echo doesn't allow its columnists to amuse readers with their comedic talents. Take Frank Field (there's a punchline waiting to strike there, but I'll resist the temptation), Labour MP for Birkenhead. Frank's made his name over the years by popping up on TV to "think the unthinkable", which has amounted to proposals on welfare that would go down very well with the Tea Party in the US.
This time, Frank's worried about the well-warranted merde deposited on the Murdoch empire; he thinks it could be bad for democracy. No, really, he does ( ):
"To prevent the crisis swirling around Murdoch's print empire in Britain contaminating his main financial base in America, I believe News Corp is ruthless enough to close all its titles in Britain.
"Some of you will say good riddance. I don't for one simple reason.
"A closure would lead to a far greater concentration of power in the Mail, the Mirror and the Telegraph empires.
"The inquiry established this week will uncover which other papers have, through phone-hacking and by using known criminals, gained personal information. If newspaper barons outside News International are found guilty what future will there be for some of the other major titles?
"And, importantly, how will a mass culling of newspapers affect the functioning of our democracy?
"So cheer if you will against Murdoch, but please have just one thought for how this terrible matter might further damage British democracy."
Frank, if you're reading this (& why not, it does wonders for the blood pressure of Messrs Machray & Thomas), you should remind yourself as a local MP just why News International is treated with such contempt & loathing on Merseyside. Need a clue? It happened 22 years' ago. Moreover, if other publishers have transgressed in similar ways to News International, they deserve everything they get. Additionally, what makes you think that the nepotistic, venal, Murdoch-dominated political system the UK has had for the last 30 years or so could qualify for that noble term, democracy? If you really think that clearing out the Augean stables of the British press "might further damage British democracy", I suggest you take a reality check; get out of the Westminster bubble for just a short while (a visit to your own constituency, even) & acquaint yourself with reality.
Failing that, you could write a column in the Sun.

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