The News International scandal continues apace, with powerful individuals and interest groups fearful that they are next in the firing line. Yesterday, in a humiliating cave-in, the government bowed to demands that the Murdoch empire’s bid to buy the bit of BSkyB it doesn’t already own be referred to the regulators. Today, former prime minister Gordon Brown has stepped in to accuse the Sunday Times of being in league with the devil.
Will Murdoch now close the Sunday Times, I wonder? Like broadsheet newspapers in general, the Sunday Times haemorrhages money, so there would be no further loss, save for the jobs of a few hundred journalists and ancillary staff. But BSkyB, on the other hand, is booming. More than 10 million households subscribe to the service on top of paying their statutory television licence fee, and the number is rising fast.
What if anything does this tell us about the moral compass of the United Kingdom? Being the nations of curtain twitchers we are, we love a good scandal, but forget about taking a moral stand against media corruption by refusing to fill the Digger’s coffers. No wonder Rupert is always pictured with a massive grin on his face.
The Tory mantra of “We’re all in this together” has taken on a whole new meaning.