Who Governs Britain?

So Nick Clegg has asked Rupert Murdoch to reconsider his bid for BSkyB. Pah!
“Look how people feel about this,” says Clegg. “Look how the country has reacted with revulsion to the revelations, so do the decent and sensible thing and reconsider, think again, about your bid for BSkyB.” No, no, no!
It is not for a Deputy Prime Minister in a parliamentary democracy to appeal to the better nature of a tycoon who has never shown any sign of having a better nature. We must have due process.
This is about who governs Britain. This is about where power lies. For too long power has been slipping away from the British people and for too long it has been allowed to seep away by their elected representatives.
At last we are asking the right questions and the best that has emerged in this ugly episode is whether Rupert Murdoch (and by association News Corp. as an institution) is fit and proper to take over BSkyB.
And if we are to ask that, as we surely must, then we cannot avoid also asking whether Murdoch and News Corp. pass the fit and proper test to control any of the UK’s media.
Clegg is trying to avoid grasping this particular nettle and he is a fool. We cannot leave Murdoch wounded.
If News Corp. survives as a force in Britain then it will surely revive and come looking for revenge. We should all fear the revenge of a creature like Rupert Murdoch. For decades he has tried to manipulate our democracy, and if he can no longer do that then he may decide to try to wreck it. He will most certainly come after those who tried to take him down.
So for Cameron, Clegg and Milliband the options should be clear; you’re either on one side or the other and now you’re no longer unequivocally on Murdoch’s side your only other option is to be on the side of the nation. He will allow you no middle ground.
Yes the law must be observed, but if the law, whether it be from Westminster or Brussels, prevents parliament from acting justly and morally then we must unshackle ourselves from those laws and enact new ones.
This is surely a watershed moment in British democracy the like of which most of us have not seen in our lifetimes. It’s about where power lies, with corporations (and not just News Corp.) or with citizens and those people we hire and fire to speak for us. This moment, this chance to redress the balance, may not come again.


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