Monday, 4 October 2010

The Tories and News International - the real coalition

[SECOND EDIT: Around midnight Wednesday 6th Oct the programme was put back onto the 4OD website by Channel 4. To my knowledge no explanation has been given.]

[EDIT: Around 1pm Tuesday 5th Oct the programme linked to below was pulled from the 4OD website by Channel 4, who at this time have not made any public comment as to why they have done this.]

Anyone who didn't see this evening's Channel 4 Dispatches report on the phone tapping scandal should watch it right now, here. And anyone who, like me, has developed a healthy dislike of Peter Oborne for his relentlessly anti-Labour rhetoric, should see past that and watch anyway.

It was billed as potentially the straw to break the camel's back as far as the position of Andy Coulson (former NotW editor, currently David Cameron's PR chief) is concerned. But it turned out to be quite a lot more than that.

It exposed something which, if we're honest, has been hidden in plain sight for years. Our politicians and our public servants - including MPs and the Metropolitan police - are now subservient to the will of the media. The ability of the tabloid press to destroy lives and careers is now so complete that it has shifted the balance of power.

The plain truth is that Rupert Murdoch's News International has successfully run a protection racket powerful enough to persuade parliamentary committees to not call witnesses, and police forces to suppress investigations. The classic double - the threat of ruin to those who oppose, and the promise of riches and security to those who collaborate - has been played out again and again.

And the shocking realisation is that the latest body to decide to collaborate is the Conservative Party, the party of government in this country, in virtual hock to, and in the palm of, Rupert Murdoch. Not just cosying up for good press, not just cultivating links for party gain - the Tories are owned by News International now.

That's the real coalition ruling this country. It's not the Tories and the Lib Dems - that's just a smokescreen. It's the Tories and News International. And the Tories are the junior partner.


  1. And like it was Labour and News International?

    Do you actually think about what you write? Ever?

  2. Hi Matt. I agree there was at times a dangerously close relationship between the previous government and sections of the media. And I entirely acknowledge that the roots of this current situation lie in the last years of the Labour government as well as the first months of the Tory one.

    I fail to see how that changes or undermines anything I have said here though.

    Yes, I do think about what I write. I think you knew that though. I think you intended to imply that my conclusions were thoughtless. If you want to make that point, try making it with argued points rather than personal rhetoric; it will have a far greater effect.