Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Has The Big Lizard Finally Lost It?

(Or..."Shock!!! Horror!!! Might the Lib-Dems possibly have done something useful after all???")

If Rupert Murdoch had actually delivered on his end of the deal, and secured a full parliamentary majority for the Conservatives in May 2010, would the exposure of the phone hacking scandal, Leveson, the select committee, or any of this #omnimegashitstormclusterfuck ever have happened?

Or is there an alternate universe out there where the News Corp takeover of BSkyB became a done deal, with only a minimum of fuss?

That time around, it turned out it was The Sun wot didn’t won it. They did more than enough to scupper any hopes Gordon Brown may have had for re-election, but not quite enough to convince people that Cameron was anything like the change they needed. So we ended up with this bizarre bastardised hybrid of Tory and Whig, which was almost immediately nailed right on the head with the cheeky nickname it’s been known by ever since, the ConDem coalition.

It seems a very long time ago now, that Vince Cable screamed “Banzaiiiii” and declared his Kamikaze-war on Murdoch’s plans to take over the remainder of BskyB, got comprehensively hosed down with machine gun fire from his own party and their coalition partners alike, and disappeared barely to be heard of again.

It does, however, appear that he might’ve been right about that “nuclear option.”

By now it should be obvious, with yet more nails hammered into multifarious coffins by the Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee report today, that anyone as prepared to hand a virtual UK broadcasting monopoly to someone so unfit to run a major international company, as Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron apparently were, is also totally unfit to be running the country!

This is the story that just keeps getting bigger.

Where will it end?

Could this really bring down the government?

Please, please, PLEASE do not take this in any way shape or form to be an endorsement of the Liberal Democrats by the way, because it isn’t!

They’ve done fuck all in the face of an unprecedented and unmandated attack on the social institutions of this country. Tuition fees, Education Maintenance Allowance, housing benefits, Disability Living Allowance, legal-aid, employment rights, civil-liberties, granny tax, pasty tax, the privatisation of the NHS and every other asset that is being stripped away from us and sold off, by the upper-class equivalent of the people who steal the lead off your roof, the copper pipes out of your central heating system and probably your kidneys too, if you were unfortunate enough to get drunk with them in a bar in Manila. They have sold their own voters out for a sniff of political power, and are quite probably going to disappear off the political map by the next election as a result, and justifiably so.

There have been many champions in this crusade against the Murdoch media empire, and its hold over successive British governments, including the Guardian’s Nick Davies and Labour MP Tom Watson, but for me it was Vince Cable who played the Liberal Democrats one and only wild-card, lit the blue touch paper, and got blown sky-high in the process.

So it would be nice to say that the Fib-Dems haven't been as completely useless at mitigating the worst excesses of the Conservatives as it may otherwise seem, but unfortunately that's probably just a little bit far fetched. The fact of it is that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is fast starting to look a little like huge chunky road-kill splattered all over the headlines, because they finally slipped up, and failed to deliver the outright majority David Cameron would need to do everything that Rupert wanted, or perhaps needed, him to do.

Maybe it was because he never did quite get the hang of the social media thing, maybe it was because he put his newspapers behind a pay-wall, when you can read practically any other newspaper in the world online for free, maybe it was because the integrity of his brand was already starting to look a little, lets be honest, threadbare.

Or perhaps the challenge of getting a majority of us to believe that Cameron and his Etonian millionaire goons really were fit to run the country, was just a little bit too much, even for Rupert.

Whatever it was, Murdoch has lost it, and hopefully he's going to take this government down with him.

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