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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

A few months ago, when the Lisbon constitution was being contemptuously bunged through Parliament, Iain Martin wrote a piece entitled ‘Britain’s eurosceptic future‘. The general theme of the article was that the vehemence of our response to the treaty indicated that we were likely to get more eurosceptic, not less.

It struck me that there is one very good reason why this might be so, and why Cameron may find himself pushed into a more confrontational attitude to the EU than he would like. Rupert Murdoch is well known to be on the side of the eurosceptics. According to this article, he even arranged some sort of informal veto over new Labour’s EU policy.

Murdoch presumably took a friendly line towards ZanuLab in the worry that they might have been tempted to mess around with his media holdings, as he is one of the bugbears of the left. Not only will Cameron be coming into power with his core support extremely antipathetic to the BBC, which is good news for Sky; but Murdoch will be free to print his anti-EU line in his papers without worrying about the government viewing him with disfavour. If Murdoch’s newspapers do take an anti-EU line, it will be a lot easier for Cameron to do so.

That’s a little bit of optimism for a rainy Friday morning.

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TV tax

The belief that Rupert Murdoch has huge influence over our country’s politics, and possibly over other countries’ too, is one of those soft-left assumptions that we breathe in on the air. However, I manage to go through most days of my life without consuming any of his media products, and no doubt most British people also do.

It used to be the case that the same could not be said for the BBC. Time was, when most people would either watch BBC TV in the evening, or at least choose between four channels, two of which were produced by the BBC; or they would listen to BBC radio; or they would do both. With the emergence of the internet, however, many of us now watch TV far less frequently, and rely on TV news bulletins hardly at all. In fact, TV news is often driven by blogs and internet news sites. And sometimes things which have been common knowledge on the internet for a while surface into the TV news a lot later. For example, Sarah Palin’s candidacy had been discussed to death on fairly mainstream blogs while the decision was being made, but was still treated as a surprising choice of an unknown by the TV channels and newspapers when it was eventually announced.

In this environment, the bias of the BBC is particularly irksome to those of us on the right. I don’t watch BBC news (with the occasional exception of newsnight) or use their website, and I don’t listen to their radio any more either. There were stories and attitudes taken on each medium that led me to finally ‘boycott’ them. For example, I read this headline on the BBC news website: ‘Israelis kill 3 in revenge for terror attack’. I thought this was terrible news – Israeli civilians had finally started to attack Palestinian civilians! But, no, the article explained: ‘Israeli commandos carried out a targetted attack on the man responsible for ordering the terrorist attack which left seven Israeli teenagers dead, also killing his driver and one other person in the car.’ This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, although there are many more egregious examples of bias. Given that so many people use the internet as their source of information, why are we still paying for the BBC to duplicate what we can get for free from so many varied sources?

Even worse than this is the fact that the money I have to spend on the license fee is money I can’t spend elsewhere. I have now started to miss my summer dose of Test cricket. Now that it appears only on Murdoch’s sky, I find myself having to decide whether to purchase a subscription to that company. It isn’t cheap, and I probably won’t do it. I would, however, have one hundred and thirty pounds of my own money to go towards that subscription if I wasn’t legally obliged to pay for the BBC output that I don’t watch. That makes me angry.

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