November 23, 2006

Who Will Stop Murdoch?

Richard Branson:
"All of us know governments are scared stiff of Murdoch. If The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Times, Sky, the News of the World - just to name a few of the things that Murdoch owns - all come out in favour of a particular political party, the election is likely to be won by that particular party.

"If you tag on ITV to that as well, basically we've got rid of democracy in this country and we might as well just let Murdoch decide who is going to be our prime minister."
Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting recently bought a 17.9 per cent "blocking stake" in Britain's ITV network, out-bidding Branson's Virgin Media in the process. Britain's media regulator, Ofcom, has launched an inquiry.

From an Australian perspective, it sounds a heck of a lot like Murdoch's recent "blocking share" in Fairfax newspapers. Same story, different continent.

Branson is calling for bipartisan government resistance to the mogul:
"There comes a time when governments have got to draw a line in the sand. Every single time the Murdoch empire makes a move on more and more of the British media, governments don't have the courage to stand up to them."

With an election looming, all parties should put up a united front, he said. "It should be an all-party situation where nobody tries to score any political advantage. Labour, Tories, Liberals, should all stand as one and say enough's enough."
Nice dream, Richard.

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