Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Joys of Regicide

The revolution is won.

The spark that set it off, of course, was the revelations of tapping (and interfering with) Milly Dowler’s voicemail. People were outraged.

People were so outraged that both News Corp and Parliament lost control of events. And because Parliament could no longer control events it couldn’t, even if it wanted to, support the News Corp cause. All the bad things that would come from defying News Corp were going to come anyway or had already happened. You can't "out" Chris Bryant twice. All the good things that come from bowing to News Corp were lost anyway. Cameron was never going to get another Obama style poster on the front page of The Sun

Parliament had nothing to lose.

It must have felt good.

And if you’ve got nothing to lose in standing up to a bully, the chances are that the bully is going to get it good.

So, right now, the Prime Minister and prospective Prime Ministers no longer abase themselves before News Corp. There is no question of anyone promising to weaken the BBC to help BSkyB (as Cameron was alleged to have done). There is no question of a Prime Minister needing to defend his European policy to Rupert Murdoch (Blair). Murdoch no longer claims the right to be consulted, Cameron’s aids laughed at the idea that the Prime Minister might condescend to meet Murdoch.

This is how it should be: News Corp is no longer a de facto part of the UK Constitution. We have had a sudden and dramatic change in Constitution: a revolution.

Much was the same situation in 1789 Paris and 1381 London. The French citizens were running their own affairs and the English peasants had removed the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer and were wandering at will through the capital. Both revolutions appeared to have succeeded.

One did, one didn’t. After the revolution had been won the French killed the king, to secure the revolution. The English peasants were presented with the opportunity of doing the same. The English balked and were robbed of all the revolutionary changes.

It was the people wot won it. It was the regicides wot kept it.

Fortunately, in this day and age, we don’t need to actually kill anyone. Not the least reason is that the person we need to be shot off is a corporation: News Corp. But if we are to keep these revolutionary gains we need to remove News Corp from our country.

- Dropping the BSkyB bid is a delay, not a cancellation
- The News of the World looks likely to be reborn, with much the same staff and much the same corporate culture, as the Sun on Sunday
- The 39% stake in BSkyB is still there
- The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun are still owned and controlled by News Corp.

They will be back.

Unless, of course, we kill the King : force News Corp to divest itself of all its UK interests.

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