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I suppose any politician in a democracy has …

Comment posted Commons Culture Committee loses all perspective in Murdoch declaration by Robert Wakeham.

I suppose any politician in a democracy has to try not to alienate the moguls of the news media, with their ability to form public opinion (to put it politely), but it gives those moguls immense power over the workings of democracy.
There’s a clear risk of abuse and – in the case of the Murdoch dynasty – increasing power in the hands of people who aren’t British citizens, and who cannot be assumed to have the interests of us Brits at heart any more than they do those of the country that made them, the country they’ve grown too big for. That’s not to say they’re unique – from Robert Maxwell through Conrad Black there have arguably been worse, and now we’ve got a pornographer, and more recently a Russian oligarch. Surely there’s a need for some form of closer vetting of people buying themselves influence over our politicians.

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • Worth a try, I think (and I must admit to not reading the P&J though it’s clearly often worth checking (but not always – it seems to have fought shy of some of the Aberdeen city business / politics ‘affairs’ of recent years, maybe for good commercial reasons and supporting Newsroom’s comment ‘as with our utilities and major businesses’)
  • How does the Independent rank, Ken?
  • Malcolm, either substantiate this or save us the bother of reading it.
  • True, but aren’t newsmedia moguls likely to have far more influence over the way we’re governed (especially if they gain control over an increasingly large chunk of the media) than the big players in any other business sector?

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Scott Smith – you give the impression that you have advance knowledge of future vessel deployments, but you get your dates, boats and places jumbled up. Any chance you could clarify these, please?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    A movable mezzanine deck that can’t be repaired unless the ship is dry docked?
    Sounds a bit like a car that needs dismantling before the oil can be changed. I wonder if someone specified some really exotic features on that mezzanine deck that no commercial ship owner in their right mind would dream up in their worst nightmare – but which the ship builder was only too happy to install, if the price was right?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The comments on this particular thread (at least, those that are relevant and not just trying to make everything political) can be read as reflecting wider concerns, and it’s now being reported in the newspapers that the seriously inadequate response of Calmac when the Hebridean Isles had to be withdrawn from service for repairs in the middle of the summer tourist season is going to be reviewed at a meeting in Islay in October, reportedly to be hosted by our MSP, to hold Calmac, Transport Scotland and the Government to account.
    Hopefully they’ll have the sense to leave the bullshit on the mainland.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The BBC Scottish News website today has a lengthy item about Calmac’s trials and tribulations with the good ship Isle of Arran.
    However, it’s really only padding out the previously known facts as deemed suitable for release by Calmac, and leaves the details of the boat’s problems unexplained. It’s basically a case of ‘bear with us, there’ll be jam tomorrow’.
    Someone needs to spell out to the Calmac management – and our Holyrood politicians – that if you drive an old banger that wouldn’t pass its MOT and gave the police some feeble excuse about not being able to find spare parts you’d wind up in court.
    The BBC could at least have asked Calmac to explain what sort of problems were making the boat more susceptible to weather cancellations – and as to the Finlaggan running about with a broken mezzanine deck and the Heb Isles crashing into Kennacraig pier, maybe the BBC consider these matters to be unworthy of reporting, let alone investigation.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Quoting me out of context, NCH – but it’s nice to know that you read my despicable comments in the Herald, as well as enthusiastically scrutinising this, your favourite despicable blog. Chin up, don’t let your enemies get you down.

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