How does the Independent rank, Ken? …

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

How does the Independent rank, Ken?

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’)
  • 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?
  • 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.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • For Argyll challenge to candidates for Thursday’s Oban North & Lorn by-election
    Surely an age-old problem with democracy – people voting for an idea (be it political party or male / female preference) first, and for a person a very distant second, thus presenting us with a substantial number of low grade politicians.
  • Trees for Life awarded £80k for conservation projects in Glen Affric
    But, overall, it was sparse – and why do you think so many small farmers have left the land in rural areas of Mediterranean countries? – a lot of it was made productive, as you’ve said, by (laboriously) building terraces and (usually) elaborate irrigation systems, but these days the only viable cultivation is for vineyards and fruit orchards.
    The only way to revive a lot of it would be to invite land-hungry third world farmers to take over – in places like Oman they still cultivate precipitous terraces in the jebel, but I doubt they’d be keen on settling in Lewis
  • Corporate quadrille in airport sales weakens force of competition law
    It surprises me that Ferrovial has been such an active player, given that its Spanish home territory was hit so hard by the fallout in the 2008 world economic meltdown – I just hope that Ferrovial (and Santander Bank, for that matter) don’t turn out to be concealing a financial can of worms, Tesco-style.
  • Trees for Life awarded £80k for conservation projects in Glen Affric
    I think that there’s a great deal of awareness of this lifestyle – and I think that talk of the now depopulated glens having once been fertile is disguising the stark fact that a lot of places weren’t that fertile at all – small pockets of fertility at the best, and unable on their own to support the inhabitants.
    The modern custom of crofters having full time jobs outside the croft is surely nothing new.
    As for ethnic cleansing – how much was conducted by fellow ‘ethnics’, or are you thinking that each and every clan was an ethnic entity?
  • Trees for Life awarded £80k for conservation projects in Glen Affric
    MM, I think you’ll find that most bothies were once home to a family – but they’re mostly in remote places where it would be very difficult to scratch a living off the land these days, unless you could supplement your tiny income with some other full time occupation.
    It’s true some crofters do just that – but in places as remote and infertile as Athnamulloch?

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31 Responses to How does the Independent rank, Ken? …

  1. 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.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • I agree. The BBC and BBC Scotland in particular are often lamentable.
      Only today with a revised schedule Politics Today failed to cover FMQ although there was no clash with Prime Minister’s Questions as Westminster has, apparently, “risen” Instead, we were treated to a long and extremely boring discussion about drought which Andrew Neil assured us was affecting “the entire nation” About time sonebody gave him a ring from Paisley.

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  2. Robert – you and your pals are so verbally aggressive and offensive – what’s wrong with you all ? Anyway far too busy to continue with this so enjoy ! Some good headlines on Salmond in the media today – Cheers !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Obviously, Simon, you’ve missed the point again. I suppose we should be used to that by now.
    Salmond has been all over all the papers on this issue, mostly front page, so your link is entirely redundant and immaterial.

    Which newspaper had Milliband all over it?

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  4. The Sun, obviously, only not in Scotland.

    I am a fan of the Newspaper Review that takes place at 1130 pm on SkyNews where two assorted media people comment on the newspapers as they are published. Obviously the issues that they cover are the important “metropolitan” ones and I am struck at the variations that appear on the Scottish editions when I see them on my newsagents displays the next morning.

    The Daily Telegraph and the Scottish (sic) Daily Mail regularly and The Times and the Scottish (ha ha) Daily Express frequently carry anti-Scottish Government slants to their front covers. These sell so few copies here that we needn’t be unduly concerned at any influence that they might aspire to.

    The Guardian, though well presented and written, makes few, if any concessions to the Scottish political scene, I suspect that Scottish Labour, while useful at one time, causes them some embarassment, and I am surprised that it sells here at all.

    The Record, bless it, sticks rigorously to the old Labour line apart from Joan MacAlpine once a week, and the other red tops seem much more interested in Simon Cowell than in our one.

    Labour’s sour grapes at losing the support of The Sun seem like a gross over reaction.

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      • Robert,

        I have to confess I have never bought it although it seldom seems to follow the pack and its front pages are mostly original in design and approach.Should I give it a try?

        I don’t buy it myself but I read the P&J closely every day in connection with my work and the Argyll & Bute weeklies but I find FA a very useful source of opinion and reaction.

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        • 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’)

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. The whole report is going to the full House of Commons for a vote. I wonder what way the SNP MPs will vote? Will they follow the Tories through the lobby, agreeing that Rupert is a ‘fit person’ to run a media empire?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Newsroom wrote:
    “Phone hacking, reprehensible as it is, has not lost lives, to the best of our knowledge.”
    The Watson parents from Glasgow would disagree; they contend that thoughtless, groundless, amoral press coverage can result in death. They shared their tragic story near the start of Leveson’s inquiry. And I believe that there are other victims who would agree.
    But rather than getting into ‘which is the worst of multiple wrongs’, it is, I believe, a defensible position to say: In the regulated business of media ownership, special standards need to apply. And that the selective amnesia displayed by Rupert at least casts doubt on his fitness to run a UK regulated media business where proprietor conduct is open to scrutiny.
    Even football sets ‘fit and proper’ standards. And media companies, given their power and influence, cannot conduct themselves with impunity, as Leveson is showing.

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    • Wouldn’t disagree with any of this – but moral standpoints come a touch rich from politicians who vote through on false premises measures affecting the nation; and who close ranks for party advantage against indefensible wrongs – like the war in Iraq and extraordinary rendition.
      We have no quarrel with the Murdoch judgment, per se (although it is over-egged) but with the source of it – aggravated to a secondary degree by the fact that the committee members’ combined management experience of anything substantial will be on the slender side.

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      • So Newsroom
        Are all our politicians a parcel of rogues with no moral compass or just some of them? If you blame all of them, then your premise could be that the masses should rise up as one and remove them. Or, on the other hand, just some in the Executive are evil and corrupt and we let the due process of law deal with them. Is this your argument or have I missed the facts that would support your position?

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  7. Whatever the failings of Rupert Murdoch the anxiety of parliamentarians and hacks to condemn him while police investigations are ongoing show a complete contempt for a basic feature of our constitution, the separation of powers. And the rule of law.

    I would rather put my trust in the police and prosecution authorities even with their imperfections than politicians and journalist who are opportunistic in concealing their own misdeeds.

    By all means have a public enquiry after the production authorities have completed their enquiries and justice has taken it’s course but let’s not let politicians undermine the judicial process

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  8. Mairi “I wonder what way the SNP MPs will vote? Will they follow the Tories through the lobby”

    My prediction is they’ll abstain.

    Just as they did way back then – ‘the snp those wonderful politicos that gave you Maggie Thatcher’

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  9. Newsie – this comment is a pile of odure “the committee members’ combined management experience of anything substantial will be on the slender side”.

    So, let analyse what you are saying here – it reads like ‘if someone does not have private sector management experience they are not fit to judge those who do’???

    Is that really what you are saying??

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  10. Simon,
    That simply will not wash and the oft repeated lie does not become any more true from repetition ad nauseum.
    What gave “us” Thatcher was the everwhelming votes of the UK electorate, although Scots remained doggedly unenthusiastic, and the UK electors sadly gave us her more than once.

    The majority verdict of the Culture Committee appears to have been driven by the obsessive Tom Watson, MP, who blythely manages to overlook the long association of Blair/Brown with News International,e.g. the numerous back door visits to 10 Downing Street, the invitation to be Godfather( is that not appropriate?)to one of Bliar’s children, the sudden dash by Blair to attend a Far East Murdoch summit and the sad huff by Brown when the relationship went sour.

    There is an effective Peter Brookes cartoon in today’s Times with Tom Harris stating

    After months of evidence…
    from this vile, corrupt and morally bankrupt company…
    our committee is ready to publish…
    my forgeone conclusions.

    Sadly by following his lead the Committee has effectively ended with its credibility and its deliberations tainted by overstepping its brief and blindly following the party line.

    Needless to state Mr Harris has a book published!

    I note that Jim Sheridan is one of the Labour committee members and that in itself would cause me concern. Those who saw him on Newsnight Scotland on Tuesday night will understand what I mean.

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