BY: Stephen Ridley
In September 2020 coordinated groups of the Extinction Rebellion campaigners sat down on the ground and effectively blockaded Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps printing presses, for 13 hours. They were arrested in situ and would later be charged and summoned toappear in court to stand trial for their actions. I argue that these protesters were not, I repeat not hardcore militant activists nor political extremists, just ordinary people who had had enough. Enough of watching their planet steadily being polluted and politically corrupted while a handful of media barons peddle false truths for profit and for the sake of greed; So as campaigners they simply chose to take a stand by sitting
There are those who would counter that such affirmative action is harmful to wider society; Disrupts traffic and local commerce and it should not be condoned nor supported.
Indeed, at the time of the ‘sit down’ some roads were blocked and people were inconvenienced throughout the protest against Murdoch’s news presses; Certainly it can be confirmed that nobody got their Sun newspaper that weekend.(A deprivation though that was possibly a societal benefit, it should be said.)
In spite of Rupert Murdoch and News Media Corps’ best efforts, here in the UK, we still just about live in a democracy and we have a long tradition of supporting the independence of the media and the principle of a free press; But let’s be honest. Can a commercial monopoly in the grip of four, white, male billionaires truly be regarded as ‘a free press’?
I present my first piece of evidence: An inventory of the cartel we call the ‘free press’ :
Rupert Murdoch – Owner of:
The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times, Times Radio, Talk Sport, Talk Radio, Virgin Radio, The Wall Street Journal (US), The New York Post (US), Fox News (US), + 170 Australian magazines titles. News UK TV Channel network. (coming soon)
Lord Rothermere – Owner of:
The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Metro, The i.
Sir Frederick Barclay – Owner of:
The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator
Baron Evegeny Lebedev – Owner of:
The London Evening Standard, The Independent
This select band of individuals own and control 90% of the press & distribution of national newspapers and magazines across the UK and, whilst the estimated wealth of Rupert Murdoch at approximately 22 Billion US dollars far exceeds that of his fellow cohorts, they are all nonetheless considered by Her Majesty’s Revenue to be non-domiciled oligarchs which means they are exempt from paying UK income tax; Unlike the rest of us.
According to Extinction Rebellion, these media moguls “consistently scapegoat minorities, obscure the truth on the climate crisis and lie to sell papers and clicks”.
(Keith) Rupert Murdoch AC KCSG
Born: 11 March 1931 – Melbourne, Australia (Acquired US citizenship in 1985)
Estimated net worth: $22 Billion US dollars (Forbes 2020)
Rupert Murdoch is the son of Sir Keith Murdoch the renowned First World War correspondent and a later regional newspaper magnate; Owning, upon his death, two newspapers in Adelaide, South Australia. Rupert Murdoch took over running the family newspaper interests following his father’s passing in 1952. The former Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating, no shrinking violet himself, once told Alistair Campbell (Adviser to Tony Blair), his opinion of Rupert Murdoch: “In his (Murdoch’s) worldview the priorities are as follows: Number one, Rupert Murdoch. Number two, Rupert Murdoch. Number three, Rupert Murdoch……and his business interests”.
The celebrated (playwright) author Dennis Potter, shortly before his death in 1994, commented on British television that he had nicknamed his terminal pancreatic cancer ‘Rupert’; Describing Murdoch’s ambition, as “the pollution of British political life.”
Rupert Murdoch is without doubt a ubiquitous presence. Nicknamed the ‘Dirty Digger’ for his prurient tabloid journalism. A human paradox, difficult to pigeon hole. He is a man of many tabloid morals but very few philanthropic principles. Murdoch is an expansionist by instinct – an empire building tactician, strategies perhaps learnt from the former British colonial administrators of his native Australia.
Always a shadowy figure, Murdoch is an outsider. Rupert ‘The old man’. The family patriarch, the bully in 24 carat gold self imposed exile, anti-establishment and yet so much a part of it. A hard nosed political brawler by nature. The ‘leftie’ student at Oxford who kept a bust of Lenin in his halls of residence, yet many decades on content to serve at the altar of Mammon, and ready to bow to capitalism’s every behest. In his self appointed role as guardian of unbridled capitalism Murdoch is unlikely to do anything other than champion the existing structures and institutions which have, in the past, been shown to be extremely malleable to Murdoch’s media trajectory.
News Corp (formerly News International) is the engine that drives the ambitions of the Murdoch dynasty; Already the largest mass media company in the world, it is a very real threat to notions of a liberal democracy and human rights.
Murdoch understands better than anybody that power resides in the hands of those who hold all the organs of media in their grasp (electronic and physical); The Tabloids, the Broadsheets, the Networks. Only then can one hope to disseminate a personalised worldview onto a largely passive population. In this case it is the United Kingdom. A democratised, consumerist, class based society. Only with a monopoly on the public discourse, through a process known as ‘Manufacturing consent’ to quote Chomsky, can an agency attempt to bend and shape a consumer driven public opinion and ultimately the political discourse? News Corps is the mechanism that underpins this ‘Murdochian’ ambition and it is a true Goliath.
THE PUPPET MASTER
It would be Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in 1981, who first let Murdoch get his foot in the front door of British politics, by enabling Murdoch and his company to avoid a reference to the monopolies and mergers commission, even though Murdoch already owned the biggest selling daily newspaper, The Sun, and the biggest selling Sunday newspaper, The News of The World, and was intent on acquiring the biggest selling quality weekly, The Sunday Times, and its stable mate The Times newspaper.
Thatcher, in those days, was ideologically opposed to the BBC, while Murdoch was interested in a solely commercially funded media. The PM was clearly seeking a champion in the press; Murdoch who was up for the challenge would be permitted to get his hands on the Times newspapers, and Thatcher would get her positive headlines.
By the 1990’s the Puppet Master was called upon once again to defend the ailing elites in the wake of the fall of Margaret Thatcher. The entire ‘assassination machinery’ of News international was brought to bear upon Neil Kinnock’s personality, by systematically lampooning him in the media along with his Labour Party policies, a process enacted throughout News corps campaign to support a John Major led tory government. “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights.” (9/4/92 The Sun)
Following the 1992 April general election, which was according to the polls an unexpected victory for Major’s conservatives, it would be Murdoch’s press which screamed the illiterate headline:
“It’s the Sun wot won it!” (11/4/92 The Sun)
By 1996 Murdoch’s self assurance that he could in fact dictate the course of British politics are foreshadowed in the words of former Prime minister John Major, speaking under oath at the 2012 Leveson Inquiry about a meeting with Murdoch in 1996:
“Mr Murdoch says that he really didn’t like our European policies If we couldn’t change our European policies his papers could not and would not support the Conservative Government…my feeling was that he was edging towards a referendum towards leaving the European Union” (John Major Former Tory PM)
By 1997 the writing was already on the wall for the Conservatives. Murdoch and his media empire were courting the new kid on the block, Tony Blair, and his New Labour. Unlike Murdoch’s past political frisson with Thatcher, back in the 80’s, which was really a marriage of convenience, this new relationship with ‘new labour’ must have appeared at the time to Murdoch as a marriage made in heaven; an era of ‘Champagne socialism’.
This would be a Labour Party sensitive to the demands of big business and free markets. Alistair Campbell the political aid to Tony Blair echoed the choreographed relationship operating at the time, when he recounted to the BBC just what Murdoch had said to him at their first meeting together:
(Murdoch) “we’re probably going to end up like two porcupines, making love very slowly and very carefully” – ( metaphorically speaking of course)
The Puppet Master was as good as his word, putting News International’s full resources behind Tony Blair’s government. When the country expressed doubts over Bush & Blair’s claims of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and their call for war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, it would be Murdoch’s News International a strong advocate for war that would have the Prime Minister’s back.
Andrew Neil, former editor of Murdoch’s Sunday Times (and now head of the infamous GB News channel) outlined the situation in a BBC interview: “I think it has now been established that in the week before the land war began the Prime Minister spoke to Rupert Murdoch almost as much as he spoke to his Foreign Secretary or Defence Secretary, that’s influence”.
By mid April 2003 war with Iraq was a fait accompli, with The Sun newspaper headline declaring “Green light for war – Our boys head for the Iraqi border”. (19/4/2003)
Tony Blair the PM had become not only a valued friend of Murdoch but also the godfather of Grace, the older of Rupert and his wife’s (Wendi Deng) two daughters.
“The extent and the depth of involvement of News International on the one hand and the British Government on the other is unprecedented. This was almost incestuous… the line between press and state became so blurred that at one stage it was quite hard to tell which was which” (Andrew Neil – political Journalist)
Murdoch’s News International would continue to support New Labour throughout Tony Blair’s tenure as Prime Minister 1997-2007, but it would eventually dump the party in 2010 during the Gordon Brown’s stewardship, 2007-2010, in favour of David Cameron and the Conservative Party.
The Sun newspaper would once again tell the country – in the run up to the 2010 election – who should now be in charge of Britain as far as the ‘Puppet Master’ was concerned.
The Sun (Front Page) “LABOUR’S LOST IT”
The Sun (Front Page) “IN CAMERON WE TRUST”
SS THE NEWS OF THE WORLD
Of course one of the real powers of owning a mass media corporation is that you can reveal people’s secrets, their sex lives, and their affairs on the front page; And no headline would ever be too lurid for News International’s attack dog, The News Of The World. Other people’s scandals are currency to the Murdoch empire.
When Murdoch’s The News of the World published its front page: “F1 Boss Has Sick Nazi Orgy With Hookers” implicating Max Mosley in a sex scandal, the elderly businessman categorically refuted the story and demanded an immediate retraction of the allegation and an apology from the newspaper.
When Mosley’s demand for a retraction of the allegations was not forthcoming he took the newspaper to court and won. Soon the ethics of The News of The World would come under even closer scrutiny by investigative journalist Nick Davies.
Throughout the 1990’s and much later into Murdoch’s period of ownership of The News of The World a sinister and toxic culture had developed in its newsrooms, whereby journalists and private investigators were routinely phone tapping and blackmailing people under the cover of journalism with apparent impunity from the police. One former journalist of The News Of The World, who would later end up serving a prison sentence for his role in the operation, described a culture of intimidation where journalists boasted among themselves that they were the SS of the media. (Secrets & Sex lives.)
“The News Of The World was like having a division of the SS at your beck and call, and it could be sent into action.” ( Graham Johnson – Reporter The News Of The World 1995 – 1997)
By 2009 Davies had uncovered a web of media blackmail and persecution carried out by journalists and editors on behalf of News International. ‘Reporters were routinely hacking into voicemail messages, they were using private investigators to blag. That is to illegally con organisations to hand over confidential data. Banks, credit card companies, the tax man’. Murdoch and his empire had finally reached a point where he could listen into our most private voice messages and secrets: The famous, the ordinary person in the news, even the most powerful; Fodder for Murdoch’s front pages.
Amidst all the furore of what had been exposed; the hacking of mobile phone mailboxes belonging to celebrities, murder victims and British soldiers killed in the Afghanistan war, Murdoch quietly shuttered the newspaper in late July 2011.
The investigative Journalist for the Guardian Newspaper Nick Davies would go on to explain to the Leveson Inquiry – 2012 that the phone hacking saga was never really a story about reporters breaking the law, it was always a story about power and the fear that people have of that power.
In the wake of the Leveson inquiry findings Rupert Murdoch was summoned to appear at the inquiry and asked to justify his media operations.
LEVESON INQUIRY EXAMINER – 2011 – 2012
Directed to Rupert Murdoch
“People think the support you give to politicians through the endorsement in the Sun in particular is met with a quid pro quo after they attain power, if that is right, then the democratic process is distorted”.
“The perception certainly irritates me… urgh! Because I think it is a myth!”
This writer suggests that denial is a common emotion in the life of ‘the dirty digger’.
Even Murdoch’s son James and his wife Kathryn chose to resign from ‘the family firm’, stating that: “their views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic are well known. They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary” (Independent newspaper 31/7/20)
THE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER – Rupert Murdoch
“We should approach climate change with great scepticism, climatic change has been going on as long as the planet…if the sea level rises six inches, it’s a big deal of course, the Maldives might disappear or something….but we can’t mitigate that, we can’t stop it, we just got to stop building vast houses on seashores, and go back a little…” (Murdoch Interview with News corp Australia 2014)
In a decade when Murdoch’s native homeland Australia would experience floods and apocalyptic bush fires on an almost biblical scale, ice caps would continue to melt at our polar regions at a rate beyond comprehension, and hurricanes and typhoons would be measured with a regularity and force unheard of in the past, Murdoch remains in denial ignoring the warning signs that are decimating vast tracks of land across the Globe. Climatic catastrophes that continue to lay waste to poorer communities unable to resist the destruction brought on by these observable changes in environmental patterns.
All this, and still Rupert Murdoch and his media empire continue to deny the reality of climate change and the environmental pollution links pre-empting it.
THE WILDERNESS YEARS
The Leveson Inquiry and its damning findings left the senior citizen Rupert Murdoch apparently chastened, if we are to believe him “This is the most humble day of my life” (Murdoch 19/7/11), more likely we had just heard the words of an octogenarian giving an Oscar worthy performance in his own defence. (Watch out ! Anthony Hopkins)
The period that followed would see Murdoch ending his long standing friendship with Tony Blair whom he suspected of having an affair with his then wife, Wendy Deng. Murdoch finally filed for divorce from Deng in June 2013. The ‘dirty digger’ would go on to marry Jerry Hall three years later in 2016.
There would also be a root and branch restructuring of the media company in the summer of 2013 and the establishment of the NEWS CORP brand, locating the organisational headquarters in the USA, where Murdoch oversaw a reboot and massive upscaling of FOX NEWS US. Described as: ‘a political machine masquerading as a News channel’ by a Murdoch critic, Jane Mayer, Chief Washington correspondent The New Yorker.
More recently, Murdoch is in the process of launching a similar broadcast format of ‘Opinionated populist programming’ into the UK, and ominously titled NEWS UK. (Be afraid, be very afraid!)*
BREXIT – Pushing water uphill?
“Rupert asked me whether I thought BREXIT was possible, whether I thought BREXIT was achievable, whether it could be done or whether we were trying to push water uphill” (Nigel Farage – Former leader of UKIP)
The question must be asked. What motives would an Australian born, American naturalised, British newspaper owning billionaire have for encouraging the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union?
Again it is Andrew Neil who offers us some insights into to his former boss’s motives:
“Rupert Murdoch has always been a Euro sceptic. In Canberra Australia, everybody listened to him. In London United Kingdom, everybody listened to him. Now in Washington everybody listened to him, but nobody really listened to him in Brussels, he had very little clout there…”
By March 2016 the United Kingdom was split narrowly between those who wanted to ’Remain’ in the European Union and those who wanted to ‘Leave’ . Murdoch’s media machine went into action again, pulling out all the stops. Nothing was out of bounds in his pursuit of Cajoling the British public into voting to leave the EU.
THE SUN – Headline: – 8th March 2016 : ‘QUEEN BACKS BREXIT’.
The following day brought condemnation of Murdoch’s headline, with Buckingham Palace officials publicly disputing the claim from The Sun newspaper.
A week later the Press Watchdog Committee ruled the headline as INACCURATE.
Nevertheless, Murdoch would get his way. – 23 June 2016 – The Sun newspaper championed the result with the headline: INDEPENDENCE DAY – (BREXIT)
Over the past four decades Rupert Murdoch and his media empire have been responsible for the pollution of British political life, just as Dennis Potter forewarned back in 1994; But social bigotry is another emotion that features heavily in Murdoch’s journalism, and Murdoch’s societal crimes should be judged just as harshly as his political crimes.
THE CULTURAL BIGOT – Rupert Murdoch
In September 2015 The Sun columnist Katie Hopkins compared migrants to ‘cockroaches’ and advocated using gunships to stop people attempting to reach Europe’s shores.
The 2015 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) described tabloid newspapers particularly THE SUN and THE DAILY MAIL as purveyors of: ‘Offensive, discriminatory and provocative terminology….Fuelling prejudice’.
More recently, Murdoch’s penchant for prejudice has found its form in his newspaper’s support of the report into ‘race relations’.
THE COMMISSION ON RACE AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES REPORT MARCH 2021
The Sun Newspaper leads by declaring that it is now “patently false” to claim Britain is a racist country, but highlights the report’s finding that overt racism still exists online.
Rule Britannia!…And if that Murdoch missive doesn’t convince then how about the same message coming from the top?
The Times Newspaper concludes that Britain is a “model” on race, and said inequalities had narrowed in education and employment. So there’s the scoop! ‘No’ Institutional racism in Britain! And no doubt Murdoch’s Fox News (USA) would be pedalling a similar narrative across the Atlantic.
Prior to the distribution of vaccines, we have seen that ethnic minority citizens were dying of the Covid 19 virus at a disproportionately higher rate than the general population. We are further told by our scientists that this is most likely due to socio-economic rather than bio-genetic differences.
Exposure to infection then is unequal. Moreover, research has identified that community poverty is a key factor, with overcrowded and poor quality housing in densely populated areas only adding to the increased risks of Covid 19 infection.
‘We are all in this together’ (the government’s earlier message) rings a little hollow in the face of ‘lived’ experiences. The Conservative government’s own recent history reveals much about its lack of concern for ethnic minorities: The Hostile environment policy, Grenfell Tower fire disaster, Windrush deportation scandal – none of which suggest that we have elected politicians who care very much about marginalised ethnicities and or very low paid workers.
- In a country where there are no ‘black’ directors of FTSE businesses, or ‘black’ owners of global media corporations.
- Where ‘black unemployment’ is statistically reported as 13.8% and ‘white unemployment’ 4.5% (March 2021).
- Where ‘black women’ are reported to be 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than their ‘white sisters’.
- Where ‘black people’ are 3 times more likely to be arrested than their ‘white’ counterparts and 6 times more likely to be stopped and searched. While making up less than 5% of the population.
Is it any wonder that many of us do not believe Murdoch’s newsprint presses, especially when they tell us ‘everything’s fine, move along folks, nothing to see here!’
The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report 2021 released to the public on 31 March 2021, asserting that Institutional racism in Britain does not exist is both inaccurate in its findings and insulting in its conclusions for the millions who have to face the consequences of institutional racism everyday of their lives. The findings of the commissioned report by the Conservative government, as well as the source of The Sun’s claim that: “Institutional racism” is “patently false” says a lot about the synthesis of Murdoch’s media group and the British government.
THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF – The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report 2021
The report itself can be likened to a political cake, perhaps an old empire cake: Exotic and tangy enough to seduce the palates of the Tory 1922 back bench committee, while providing media crumbs enough to feed the multitudes of minimum hour wagers, the zero hour workers, the unemployed et al.
A cake succulent enough to placate an electorate. A recipe baked tasty enough to satiate a hungry working class but without a morsel ever lingering long enough on the tongue to pose any threat to the social hierarchy.
Murdoch’s newspaper The Times called the report a “nuanced document’” Human rights experts in the UN disagreed, issuing a devastating critique of the report on race published by the British government, with the United Nations accusing its authors of repackaging racist tropes, distorting history and normalising white supremacy.
The architect of the report was current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Having tired perhaps of stirring the base with colonial ‘Picaninny’ labels and Islamophobic ‘Letter box’ taunts Boris Johnson needed to counter the growing clamour for social justice and the constant calls for an end to ethnic discrimination.
The master baker appointed to prepare this confection was Dr Tony Sewell a former advisor of Boris Johnson and a recent recipient of a CBE. Sewell was born in Brixton, South London in 1959 to Jamaican parents who had arrived in Britain in the early fifties. He is an academic, an educationalist, and holds a doctorate from the University of Nottingham.
On the face of things Tony Sewell would appear to be an eminently suitable candidate to chair a government report on racial and ethnic disparity; But as we know, people are not always what they appear. Dr Tony Sewell is no stranger to controversy himself. Called out on a number of occasions by fellow academics and minority interest groups who have challenged his judgement when it comes to matters of discrimination.
- In 1990 Sewell published a column in The Voice newspaper in which he said: “We heteros are sick and tired of tortured queens playing hide and seek around closets. Homosexuals are the greatest queer bashers around.”
- In 2006 Sewell claimed that boys were being failed by schools because lessons had become too “feminised”. Comments he belatedly apologised for in The Guardian, in 2020.
So you see an independent report isn’t necessarily ‘what it says on the tin’; No matter how much the government or the media would have us believe.
In 2010 Sewell wrote an article in Prospect magazine in which he argued that: “Much of the supposed evidence of institutional racism is flimsy”.
It should come as little surprise then that a decade later a key trope of the 2021 report by Dr Sewell was that it found no evidence of “institutional racism”. Indeed Sewell’s report criticised the way the term has been used, saying it should not be applied as a ‘catch all’ phrase for any micro-aggression.
The UN experts looking into the UK report strongly disagree:
“The report cites dubious evidence to make claims that rationalise white supremacy by using familiar arguments that have justified racial hierarchy”
Let us not forget that we live in an age when the Metropolitan Police has been labelled Institutionally racist, when The Home Office were compelled to apologise for illegally deporting UK citizens to the Caribbean, an age when the Defence Minister makes an official apology after a War Graves Committee reported that soldiers of Black, Asian and Mixed ethnicity killed fighting for Britain were not commemorated by being given a ‘Respectful Burial’.
We live in an age when amidst all the ‘monkey chants’ on the terraces or echoed cowardly online, the Chairman of the Football Association resigns following his own ignorant use of racist language. We live in an age when the Archbishop of Canterbury The most Reverend Justin Welby, Church of England concedes to the BBC and his God that “There is no doubt when we look at our own church that we are still deeply institutionally racist, let’s just be clear about that, it was said to the College of Bishops a couple of years ago” We live in an age when even Prince Harry cast doubts on some of his family’s commitment to racial equality, when even the most exalted and benign agencies must concede their share of involvement in this god awful mess: “We know that institutional racism exists in the UK and, like any other organisation, we aren’t immune to this very real problem”. (Amnesty International UK – March 2021)
Perhaps one of the most striking comments contained in Dr Sewell’s report came in his foreword where he attempts to rewrite history and the reality of life today. “There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into remodelled African/Britain”. (Dr Sewell – 2021)
United Nations observers commented on the report’s suggestion as being:
“as absurd as it is offensive….A mythical representation of enslavement is an attempt to sanitise the history of the trade of enslaved Africans”.
I suggest that Dr Sewell in his foreword, along with Rupert Murdoch in his media headlines, attempt to minimise the transatlantic slave trade together with some of the cruellest acts carried out in human history whilst at the same time they dare to patronise those who still suffer the consequences of that history.
If one chooses to simply judge a persons success in life purely on the basis of their accumulated wealth then there is no doubt that Rupert Murdoch is among the most successful men of modern times; but if one chooses to calibrate the scales to measure a humanitarian contribution to our world, then I would argue that Murdoch’s worth to date has been far less impressive, and far less beneficial to our world than one would or should expect. In terms of Murdoch’s accumulated power and influence, our society can ill afford the damage done to it by Rupert Murdoch’s own particular brand of mass media.
Antipodean irony, perhaps? Where once colonials wrapped in Union Jack would merrily be singing ‘rule Britannia’ at the head of the empire dinner table, the ‘former colonised’ returns in the guise of Rupert Murdoch, carrying an unspoken vendetta that seeks to pollute every media and political organ of its former ‘British colonial master’. Call it the malice of a sworn avenger – or the psychosis of a megalomaniac, clearly the consequences for British democracy are bound to be equally catastrophic.
Overall, Murdoch’s message is negative, aiding only those who seek to benefit from division. As far as notions of social cohesion and environmental stability are concerned Murdoch has little interest in either concepts. In Murdoch’s world, preservation simply means keeping everything going as before, maintaining elites, preserving his own influence. An imperative he has invested heavily in materially and philosophically.
The sit down protest against Murdoch’s media presses by Extinction Rebellion back in September 2020 is unlikely to go down as a staple on school history curriculums, alongside the Peasants Revolt and Tolpuddle Martyrs, and yes Murdoch’s Goliath is still standing, but at least the protesters courage has highlighted the fact that our democracy remains under threat from our own media.
And I for one salute the protesters for that.
*It appears the threat of News UK may have been averted, at least for now: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/technology/rupert-murdoch-slams-brakes-on-news-uk-tv-channel-clearing-the-path-for-gb-news/ar-BB1g6N0p