That's how many goes I get at taking over a hundred bladdy percent of bladdy Sky, and don't you bladdy Pommie drongoes forget it!
At the time, as the Guardian reported, things looked bad for Murdoch: “The withdrawal represents the biggest single reverse of Murdoch's mercurial career, but may presage even further commercial damage not just in the UK, but worldwide. News Corp's current 39% stake in BSkyB could also still be at risk from the ‘fit and proper’ test for ownership being conducted by regulator Ofcom”. But how times change.
Leveson: kicked into the long grass
The Leveson Inquiry’s findings have been thus far ignored by most of the press, who have simply ditched the discredited PCC and set up its Mark 2 business-as-usual successor IPSO. What was intended to become “Leveson Part 2”, looking at the relationship between the press and the law enforcement agencies, has been kicked into the long grass by the Tories. As a result, the signs of a new bid for Sky are slowly emerging.
To do so, Rupe and his pals would need to get a bid past the Government and the competition watchdog - but the latter did not have a problem last time round. And the Government is now a majority Tory one. But is this a serious idea? The behaviour of the Murdoch press is what gives the game away here: its shameless propagandising for Young Dave and his jolly good chaps has little other justification.
The coverage of one issue should make media watchers wary, and that is the Tories’ welfare proposals. Yesterday, the Sun was uncritical, telling “Mr Osborne and Mr Duncan Smith are thought to have targeted housing benefit and tax credits as the main areas they want to cut … They said yesterday that it would take at least 10 years to return the benefits bill to ‘sanity’, but insisted they will not flinch from the task in hand”.