That's what I bladdy think of youse bladdy democratic process, ya bladdy Pommie Drongoes!
Yet Creepy Uncle Rupe keeps faith with newspapers. Why would he do that? Ah well. Murdoch also has investments in cable and satellite television, and to ensure these meet with, shall we say, more favourable trading conditions in the jurisdictions in which they operate, it is useful to wield power in those jurisdictions. Those who followed the progress and final collapse of his attempt to control 100% of BSkyB will understand this.
You pay them a little money ...
Yesterday, an advert proclaimed “Sell Your Story … Conservative Case Study Required”. Hopeful respondents were told “As part of the Sun’s election coverage we are seeking case studies (ideally Sun readers) who are going to vote Conservative [my emphasis] … We will pay £100 for each case study, but you need to be available to have your photo taken within the next hour or two, and speak to one of our writers on the phone”.
... and you turn your purchase into influence
Nor were readers told that money may have changed hands. But what we can see all too clearly is the way in which Murdoch exercises power: he appears to spray money up the wall on papers that are either well past their profit-generating heyday, or even losing money year on year, but all the while that money is, in effect, an investment in his being able to trouser even more money from the likes of BSkyB.
[The "Sell Your Story" advert was picked up on by my good friend Peter Jukes, whose book on the Hacking Trial, Beyond Contempt, is available at all good booksellers, and online in both print and electronic editions. You know you want a copy]