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The Ministers and the Mogul
Leveson exposes links between Tories and Murdoch
It was a line which perhaps only the world's most powerful media magnate could have the audacity to use. As Rupert Murdoch sat before the Leveson Inquiry to answer questions on the practices of his British newspapers the aging mogul replied: "The Sun may be the only independent paper in the business." Cue barely suppressed laughter from journalists and mass tweeting of the Sun's most notorious, politically motivated, headlines.
While Murdoch answered, a political storm was engulfing Tory culture secretary Jeremy Hunt as it was revealed that he'd lobbied in support of Murdoch's takeover of BSkyB; a takeover he was supposed to be impartially monitoring. Hunt is attempting to blame the whole fiasco on one of his political advisers and as we go to press, is still hanging on to his cabinet position.
Yet, while the connections between Murdoch's News International and the Tories continue to be exposed, perhaps Murdoch was being more honest than he realised. Murdoch has always been neoliberal, anti-union and Euro-sceptic, and these views are reflected across his media outlets.
However, he has never let political convictions override his business interests, and has consistently and unscrupulously used his influence to back any politician, from Thatcher to Blair to Cameron, who will further those interests.
Labour supporters with short memories may argue that Murdoch and his malign influence is a unique problem, but from Lord Beaverbrook and Robert Maxwell, to Richard Desmond and the Barclays Brothers, all capitalist media magnates have acted in the same way. Murdoch is merely the most efficient at furthering his class interests.
While the enquiry continues to expose serious corruption between all sections of the British ruling class, from media magnates to police commanders and senior ministers, no verdict by Justice Leveson will bring these practices to an end. If a ruling class exists its representatives will always collude to further their interests.
Socialists support an independent inquiry, which is democratically accountable with trade union representation, and a genuinely free press.
In The Socialist 2 May 2012:
Fighting the government attacks
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition feature
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Environment and socialism