Jeremy Hunt and the Murdoch empire

25 Apr

There is brilliant, and extensive, coverage in today’s Guardian. Political editor, Patrick White, writes that Hunt “appears to have blotted his copybook beyond repair”. Far from handling the News Corp bid for BSkyB, in a way that was (as Hunt said), “completely fair, impartial and above board”, he appears to have “handed NewsCorp commercially confidential and market-sensitive information at a time when he was in a quasi-judicial capacity, repeatedly giving insight into his and the government’s thinking. At one point, Hunt’s office, according to [NewsCorp’s public affairs executive] Michel, handed over information in a way that Michel stated was ‘absolutely illegal’.”

Michael White writes in his analysis piece: “Watching James Murdoch dumping on Tory ministers at the Leveson inquiry yesterday, the political equivalent of a Relate counsellor would probably have muttered that she always knew the Cameron-Murdoch arranged marriage would end in tears. Neither party had shown much previous enthusiasm for each other…” Now, contrary to David Cameron’s assertions, James Murdoch says he discussed NewsCorp’s bid for BSkyB with him at Rebekah Brooks’s house two days before Christmas 2010.

Apart from any other considerations, it is astonishing that government ministers are so naive. I would have thought that the first rule in government, as it is in any type of business, is be careful what you say – and don’t trust anyone to protect your interests when theirs are at stake.

I was in favour of fixed-term parliaments, but I am appalled at the thought of putting up with this government for another three years, and that has as much to do with their continued displays of incompetence as with any political affiliations.

Today’s picture

And now for a bit of cheer! It continues to hammer down with rain (April showers or April torrents?) and there was a huge thunderstorm right over London N1 not long ago. So here’s some more sunshine, taken in South Africa in January 2010.Image

 

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