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Ofcom expected to review News Corp's bid for Sky

Robert Peston | 17:22 UK time, Wednesday, 15 September 2010

James Murdoch's hopes of keeping News Corporation's planned takeover of 100% of British Sky Broadcasting away from the scrutiny of the media regulator, Ofcom, look set to be dashed.

James Murdoch

 

I have learned that the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is likely to issue what's known as an intervention notice, under the 2002 Enterprise Act, asking Ofcom to advise him whether the takeover would restrict "plurality" or the diversity and number of voices in the media industry - and whether there should therefore be a lengthier and more detailed probe by the Competition Commission.

The decision hasn't yet been formally taken by Mr Cable, because News Corporation hasn't yet made a formal notification of its desire to buy the 61% of BSkyB which it doesn't already control.

But I understand that the business secretary has been advised that the takeover raises concerns about a reduction in the variety and number of media "voices" in the UK, which would justify an Ofcom probe.

The disclosure is likely to infuriate News Corporation and the chief executive of its European and Asian operations, James Murdoch, who expected and hoped that the deal would be assessed only in Brussels by the EU competition regulator and only for its impact on the competitive landscape.

News Corporation has been confident that it could demonstrate that the combination of BSkyB with News Corporations' UK newspapers - the Sun, the Times, the News of the World and the Sunday Times - does not pose a serious threat to competition.

But plurality is a more nebulous and - some would say - more subjective concept than competition. So News Corp will be concerned that a reference to Ofcom and then potentially to the Competition Commission could delay and even stymie the deal.

Ofcom's website says that the public interest test of media mergers involving broadcasters or involving broadcasters and newspaper groups is that there needs to be "a sufficient plurality of persons with control of the media enterprises serving that audience in relation to every different audience in the UK or a particular area/locality of the UK".

It also says that there is a public interest in ensuring the availability "throughout the UK of a wide range of broadcasting which (taken as a whole) is both of high quality and calculated to appeal to a wider variety of tastes and interests".

In June, News Corp told the board of BSkyB that it was prepared to pay 700p a share to take full control of the leading satellite broadcaster, a price that values the whole of BSkyB at £12.2bn. BSkyB's directors said the offer was £1 per share too low, but agreed to resume negotiations after regulatory hurdles have been cleared.

BSkyB is the biggest broadcaster in the UK. Its revenue in the UK was £5.9bn in the 12 months to June, which compares with the BBC's global revenues of £4.8bn.

News Corporation's UK publishing interests, owned and managed through its News International subsidiary, account for well over a third of all national newspaper circulation in the UK.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

    Robert - if I was Mr Murdoch I would be offering you a job.

  • Comment number 3.

  • Comment number 4.

    Ach thank goodness. Newscorp scares me way more than any bank.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't think there's any doubt at all that this deal should be stopped. Furthermore I think that it's important that Sky's dominance of the satellite sector in the UK should be looked at seriously.

  • Comment number 6.

    Murdoch's Fox news is enthusiaticly and blatently stocking the rise of the right (tea party movement) in the USA. I would like to think they will have a much harder time here, and I think they will.

    The cynicism of the British has its uses.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is absolutely nothing to do with the government. DaveCam the plastic "libertarian" showing his authoritarian, corporatist true self.

  • Comment number 8.

    The Murdoch empire is too powerful already. It will not be good for the consumer if this happens. I find it difficult to believe they would give space for views with which they disagree on a regular basis.

  • Comment number 9.

    What is competition anyway?

    The logical conclusion through competitor acquisition is that each market sector will be left with one dominant company. A monopoly.

    Think about the consequences of only being able to shop at Tesco? What if you could only get your clothes from Primark

    How would quality fare?
    What happens when you are left without choice?
    How much would you end up paying for basic goods and services?

    Logically it must be worse than the state monopolies because of the inclusion of shareholder profit

    The nationalised industries of the last century are the more costly mirror of what we will will end up with come the last company standing model of Capitalism.

    Instead of getting the same service levels (apathy or stress produce bad service all the same)the resulting products will be of poorer quality because of the profit needed to be generated

    In the end we will be left with the same monopolies but in private not state hands.

    The "margin" of the state run companies reduced state costs as it acted to provide welfare together with production - society, thats why it was irrelevant whether they were loss making or not

    Privately run companies distribute their "profit" quota ( and I am not talking about all the "tell Sid" £5 shareholders)to a privileged few, cost and service decrease, welfare was put firmly back in the hands of the state meaning more costly benefits instead of subsidised wages for the majority

    This transfer of state to private ownership is what has lead us to the situation we are into today.

    If you all take a look around you now and look at what you have to consume against your life choice consumption ask what is different from the 70's? My light switch still switches the light on and my phone goes through to automated answering instead of an operator. My water still comes out of the tap and my gas still provides warm and cooks my food.

    It just costs me more because the artificially employed have been chucked asise to make way for profit - the most costly tax of all




  • Comment number 10.

    9 - Tesco could never become the only shop unless it offered the cheapest prices, best choice and the best quality. If they did offer this what would be the problem. As they can't, there will always be people who will compete on a variety of variables.

    More anti-capitalist nonsense. Change the tune.

  • Comment number 11.

    Will Sky be funding or publicizing the Tea Party? In the UK perhaps.
    Time to invest in a new wardrobe. Full of black shirts.
    I mean you need to blend in with the rest of the crowd don'tcha?

  • Comment number 12.

    Ask any Australian what it is like when you allow the Murdoch empire control of too many media outlets.

    My comment about News Int offering Mr Peston a job was fuelled by my own paranoia. Murdoch has a history of employing some of his most effective critics. Please Robert promise you will never sucumb to the Dark Side.

  • Comment number 13.

    10 - when Tesco have finished having 2 express stores in every high street to subsidise the fact people cant afford to travel to their out of town mega-hubs, who would win the battle over bigger profits vs quality and choice I wonder?

    Competition leads to monopoly - private monopoly mirrors public business less quality, welfare, society to maintain profit for the few.

    Nonsense? look at the high street as it is you that is the rat listening to the piper

  • Comment number 14.

    13 - I see many monopolies around that cost huge sums, deliver poor value and routinely abuse their customers, with no right to recourse. They are called public services.

  • Comment number 15.

    Vince your days could numbered, despatched with some exceptionally hard wearing footwear with minimal buoyancy. Dial M for Murdoch does not take any prisoners

  • Comment number 16.

    Just like a credit card company, Sky is very good at making tempting offers to get and keep customers.
    I decided that they are the work of the Devil and too expensive so I cancelled Sky TV.
    Now I feel really good but miss their comedy channel called Fox News, especially the hilarious Bill O'Reilly and the Glenn Beck.
    I would rather do that than watch their football and I love my football.
    I never buy Murdoch newspapers.
    Do the same and get them where it hurts.
    Vote with your money and boycott the lot.

  • Comment number 17.

    14. At 9:19pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r
    13 - I see many monopolies around that cost huge sums, deliver poor value and routinely abuse their customers, with no right to recourse. They are called public services.


    Well you won't see much else sitting in front of mcJokey news, will you....

    Still, while the white noise babbles from the TV in the corner, at least your internet connection got you here to the BBC website, a public service that let you submit your comment very efficiently.

    With a single click on 'Post Comment', so easy, so simple. Now how's that for service! Brilliant! It works! And even better, it's on the screen for the world to read within minutes. Wow, a public service letting you reach all the internet users in the world! Fantastic!

    Or didn't that little click result in someone bringing you your dinner too?


  • Comment number 18.

    I have to ask myself: Why is all this hodge-podge going on now?
    Wasn't it the Murdoch empire that helped Tony Blair turn New Labour into a political machine capable of winning 3 general elections? Wasn't it Murdoch's change of opinion that led to that helped the Conservatives (Cameron) to emerge as the Coalition Government leader?
    The potential Labour leaders are clamouring for Cameron to come clean on what he knows about Coulson and phone-tapping. They believe that Cameron is vulnerable on the issue; this could be a moment of severe strain for the Coalition Government.
    Nick Clegg and his colleagues seem nervous at what is happening.
    Nick Clegg and his colleagues fear that Cameron has involved them in something rather sticky i.e. a sticky relationship with Murdoch and Coulson.
    Last summer, Murdoch's son-in-law, the public relations promoter, Matthew Freud, flew Cameron and his wife Samantha to a meeting in the Mediterranean.
    The Coalition Government put up the education minister Michael Gove to defend Coulson from "recycled allegations". Gove used to be a columnist for a Murdoch paper, "The Times".
    One of the commentators on the same BBC programme, Mary Anne Sieghart, worked for "The Times" for well-over a decade. She admitted it was "pretty odd" that Coulson claimed to have known nothing about the phone tapping.
    Cameron is in a position to do Murdoch a tremendous favour by gutting the BBC to open up more opportunities for Sky television. The BBC must feel under threat. Then there's that inadvertent memo, promising the government to handle forthcoming budget cuts "in context" i.e. in a manner that calms the urge to headline massive reductions.
    When Cameron was elected leader of the Conservatives five years ago, he sold himself as the "next Tony Blair". The real Blair admits in his memoirs that he was "manipulative".
    In the end, of course, Blair found that there were limits to what he could manipulate
    - starting with Gordon Brown and
    - ending with public opinion which.
    So I expect the Ofcam review, if it occurs, is going to be quite interesting. Right now, Mr. Cameron must feel rather...torn.

  • Comment number 19.

    this is pure politics:
    the 2003 Communications Act was written with multiple "murdoch" provisions in it. for example, why else would you insert clauses saying no-one controlling more than 20% of the newspaper market cannot own a Channel 3 (ITV) licencee.

    That was all done under the guise of media plurality, this latest move is therefore simply political (be that good or bad).

  • Comment number 20.

    @ 9 Peterskitchen

    Bang on the money there.

    @ 10 truths33k3r

    Of course we can't trust monopolies to give us a fair deal, we can't even trust competitors to do it. What chance will we have with only one?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-10/packaging-corp-international-paper-accused-of-price-fixing-in-lawsuit.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10126755

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/29/lcd_price_fixing_plea/

  • Comment number 21.

    14 - no my friend, there are no public monopolies left. Everything left in the public sector is the remnants of what the private sector are not allowed to reshape to profiteer from. Yet anyway. You know the stuff that the state needs to do without making profit to make it happen.

    They will be allowed to chip away at those remnants where they identify opportunity chasing ever smaller margins in the chase for the ultimate goal - no competition. Leaving the ultra loss making parts to the state ultimately increasing the burden further on us all as a result.



  • Comment number 22.

    18. At 9:45pm on 15 Sep 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Good points.

    While something like 70% of voters did not vote for this government, they still have to suffer it.

    But no one has McJokey TV or papers hoisted on them.
    Not in my house. I don't have a cat, but if I did, his muck still wouldn't be 'recycled' in the cat litter tray. Not in my house. When hubby wants to watch TV sports, he goes elsewhere to watch it.

    Books are a difficulty though. A lot of the publishing companies are subsidiaries and their roots need to be tracked down... I just don't like the idea of giving that man or his lacky's a penny.

  • Comment number 23.

    17. At 9:43pm on 15 Sep 2010, copperDolomite wrote:
    "Wow, a public service letting you reach all the internet users in the world! Fantastic!" - I know it's fantastic and free (apart from the licence I was forced to pay) - I am ever so grateful. Of course the internet, laptops, electricity generation and plastics were all created by government workers collectives.

    20. At 9:51pm on 15 Sep 2010, szjon

    And so they will be punished. When is someone going to catch up with the BOE for fixing the price of money, or the BBC for fixing the price of the licence, or the councils for fixing the price of alcohol and public transport, or the government for fixing the price of labour.......................logs and splinters

  • Comment number 24.

    > James Murdoch's hopes of keeping News Corporation's
    > planned takeover of 100% of British Sky Broadcasting
    > away from the scrutiny of the media regulator, Ofcom,
    > look set to be dashed.

    We've got to do all we can to keep Rupert's sprog from getting anywhere. His papers are rubbish, and his clan consists of strange, power-crazed weirdos.

    Let's just hope the iPad puts him out of business, else we'll have to take stronger action.

  • Comment number 25.

    Do you think Sky would be interested in a programme I'm thinking of making? It pitches revolutionaries (who are not from Hendon) against a bunch of highly trained ninja monkeys who are also zombies. First to build their own car out simply be thinking that they could do it, wins.

    The winner gets to dictate fiscal reform and it's hosted by Abi Titmus and Alan Wicker. And it will filmed in Hendon.

  • Comment number 26.

    23 - I think you will find that the products you quote were all produced in the public domain and there infrastructures were sold off cheaply to "kick start" the privateers. the internet was certainly not a private invention - agh the days of commu nity eh, and commnuication without competition!

    Do you not comprehend that the Licence fee, a state tax allows you to watch Sky TV? Without the original public infrastructure Sky could not exist

  • Comment number 27.


    23. At 10:08pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r
    And so they will be punished.

    Never well enough in my view, paltry fine that never reflects the profits aquired.

    When is someone going to catch up with the BOE for fixing the price of money, or the BBC for fixing the price of the licence, or the councils for fixing the price of alcohol and public transport, or the government for fixing the price of labour.......................logs and splinters

    Erm, it might be poor representation at the moment but these tasks are mainly undertaken by the representatives of the people. We get what we deserve as a society.

    I for one don't fancy tesco as my only store, insuring my house and car, providing me with broadband and mobile phone and looking after my money in their bank. It might get me lots of points on my clubcard but I don't want any corporation having that much on me. How long till they start cross referencing the data to track my movements? Just as they track my shopping habits through clubcard?

    Where is the accountability when you can't just go shop somewhere else?

  • Comment number 28.

    25 Lindsay I would love to watch it but I fear that Jacques will not let me.

  • Comment number 29.

    23. At 10:08pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r

    Of course the internet, laptops, electricity generation and plastics were all created by government workers collectives.


    Most of that was academia.....
    nanos gigantium humeris insidentes:
    Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants! Proudly, I might add.

    Michale Faraday is a star!
    Maxwell is a star!
    James Watt is a star!
    Alan Turing is a star!
    Tim Berners Lee is a star!
    etc, etc

  • Comment number 30.

    I thought of what I wanted to say, ran it past an imaginary moderator, and removed it because it broke the house rules.

    In the modern world, countries not only have enemies which are other countries, they also have enemies amongst private companies which sell short their currencies and destabilise their ecomomies and political systems.

    I believe the News Corp is the enemy of everything I value in Britain. I believe that Mr Murdoch is as much my enemy as any foreign leader has ever been. I would support any political leader who would send him and his (rude word moderated out)* followers packing, never to return.

    *Hint - forename Vidkun

  • Comment number 31.

    27. At 10:25pm on 15 Sep 2010, szjon wrote:

    "We get what we deserve as a society" true, but I did not vote for them, which is why democracy is the tyranny of the majority.

    "Where is the accountability when you can't just go shop somewhere else?" But you can, I do not see what your issue is. You have lots of choice. Where the state dominates, such as in education, people have very little choice. That is where there is no accountability. I believe fewer that 20 teachers have been sacked in the last 13 years for poor performance. Plenty of businesses have gone bust in the same time period - voted our by their customers.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm sure it is the fault of the banks somehow ;)

    #27
    "I for one don't fancy tesco as my only store, insuring my house and car, providing me with broadband and mobile phone and looking after my money in their bank. It might get me lots of points on my clubcard but I don't want any corporation having that much on me. How long till they start cross referencing the data to track my movements? Just as they track my shopping habits through clubcard? "

    The data you give Tesco is given freely as you acknowleged when you took out a clubcard If you do not wish them to collect that data - return your clubcard - simple

    Tesco, or similar, will never be your only store for, as others have said, if their standards slip, others will fill the gap. I only have to look down my High Street and there are plenty of alternatives to the Tesco Express which is definitely not as cheap or as good quality on many items, so capitalism is alive and well here in this area of SE London.

    For Sky takeover, again the answer is simple - don't use it if you do not like what it becomes or who owns it. You only have to pay for it if you want to watch it, a choice you do not get with BBC - you still have to pay for a licence and it won't be long before just having a PC incurs a fee as well.....

  • Comment number 33.

    31. At 10:44pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r

    Ohhhh the headlines!

    Teachers Out-Perform Business Leaders Over the Last Decade!

    Isn't that great! Well done UK teachers, take a bow. You deserve it, all of you. And I mean it.

    Miss Smith, my P1 teacher inspired me far more than any business leader could in the very early 1970s with the very first school science lesson I ever had - all about Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr.! Thank you Miss Smith, love you! You are a star!

  • Comment number 34.

    All this Punch and Judy show is just for the dumbed down masses who think there is really a debate going on in Government as to whose allowed to pump out the propoganda to the serfs. Any so called Competition Commission is just another talking shop of nobodies who will do what they are told by the powers that be. Does anyone care what the BBC and Newscorp have to say anyway, I dont...

  • Comment number 35.

    34 love your work

  • Comment number 36.

    32. At 10:52pm on 15 Sep 2010, yam yzf
    you still have to pay for a licence and it won't be long before just having a PC incurs a fee as well.....


    Hubby's work computer will have to go back if they do that.
    My alarm clock has a little computer in it and so does my freeview TV box! And my mobile phone! That'll be so expensive if the Tories do that. Think of all those little silicon chips in cars these days!

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    I reckon let Murdoch have a 100% of BSkyB. It'll be a larf. TV as we know it is going down the youtube root...BONG Google owns that already.

    BSB can give us as many channels as it wants/can...but once the cuts come in from the ConDems, there'll be a declining audience. TV subscription will be the 1st to go when peeps pull the belt in. :o)

  • Comment number 39.

    24. At 10:11pm on 15 Sep 2010, Jacques Cartier

    Agreed. We can''t allow this fox news nonsense to creep in hear. McJockey papers have gone far enough and it has to stop asap.

    If each of us are honest, we tend to read for a preference, avoiding the media that does not suit our political taste. But avoiding a powerful media with a powerful bent and associated with alleged criminal activity, activity that involves hacking into the communications of our parliamentarians is just not on.

    Imagine that was the IRA, Osama, attempting to access telephones?

    I don't think we are media savvy enough in this country. Most people still refer to rubbish as newspapers; something of a misnomer for too much of what is available.

    The press should be there to inform us. With a strong, diverse press our democracy will flourish and we need to be savvy enough to tell the difference between information and mis-information.

    When the press gets out of control, becomes overly political and no longer carries out healthy investigative reporting for the benefit of our democracy, a democracy for all of the people then we end up with the non-news of the US, a news media that simply failed to question going to war, simply failed to spot the obvious electoral problems (I'll use that word to keep the moderators happy) in Florida, in Ohio and elsewhere.

    Does that matter to us. It matters to me.

    Look at what we've had. Look at what we are getting. The whipped up resentment of the 'public sector workers' as if that is somemhow terrible. How many of us are prepared or can afford non public sector teachers, nurses, police, army, envirnomental protection, trading standards officers, firemen, social workers, libraries, museums, etc? Did any section of the press question the issue seriously? Where?

    We have McJokey looking for a buying spree so guess what kind of media we'll get, and we all know it. Did the US media realise the way the electoral registration system worked and was used in the States meant it was really easy, too easy to remove soldiers who were serving in war from the voters' rolls? They didn't care and it happened.

    Well guess what? We are having our voter registration process changed 'because of the current ease of fraud'. Is that right? How many convictions of fraud have we had, for it to require such an expensive change? Why are we doing this? And will McJokey care if a few unemployed people in a marginal seat are disenfranchised 'by accident'? I seriously doubt it. But that could make as much of a difference to us as it did in the US for years. What kind of press will we have available to highlight any possible issues with voter registration?


    BBC Newsnight Report:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjaguXX3GfE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtkzPFxn5tc
    Others:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvdSd0-iTO0
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/15/new-voter-registration-rules

    The abuse of the media can be so much more severe than whether they fail to inform us as we strive to ensure we have a healthy, functioning democracy. The media can be and is a powerful weapon. It can be deadly. We saw the abuse of the media for political means in Rwanda and we saw where that ended. I've not enough history, but I would bet many other dangers used and abused the power of the press to ensure their fanatical ideas were implemented. Didn't Hitler order an anti-British propaganda campaign through the media?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3257748.stm

    We, all of us, must ensure we have a diverse media. Without it, we will walk down a road towards the darkness, where we may very well become lost.

    A diverse media, a free and open Internet (WikiLeaks et al, in particular), a BBC packed to the ceilings with journalists ready to challenge our government, the spivs and would-be overlords at the drop of a hit, at the hint of something 'not quite right' and more than able to swear at the likes of A Campbell and other press secretaries when they don't get their own mindless, little way.

    We need the John Pilgers, the Robert Fisks and the Alan Johnstons, the Fergal Keanes, the Johann Haris, the Will Huttons, the Michale Moores, the George Monbiots, the Kate Adies, the John Simpsons, even the David Attenboroughs, the Pestons of this world, some in the BBC and some elsewhere providing us with the information we need to think, to understand our world, to make the polticial decisions that suit us both inside and outside our country.

    We depend on it. Our democracy depends on it.

    Without a broad TV media that limits the power of the super-rich, super-powerful McJokeys and Berlusconis we may as well have a capitalist version of TASS, providing information on no more than the latest must have junk, must eat plastic non-food or espousing the latest social group that must be disparaged for some senseless reason only the advertising moguls comprehend fully.

    I hope to watch as the BBC grows stronger, more fearless and more challenging to the powerful, not less so.

    If Ofcom can't protect our media, then we've no option but to add yet another protest through the coming months and years.

  • Comment number 40.

    3. At 6:57pm on 15 Sep 2010, Briantist wrote:

    "Cassandra: Not likely, BBC's Robert Peston in furious face-to-face row with James Murdoch - Media - The Observer "

    Wow - I never heard about this ...

    Hat is doffed to you Robert.

  • Comment number 41.

    @39. I am given to understand that when certain establishments teach the art of a political coup, the students are instructed that the radio and TV stations are the first military target. Only once you have control of the media do you attack the presidential palace.

    But I have never been to those establishments, so I am probably mistaken.

    Anyway, I am off to re-read Orwell. I am sure there was something in there about all this.

  • Comment number 42.

    There is growing Public concern too about the amount of influence Murdoch wields in this country he has effectively Blair, Brown and now Cameron being deferential to him.

    Sign the petition to stop Murdoch http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/murdoch

  • Comment number 43.

    23. At 10:08pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r wrote:

    > Of course the internet, laptops, electricity generation and plastics were all
    > created by government workers collectives.

    Many a true word is said in jest - many of these things are public domain inventions. The Internet was started by the US Department of Defense. The first computers were developed at Manchester University (Wilkes), and Nuclear electricity generation was devised in the USSR.

    But I can't claim plastic is a public domain invention. I guess even private enterprise strikes it lucky once in a blue moon.

  • Comment number 44.

    10. At 8:39pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r wrote:

    "9 - Tesco could never become the only shop unless it offered the cheapest prices, best choice and the best quality. If they did offer this what would be the problem. As they can't, there will always be people who will compete on a variety of variables.

    More anti-capitalist nonsense. Change the tune."

    Never heard of a monopoly truths33k3r - oh wait, that can't happen in free market theory can it?
    How would a new entrant into the market cope when all the suppliers are already signed up to Tesco?

    Would they simply sell fresh air?

    Your claim is based on perfect markets - not the free market as collusion, mis-information and coercion are all factors of the modern free market (or do you think advertising gives a true picture to the consumer of the product or service?)

  • Comment number 45.

    #3 & #40

    I missed this story too: kudos RP!

  • Comment number 46.

    14. At 9:19pm on 15 Sep 2010, truths33k3r wrote:

    "13 - I see many monopolies around that cost huge sums, deliver poor value and routinely abuse their customers, with no right to recourse. They are called public services. "

    That's it? - the defence of the free market is "well ok, it doesn't work as we're led to believe - but the examples of public services I can bring show.....? what exactly? That public sector industries inside a private sector world will provide 'worse value' because the private sector is better at diminishing wages?

    All I see around me are working public sector services - because all the private sector ones are collapsing (except the giants) - doesn't seem to be very efficient to me.
    As for customer service - well I'm still waiting for a refund from a shop I bought an item from which went bust 3 days later - caveat Empur I suppose then?

  • Comment number 47.

    16. At 9:34pm on 15 Sep 2010, thomas_paine wrote:

    "I would rather do that than watch their football and I love my football."

    Never fear - I have no sky but I don't miss a thing.

    Streaming is a wonderful thing.

    I'm bringing the Murdoch empire down all by myself.

  • Comment number 48.

    25. At 10:17pm on 15 Sep 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:

    "Do you think Sky would be interested in a programme I'm thinking of making? It pitches revolutionaries (who are not from Hendon) against a bunch of highly trained ninja monkeys who are also zombies. First to build their own car out simply be thinking that they could do it, wins.

    The winner gets to dictate fiscal reform and it's hosted by Abi Titmus and Alan Wicker. And it will filmed in Hendon."

    yes I do - that's just the sort of moronic programming Sky goes in for (I think it's to do with the quality of their audience)

    I hear subscriptions are up in your neck of the woods.

  • Comment number 49.

    32. At 10:52pm on 15 Sep 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "The data you give Tesco is given freely as you acknowleged when you took out a clubcard If you do not wish them to collect that data - return your clubcard - simple"


    ...and consequently pay more for your groceries? (i.e. no discounts) - are you advocating that the people of the country should be efffectively taxed in order to keep their information secret?

    Doesn't sound like freedom to me, sounds more like something the gastapo would come up with.

  • Comment number 50.

    43. At 09:22am on 16 Sep 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:

    "But I can't claim plastic is a public domain invention. I guess even private enterprise strikes it lucky once in a blue moon."


    ...and as I demonstrated yesterday - the discovery of the scientific method came from Plato - who was essentially schooled in the public domain (as the aristocracy represented the state at that time)

    ...so there is hardly an invention that stands today which hasn't been derived from collective education - individualism had nothing to do with it (it came much, much later and tried to claim credit for work already done)

  • Comment number 51.

    Just read 'Stark' by Ben Elton! Ain't fiction, Ben's a fortune teller!

  • Comment number 52.

    Private Monopoly equals licence to extort money,
    Public Monopoly critiscised for not competing,

    Big isn't beautiful any more is it ?

    Ol' Lynsey wants her Ninja Zombie Monkeys ! If they had wings they would be very Wizard of OZ.

    Except, wait a minute, if they had wings they be , Harpies !

    The old Harpy has already been done !

    New is better.

  • Comment number 53.

    #36

    What I mean is that it will not be long before they start targetting people who do not have a TV, but do have PCs etc capable of receiving a TV picture. That, by the strict letter of the law, requires a licence.

  • Comment number 54.

    www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11316924

    20-1 maximum salary ratios!

    Maybe the world is changing.....

  • Comment number 55.

    "49. At 09:48am on 16 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    32. At 10:52pm on 15 Sep 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "The data you give Tesco is given freely as you acknowleged when you took out a clubcard If you do not wish them to collect that data - return your clubcard - simple"


    ...and consequently pay more for your groceries? (i.e. no discounts) - are you advocating that the people of the country should be efffectively taxed in order to keep their information secret?

    Doesn't sound like freedom to me, sounds more like something the gastapo would come up with."

    You pay the same for groceries whether you have a clubcard or not. If you chose to have a clubcard, then you might get some money off eventually. It is freedom of choice. There is no effective taxation and that has got to go down as yet another crass statement. If no one had a clubcard, do you think the prices would all go up?

    Freedom of choice - simple.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    53. At 10:12am on 16 Sep 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "What I mean is that it will not be long before they start targetting people who do not have a TV, but do have PCs etc capable of receiving a TV picture. That, by the strict letter of the law, requires a licence."

    All PC's are capable of receiving a picture over the internet (as long as they have a graphics card). TV cards receive pictures through the analogue or digital airwaves (like a TV)

    I believe one requires a license - the other doesn't - so long as it's not live - that's why Iplayer can be watched in a house with no license (unless the BBC want to correct me)

    The license fee is dead already - the Government just doesn't realise it yet. If they try to put it up I think they'll realise that they're reached the point where a marginal increase in price will cause a greater loss of tax payers.

  • Comment number 58.

    55. At 10:19am on 16 Sep 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "You pay the same for groceries whether you have a clubcard or not. If you chose to have a clubcard, then you might get some money off eventually."

    Don't you own a clubcard? - you get vouchers for discounts on goods from tesco in the post on a regular basis.

    "It is freedom of choice. There is no effective taxation and that has got to go down as yet another crass statement. If no one had a clubcard, do you think the prices would all go up?"

    ...and when everyone has a clubcard and is benefitting from lower prices - and you're the only one left paying full whack (because you don't want to divulge your details) - what's the difference?
    Just because you don't recognise it as a tax because it's not deducted - doesn't mean it isn't one. Taxation for opting out is as much a tax as taxation for opting in (although it's not from the Government, so it's not really a 'tax')
    Prices are always going up (it's called inflation) - and that is in effect a tax - another one not recognised by most people because it's not on their PAYE statement.

    "Freedom of choice - simple."

    This is like the freedom of choice you get in game theory then?

    Anyone who offers a price difference in exchange for personal information is 'buying that information' from you. If you refuse to take up the offer then you must suffer higher prices - or go to another shop (except I only have 1 alternative supermarket to tesco within a 3 mile radius and it's the more expensive waitrose)

    ...now I can drive or catch a bus to a shop further away - but when I add in the cost of travel I negate the savings I make.

    Do you get the picture? - The idea of a 'free choice' doesn't exist. If it did then my free choice would be for a new cheap (but quality) supermarket to pop up within walking distance - what you describe as a 'free choice' is actually a "choice from what's on offer"

    ...these are not the same thing.

  • Comment number 59.

    The Funny thing about the media, is not that ideas are suppressed, it is more that ideas are presented in such a way that the audience is guided towards particular solutions.

    For example, the 'we must cut the budgets line'

    There is little debate on raising Taxes, to raise money, it is all what shall we cut ?

    Surely raising Taxes on those who CAN pay would be wiser than making log term potentially damaging cuts to services.

    Afterall, it costs money to retrain staff, build new Hospitals or Police Stations etc.

    Taxes are easy to lower once a crisis is past.

    Services take time to rebuild and restore.

    Just another different view !

  • Comment number 60.

    #56 WOTW. I think you need to go see a doctor, one with a couch. You are talking about the price of gold and Japanese protectionism on a blog about News Corp's bid for Sky.

  • Comment number 61.

    I got a clubcard for one reason only. My good friend was on the clubcard desk in their call centre in many moons ago. I got some discounts on my shopping that year. Great thing is you didn't have to provide ID so they can hunt for Angus mctavish as long as they like.

    My point was that with the diversification of the business they will require much more of your personal info. They already have the data collection and analysis system in place, how long before they are cross checking your car insurance claim with where you were using your credit card that day? I'm sure they would have more devious uses for the technology than i can think up.

    As for monopoly, tesco and asda etc are competitors, surely the whole point of capitalism means they will compete to the death or merge or be taken over. Has nobody noticed the massive amount of consolidation of ALL industries around the globe. There is not much left to merge.

    How about the supply chain? Let's take Asda for example. A walmart owned store. is that the same walmart that pushes down prices through its purchasing power? Bankrupting producers and then buying them upo. Putting farmers back on what used to be their own land as managers. This year they even stopped taking deliveries from suppliers. Prefering to collect themselves with their own trucks.

    that's control of production, control of distribution, control of sale and coupled with their interest in mobile networks, credit cards, insurance and banking it makes them very powerful indeed. i believe walmart is about 25th in the rank of richest countries. making more than the combined gdp of 155 nations. How long till they buy sainsburys? Is this the world we want to live in?

    Private enterprise destroyed, family businesses, farms, haulage companies etc. of course, these people don't lose their jobs, they just become employees of the company on low wages with poor benefits.

    The race to the bottom is a disgrace, utilising slave labour in India and China, destroying the grass roots of the economy it operates in for no other reason than to corner the market. Lower prices, competition gone because the competition maybe can't bring themselves to have children working to make their clothes, or force the farmer they know well off the land.

    No problem for the faceless corporation. just a signature required. this is more than monopoly, they finance our politicians, and sit in the house of lords.

    Then they have the nerve to expect us to self serve. 1 employee for what used to require 4.

    It's a disgrace and if people want to argue for this type of life then I pity them, it will come back and bite you on the bottom.

    You don't need eyes to see what is going on. You need vision.

  • Comment number 62.

    Surprised - really?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11325259

    "Sales fell 0.5% from July, suggesting that worries about tax rises and budget cuts are starting to hit consumers."

    What did you think the world would keep shopping despite the uncertainty about jobs? - What do you think this is - "sex in the city"?

    After seeing the guy on breakfast this morning who stated (paraphrase) "the younger generation's shopping habits appear unaffected" - and seemed to indicate this was a good thing - clearly doesn't know anything about sustainability.

    Most of the younger generation will stop spending abruptly when either a) Their parents cut of their allowance / pocket money b) They're introduced to the world of work where 8 hours slog at minimum wage will barely buy 2 albums (after tax) and it takes a couple of weeks to afford that IPhone.

    Still, these are the same 'experts' who also brought you...

    "lack of confidence is the cause of the recession"
    "People will talk themselves into a recession"
    "With a real free market - none of this would have happened"
    "the solution to excess debt - is even more excess debt"
    "the private sector will bring a recovery"
    "property is always a good investment"
    "diversification and globalisation actually reduces risk"

    ....and other such gems.

    Are we getting the picture yet? The people who got us into this mess are now proclaiming they can get us out of it - with the same beliefs that failed them to get us here in the first place!!

  • Comment number 63.

    #58.

    You chose to live in an area that only had one supermarket within walking distance - that was a choice and so you now live with the consequences of making that choice.

    I chose to live in an area that has many independent shops and so I get lots of choice. If I want a supermarket, I can walk or cycle there. But why would I when the prices there are higher and the quality a lot less. So the choices are always there - it is just that one choice will always have a knock on effect :-)

    And no, I do not have clubcard, nectar card or anything like that - the money it saves is negligible and it also prevents lots of junkmail being sent to me.

  • Comment number 64.

    59. At 11:29am on 16 Sep 2010, supercalmdown wrote:
    The Funny thing about the media, is not that ideas are suppressed, it is more that ideas are presented in such a way that the audience is guided towards particular solutions.

    I think that too. Good example is the furore the media has tried to create with the news that a Cardinal said when arriving at Heathrow you could be mistaken for thinking you had arrived at a 3rd World country. The only people offended by this are those that have never been to Heathrow! It's a dump and the Government should commit to fund the upgrading of it and building three more runways let alone 1 and allow BAA to run it.

    Actually when I heard that a holy and reverent figure had arrived in the north of England, I assume the BBC was referring to Mervyn King.

  • Comment number 65.

    60. At 11:33am on 16 Sep 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:

    > WOTW. I think you need to go see a doctor, one with a couch. You
    > are talking about the price of gold and Japanese protectionism on
    > a blog about News Corp's bid for Sky.

    That's nothing - you were talking about highly trained ninja zombies
    in Hendon who will dictate fiscal reform. Hendon appears to be the place for Zombies - wasn't Shaun of the Dead filmed there?

  • Comment number 66.

    Why let News Corp buy Sky? Simple - so that more money can be thrown at football.

    What on earth is the point of letting Sky blossom further when it doesn't actually produce any decent tv programmes (apart from 'are you smarter than a ten year old?').

    Terrible mistake to let News Corp potentially develop this company further. Come on Cable - rise to the challenge! :o)

  • Comment number 67.

    @60 lindsey from hendon

    Who's that trip, trapping over my bridge?

    Note to self. Never feed the troll again!

  • Comment number 68.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11325259
    Yet another "surprise". yaun.

  • Comment number 69.

    61. At 11:40am on 16 Sep 2010, szjon wrote:
    .....Then they have the nerve to expect us to self serve. 1 employee for what used to require 4.
    ---------------------------------------
    Which is why I will queue rather than use one of them.
    However in terms of supporting employment we should also buy a newspaper rather than just use the internet for news. Trouble there is the ownership conundrum.

  • Comment number 70.

    Good on you Robert for defending the BBC. Not enough do!
    But...the Murdochs are renowned for escaping normal rules and regs, and I can't see why this will be any different. The ideal world is close to the one we already have, where the BBC and Sky fight it out (not always literally) and we get fantastic quality broadcast media as a direct benefit. More opinions at www.contentetc.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 71.

    And Robert, I bet you felt delicious when you filed this piece!!

    Afterall there was murdoch's-son in Edinburgh, like some gregarious self-promoting macbeth, high on the spin-doctoring of his own 'three sky-witches' telling him, no doubt, that 'the public are ready for the new king of the airwaves (blahdeblah blah)and that's you dear favoured son. If you were brave enough to dare.'
    So off he dared, berating the BBC in an effort to overturn our beloved national treasure, a king duncan if you will. How dare they come to Edinburgh?
    And now? Well now there's something of 'Burnham wood come to Dunsinane' in all this- long may macmurdoch be pursued by the MacDuffian anti-monoplies brigade forever more.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think the remaining sane people have been driven off this blog by you lot, but for what its worth, didn't a couple of countries somewhere once try this state provision of all goods and services - I think its called a command economy? Presumably, you communist apologists also believe that the pictures of people climbing over the Berlin Wall were those going from West to East?

    Fortunately, you are a tiny minority and will remain so as long as we still have free speech and uncensored press, as the vast majority of people recognise the intellectual bankruptcy of the ideology you peddle. Murdoch may or may not get his own way on this but don't forget that the competition commission has already made him / Sky divest their ITV stake (at a hefty loss) in recent years.

  • Comment number 73.

    #65 monkeys, they're ninja monkeys.

    I was suggesting it as a new show for Sky so of course it's relevent to a discussion about Sky. On Sky 2 you could have a programme about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony - my show will get better ratings!

    #67 troll, for those that don't know, means someone who disagrees with you!

  • Comment number 74.

    In follow-up to my submission yesterday in which I asked "Why all this hode-podge now?", I have learned that Mr. Cameron is to be questioned about what is apparently being called the "Hackergate Scandal".
    Harriet Harman, A/ Leader of the British Labor Party, says that she intends to question Prime Minister David Cameron over the appointment of Andy Coulson as his official spokesman. (Coulson is the former editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. He resigned last year following revelations that one reporter had been hacking into the phone conversations of Prince Harry and Prince William as well as various and assorted celebrities and politicians.)
    Coulson has continued to maintain, however, that he knew nothing about the hacking. (New York Times stated that at least a dozen reporters engaged in telephone hacking News of the World. One of these reporters has said that the matter was a persistent topic of editorial meetings with Coulson.)
    Harman said she will use her allotted time when MPs question the PM to raise the Coulson issue.
    To me it seems like a threat to Rupert Murdoch's political power in the UK, especially if it is proven that Coulson, whom they regard as a mini-Murdoch has lied about his knowledge of the hacking.
    You may remember Stuart Varney (FGN) asking Murdoch about reports that his News International, which watches over his British newspapers, had paid more than $1.5M to keep hacking hush-hush. Murdoch's answer: "I'm not talking about that issue at all today. I'm sorry.
    (Varney did not press; FBN is owned by Murdoch's News Corp. These tight relationships make for good news, right?)
    Murdoch later said: "If that had happened, I would know about it." Well, there you have it: If all this hacking was going on, in his own words: Murdoch would have known about it.

  • Comment number 75.

    60. At 11:33am on 16 Sep 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:

    "#56 WOTW. I think you need to go see a doctor, one with a couch. You are talking about the price of gold and Japanese protectionism on a blog about News Corp's bid for Sky. "

    We did Sky - we're all agreed - we've moved on.

    If distraction from the real news in the world helps you maintain your confidence about the stability of the world - then please don't let me stop you chatting about Rupert and Sky all day.

    Leave the real important stuff to the big boys eh?

    I already saw my Doctor recently to get my tetanus booster and he gave me a full bill of health both mentally and physically - he even asked me for tips!

  • Comment number 76.

    Good, anything that thwarts the egotistical Murdoch gets my vote. The more outlets he has the more time he, and his henchmen, spend slagging off the BBC. Even his miniscule holding in ITV is demonstrated by their right-wing, pro Murdoch, newscasts. So let's put the brakes on this man.
    Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 77.

    63. At 12:03pm on 16 Sep 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "You chose to live in an area that only had one supermarket within walking distance - that was a choice and so you now live with the consequences of making that choice."

    Now you're really stretching the idea of a free market - I 'chose' my place of residence? Well for starters I was directed in that choice through work (or if I could commute from North Wales then I would, especially as I would have a giant garden to boot) and secondly there used to be smaller independent supermarkets - they've all been wiped out by the corporates - but then I suppose you'll argue they chose to be wiped out because they chose not to suck up all the suppliers before Tesco did!

    "I chose to live in an area that has many independent shops and so I get lots of choice. If I want a supermarket, I can walk or cycle there. But why would I when the prices there are higher and the quality a lot less. So the choices are always there - it is just that one choice will always have a knock on effect :-)"

    ..so it's not a 'free choice' then is it? A free choice is one that isn't directed by other factors. You may be foolish enough to think you are employing a free choice to use a supermarket further away (because it's better) - but actually the consequences of that choice are not burdened by you - if you drive - because the environment pays for that instead (oh and a little fuel costs)

    This is exactly the same 'free choice' we're faced with when choosing schools for our kids. Sure we can now choose any school in London - but the cost of that choice is born by the poor commuters who no longer have the choice of driving to work because the streets are clogged with 'Mother truckers' in their silly 4x4's.
    So once again the idea of free choice is proven not to exist - for every choice someone pays - just because people choose not to see the consequences - or cannot see them (in the case of bankers) - doesn't mean there aren't any.

    "And no, I do not have clubcard, nectar card or anything like that - the money it saves is negligible and it also prevents lots of junkmail being sent to me."

    Tesco would argue differently.

  • Comment number 78.

    64. At 12:16pm on 16 Sep 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:

    "I think that too. Good example is the furore the media has tried to create with the news that a Cardinal said when arriving at Heathrow you could be mistaken for thinking you had arrived at a 3rd World country. The only people offended by this are those that have never been to Heathrow! It's a dump and the Government should commit to fund the upgrading of it and building three more runways let alone 1 and allow BAA to run it."

    Imagine if he landed in Hendon - the whole papal party would have turned back.
    Luckily nobody listens to people who support the third runway anymore - especially not those who claim to live abroad.

  • Comment number 79.

    Anyone not worried about the influence of McJokey and what Fox can do for you, then take a look at just haw right wing things can become with a narrow bowl for a media.

    Carl Paladino? I mean, we thought GW was a bit of a fruit and nut bar!

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/15/final_primaries_held_before_november_midterms

  • Comment number 80.

    65. At 12:23pm on 16 Sep 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:

    "That's nothing - you were talking about highly trained ninja zombies
    in Hendon who will dictate fiscal reform. Hendon appears to be the place for Zombies - wasn't Shaun of the Dead filmed there?"

    Worse still - look at one of their famous 'sons' - the lord of darkness himself.

    Peter Mandelson - Labour politician

    No wonder everyone is keen to head for Switzerland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendon

  • Comment number 81.

    68. At 12:34pm on 16 Sep 2010, Averagejoe wrote:

    "http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11325259
    Yet another "surprise". yaun."

    let's save some time.

    Next months surprises.

    "Surprise fall in UK GDP"
    "Surprise fall in UK manufacturing"
    "Surprise fall in business confidence index"
    "Surprisingly sensible comment from someone claiming to be from hendon"
    "Surprise interest rate hike" - ooooooh controversial
    "Surprise QE injection of £100 Billion"

    ....clearly not all of these will be true - I'll leave you to decide which is more likely.

  • Comment number 82.

    @73 lindsey from hendon

    In The Art of Trolling, published on the web, it is suggested that in Usenet usage, a "troll" is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers by, but rather a provocative posting to a news group intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses. The content of a "troll" posting generally falls into several areas. It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction of common knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of the news group or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.[5]

    an apparently foolish contradiction of common knowledge,

    That's the one i would apply to you.

    Now, note to self, no more biscuits for the troll. No more biscuits for the troll, no more........

  • Comment number 83.

    72. At 1:11pm on 16 Sep 2010, a_sensible_comment wrote:

    "I think the remaining sane people have been driven off this blog by you lot,"

    Sane? - what those who believe in the 'velocity of money' or those who believe there is 'value created in exchange' or those who believe that 'globalisation brings stability' or those who believe 'the free market can manage itself'?
    Seems you appear to be on the wrong side of the fence of sanity - I got checked by my doctor this week - have you?

    "but for what its worth, didn't a couple of countries somewhere once try this state provision of all goods and services - I think its called a command economy? Presumably, you communist apologists also believe that the pictures of people climbing over the Berlin Wall were those going from West to East?"

    ...and China, the centrally planned economy - how's that doing? Maybe you need to compare the olympics in 2012 to realise the benefits of being in charge of your own economy.
    You would be surprised how many ex-east Germans are now pining for the time when the price of bread and milk were fixed. Still, I'm not going to sit here and defend past failed command Economies anymore than you're going to defend the lost decade in Japan as a 'shining example of Capitalism'.

    "Fortunately, you are a tiny minority and will remain so as long as we still have free speech and uncensored press, as the vast majority of people recognise the intellectual bankruptcy of the ideology you peddle."

    ...but we have only used words - surely right and reason are the only true winners in a battle of words? I think you'll find most of 'them' have left because of EVENTS - events which are going on right now which defy their ideology. We can't help that - we're just pointing out why we think that's happening.

    "Murdoch may or may not get his own way on this but don't forget that the competition commission has already made him / Sky divest their ITV stake (at a hefty loss) in recent years. "

    Shame, well maybe if he didn't keep trying to 'corner the media market' then he wouldn't find this problem.

    ...of course in a free market Rupert would already own ITV, BskyB and every other news channel by now - that's why we need regulation - and that's why free markets don't work. We (the taxpayer) have to PAY to MAKE THEM WORK.

    I haven't forgotten when I was alone on this blog - surrounded by arch-capitalists all telling me that the boom was good and that Northern Rock was all the fault of the Government and that less state control was the answer.

    ....my how the tables have turned...

  • Comment number 84.

    @ 72. At 1:11pm on 16 Sep 2010, a_sensible_comment wrote:

    > I think the remaining sane people have been driven off this
    > blog by you lot,

    Yes – some of these strange and greedy people are a nuisance.

    > didn't a couple of countries somewhere once try this state provision of
    > all goods and services - I think its called a command economy?

    No – you are getting mixed up. A couple of countries somewhere did try once to allow a free market to organise the provision of all goods and services, and that experiment destroyed the world's money system. I think its called a “screwed-up economy”?

    > Presumably, you communist apologists ...

    Presumably, you free-market apologists believe that the queues outside British banks and the staggering size of the deficit is just some propaganda by the BBC? Fortunately, you are a tiny minority and will remain so as long as we still have trade-unions, a strong sense of shared destiny and a loathing for banking pariahs and other nonentities such as yourself.

  • Comment number 85.

    #75. We did Sky - we're all agreed - we've moved on.
    Leave the real important stuff to the big boys eh?


    WOTW - the arrogance of the ignorant shows itself again. This is the kind of fascist response - trying to stifle others views and put others down - that as a country we fought to defeat.

    Big boys???..in your own little mind in your own little world maybe dear, you really ought to enter the real world and realise that many people have different views to you and that they will regularly disagree with your rubbish.

    However in your vain, we've proved there's no revoluation and that the bankers aren't totally to blame for the current situation so, dear, move on.

  • Comment number 86.

    73. At 1:25pm on 16 Sep 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon wrote:

    "I was suggesting it as a new show for Sky so of course it's relevent to a discussion about Sky. On Sky 2 you could have a programme about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony - my show will get better ratings!"

    Why - do you think they were listening? Most people on here have stopped listening to you a long time ago, so why do you think Sky would be?

  • Comment number 87.

    Did I mention this already? - it's like Deja-vu sometimes.

    Remind me again, did this already happen or is this the first time?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11328532

  • Comment number 88.

    Lets pull this thread back to News Corp and its desire to control 100% of BSkyB (trading as Sky) and the influance both Rupert & James Murdoch have in influancing political opinion through their newspapers and TV channels. It is indeed very dangerous that ANY society would allow such individuals so much power over the control of media and its manipulation to further their own considerable wealth. Its not new the Greeks, Romans etc were all past masters but in an age where were supposed to be more educated why do we allow it. Moreover those bodies such as the competition commission are supposed to act on our behalf yet time & again fail us as we have seen with utilities where competition is being narrowed down by foriegn acquistion and no UK accountability other than often abused codes of conduct.
    BSkyB make the least amount of UK originated content of the major broadcasters so already rely heavily on US in particular for programming where the profit & IP rests, so create the least British jobs per £1 of revenue. BSkyB have two big revenue streams subscriptions & advertising the other have only one (please note the BBC get slammed for this yet BSkyB tie you in forcing 12 months minimum contracts and connection to a phone line. BSkyB should be forced to adopt the same rules as ITV, C4 and C5 and meet EU miniums on original content. James Murdoch wants whats best for News Corp not the British public, we need powerful enforcers to protect society from people like James Murdoch.

  • Comment number 89.

    77. So once again the idea of free choice is proven not to exist - for every choice someone pays - just because people choose not to see the consequences - or cannot see them (in the case of bankers) - doesn't mean there aren't any.

    Free choice does exist, to deny it is absurd. In our mixed economy and in our society there are endless opportunities. To make the most of these you have to work hard, but they do exist they are just not handed on a plate. For instance, if you are that worried about the quality of your local school, become a governor. It's relatively easy to do and then you can change the school from within. Alternative, complain, moan and whinge, that will get you far.

  • Comment number 90.

    #12. Cassandra wrote:

    "Ask any Australian what it is like when you allow the Murdoch empire control of too many media outlets".

    - or any Italian (for "Murdoch" read "Berlusconi")

    - or any Russian (for "Murdoch" read "Putin's stooges")...

  • Comment number 91.

    90 posts and no-one's even mentioned Kay Burley yet!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt_cUiCjggE

    Unbiased and balanced journalism folks - through the eyes of Kay Burley of course.

    ...or maybe her more sensitive side...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6tnxz18sFI&feature=related

    Why don't we do what the other Europeans do and simply burn the Sky buildings to the ground - when they rebuild them - we burn them down again.

    Think of the job creation for the construction industry folks - we'll be doing our country a service.

  • Comment number 92.

    # 81. The biggest surprise would be a sensible comment from WOTW next month. No chance of that.

  • Comment number 93.

    #77. At 1:48pm on 16 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "there used to be smaller independent supermarkets - they've all been wiped out by the corporates - but then I suppose you'll argue they chose to be wiped out because they chose not to suck up all the suppliers before Tesco did!" - No, those shops disappeared because people chose to go to Tesco. They could have chosen otherwise.

    "so it's not a 'free choice' then is it? " - yes it is as I could to choose to live where I do, live in other areas or live in the suburbs. If I take your argument to the logical conclusion and we have no choice in anything - including being born - then why do we bother looking before crossing the road?

    "You may be foolish enough to think you are employing a free choice to use a supermarket further away (because it's better)" - actually, ?I said I use the local shops as their quality and prices are so much better, so please do not unintentionally misquote

    "just because people choose not to see the consequences" and one of things I said originally was to accept consequences of the choices made i.e the line "live with the consequences of making that choice"

    "Tesco would argue differently" Of course they would, but I would like to see them prove it.

    To get back to News Corp and Sky, were this to go ahead and one did not like it, then one has a simple choice - carry on paying for Sky or not.

  • Comment number 94.

    86. At 2:17pm on 16 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    Why - do you think they were listening? Most people on here have stopped listening to you a long time ago, so why do you think Sky would be?


    Well you still are. Self-defeating dear boy.

  • Comment number 95.

    72. At 1:11pm on 16 Sep 2010, a_sensible_comment wrote:

    "...didn't a couple of countries somewhere once try this state provision of all goods and services..."

    Haven't you heard? We are nearly there now.

    "Their survival as institutions now wholly depends on the goodwill of governments and taxpayers around the world. From Australia, to South Korea, to Germany, France, the UK and the US – inter alia – taxpayers financial support for the banking system is now equivalent to more than one quarter of global GDP, or more than £9,000bn."

    Robert Peston.



    Don't like it?

    Give the £9 Trillion back then.

  • Comment number 96.

    #88 I tried to point out that this thread should be about News Corp but was shouted down. Apparently we (WOTW)have already decided the answer (WOTW's opinion) and so we (WOTW) has decided to move on.

    The arrogance of WOTW is incredible. He won't listen to any one's opinion, refuses to accept that he may be wrong and is adamant that his version of the future will become a reality. I'm pretty sure WOTW is Tony Blair.

  • Comment number 97.

    82. At 2:09pm on 16 Sep 2010, szjon wrote:

    "an apparently foolish contradiction of common knowledge,

    That's the one i would apply to you."

    I'll second that.

    "Now, note to self, no more biscuits for the troll. No more biscuits for the troll, no more........"

    I know, it's so hard though...the troll seems so helpless and hungry and devoid of factual information...

  • Comment number 98.

    85. At 2:14pm on 16 Sep 2010, Roger Knight wrote:

    "WOTW - the arrogance of the ignorant shows itself again. This is the kind of fascist response - trying to stifle others views and put others down - that as a country we fought to defeat."

    Don't lecture me on fascism as you reside within a fascist state and don't even realise it! I haven't put 'others' views down , merely that rabble from Hendon (john excepted) - who have proven their lack of knowledge on so many subjects means they're either not serious or totally dellusional.
    ...and which war against fascism did you fight in sir? - are you a WWII veteran - or do you count the Iraq invasion as a fight against fascism?

    "Big boys???..in your own little mind in your own little world maybe dear, you really ought to enter the real world and realise that many people have different views to you and that they will regularly disagree with your rubbish."

    This is the mentality of the church, you have a view, you don't need to justify it, you don't even need to explain your reasoning behind it - you just believe it and everyone else can stuff themselves.
    I on the other hand I show the reasoning behind my conclusions - which leave them open to debate - just because you find it hard to find holes in what I say - that's not my fault, it's because most of what I say is accurate and true.
    If you want to join in the 'ninja monkey vampires' as a serious debate then you're free to do so - however I will ridicule you for such baseless beliefs - as it is my right to do also.

    "However in your vain, we've proved there's no revoluation and that the bankers aren't totally to blame for the current situation so, dear, move on."

    Proved? - when, where and how? Please do tell me because the 'leader of the banks' just said it was his and the bankers fault!

    http://financialadvice.co.uk/news/investments/89965-mervyn-king-turns-on-the-bankers.html

    Now that's exactly what I'm talking about - statements of 'fact' which have no facts contained within and yet somehow 'prove a point'. At least I have Merv on my side - who's on yours? - The ninja monkey crew from switzerl-endon?

    Writings 1 Roger Knight 0

    ...now go look up fascism really means...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

  • Comment number 99.

    89. At 2:27pm on 16 Sep 2010, Roger Knight wrote:

    "Free choice does exist, to deny it is absurd."

    Really? - prove it - or better, disprove my example.

    "In our mixed economy and in our society there are endless opportunities."

    That's just a statement, there are opportunities in every society - every day you wake up and you're still breathing there are opportunities - what's that got to do with mixed economies?

    "To make the most of these you have to work hard, but they do exist they are just not handed on a plate."

    Nobody suggested they were.

    "For instance, if you are that worried about the quality of your local school, become a governor. It's relatively easy to do and then you can change the school from within. Alternative, complain, moan and whinge, that will get you far."

    I don't have a problem with the quality of my local school - as I have no children. However I do have a problem with the backward thinking of parents who drive their lazy fat kids across London in the hope the 'better school' (better by league table BTW, not actually a definitive test) will be able to prevent their kids growing up to be as thick as they are.

    In the meantime this 'free choice' these parents make actually doesn't reflect the true costs of that decision.

    1) They block all the roads (as anyone who works notices when the kids are off school)
    2) The damage the environment with their chuggalugging chelsea tractors which have never even seen a lambing ewe - or mud for that matter.
    3) They contribute to the obesity problem and they produce lazy kids who want to be driven everywhere later in life.

    If you can demonstrate a 'free choice' within our mixed Economy - then I'm all ears mate...however the choices may be presented as being 'free' - but they're not - there are consequences.

    I expect most parents would see a 'free choice' as a number of excellent schools within walking distance of home - how for that we need a centrally planned administration becase market forces are always so unpredictable. it also means a standard across all schools - something I think we used to have but the mugs of this world gave it up for some perception of 'free choice' rather than fixing the underlying issues.

  • Comment number 100.

    # 91. At 2:45pm on 16 Sep 2010, you wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain


    Come on moderators - You know it's true...

 

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