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Ofcom's Sky dilemma

Robert Peston | 09:41 UK time, Thursday, 4 November 2010

Starbucks in Beijing, where I am struggling to establish an internet connection, may or may not be an appropriate place to reflect on the confirmation from Vince Cable that he is asking Ofcom to examine News Corp's offer to buy the 61% of British Sky Broadcasting which it doesn't already own (see my post in September, when I said he would ask for this review by the media regulator).

Sky remote control

I have two thoughts.

First: Ofcom has been put in an intriguing position.

In its regulatory dealings with Sky over the past few years, it has regarded News Corp's existing 39% stake in Sky as giving News Corp control of Sky.

So - some would say - if it is being consistent and rational, it will conclude that increasing the stake from 39% to 100% does not in practice reduce choice or plurality in the media.

Of course, the media groups that want the acquisition looked at - which include the BBC, along with the Telegraph, Mail, Mirror and Guardian - believe that Ofcom's earlier analysis was perhaps too glib.

But their arguments against the takeover look primarily like competition arguments - such as whether News Corp would become a dominant news provider in the UK, too easily able to crush rivals, when endowed with Sky's formidable cash flows and when all News Corp's print and digital titles could be promoted for free on Sky.

These competition issues are not for Ofcom: they are being examined by the European Commission.

The one obvious plurality question relates to Sky News, the news channel owned by BSkyB. If it were integrated with News Corp's newspaper and online titles, then there would be a serious diminution of news "voices".

But under existing prohibitions on editorialising by television news services, it is difficult to see how News Corp could turn Sky News into an audio-visual version of the Sun or Times, even if it wanted to do so.

So, again, it may be that whether News Corp owns 39% or 100% of Sky is irrelevant to Sky News's editorial independence.

That said, I am told that if fears about the separateness and impartiality of Sky News proved to be the stumbling block to the takeover, News Corp would be prepared to sell Sky News - in order to land the fabulous, growing, cash-generating business that is the rest of BSkyB.

My sources for this are credible. But I have to admit to being sceptical that Sky News would be offloaded.

For one thing, Sky News - which is an expensive, lossmaking operation - would not be that easy to sell.

Second, Rupert Murdoch - always a news man, never a luvvie - probably loves Sky News more than any other part of BSkyB.

So it seems unlikely he would enthusiastically offer up the disposal of Sky News.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    PitZahut Basingstoke, strugling to make internet conection, will do best to get back to everybody later about these groundbreaking events.

  • Comment number 2.

    Difficult isn't it. On the one hand you have the BBC which in Scotland at least acts pretty much as the media arm of the Labour party and on the other you have Sky News which would really much prefer the entire UK was run by a UK version of the TEA Party.

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    2. At 10:30am on 04 Nov 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    "Difficult isn't it. On the one hand you have the BBC which in Scotland at least acts pretty much as the media arm of the Labour party and on the other you have Sky News which would really much prefer the entire UK was run by a UK version of the TEA Party. "

    This is true - which is why in every revolution it's the media centres that get taken over first. They're all run by liars of one kind or another - none of them actually adheres to any sort of journalistic code (if one exists) about integrity or honesty.

  • Comment number 5.

    RP:
    "But under existing prohibitions on editorialising by television news services, it is difficult to see how News Corp could turn Sky News into an audio-visual version of the Sun or Times, even if it wanted to do so"

    It must be quite easy as the BBC seem to do it often these days. A subtle phrase here and there, the way a question is asked, not letting the interviwee respond, graphics behind the newsreader.

    Simple really

  • Comment number 6.

    "Ofcom's Sky dilemma". Setting aside the maze of business practise complexities, the issue with all Murdoch controlled media is the real issue.

    We can't assume these current 'moves' are merely a coincidence or disconnected with Murdoch's support of the Conservatives during the General Election.

    Vince Cable and Ofcom are between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps the piper needs to be paid? Communication and media is now becoming more powerful than democracy in some case and we must not sleep-walk towards it.

    Plurisy, you mention, but sadly, there is the potential intent for a more disturbing plutonomy with all media/communication involvement from Murdoch et al? Who knows, but we have, on occassion, the right to assume the worst.

  • Comment number 7.

    If the 39% Murdoch has in Sky is sufficient to have effective control why would he want the rest thereby increasing his exposure to what ever risk may attach to the business (probably very low).
    "But under existing prohibitions on editorialising by television news services,it is difficult to see how News Corp could turn Sky News into an audio-visual version of the Sun or Times, even if it wanted to do so."

    Yes but how would this be enforced in the context of seemingly governments dependent on the patronage of our antipodean 'mate'

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't think it's the potential conflict of interest that's at issue here, I think the issue of tax should be considered. Currently News Corp gets its cut tax paid, if it owned 100% could it not rearrange this state of affairs? Something to consider though not by any of the current players in this game.
    Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 10.

    BTW. Let's not forget that Bskyb is British Sky Broadcasting?

    Is the deal already done Vince Cable? Or, are you under pressure to pay the piper?

    Come on Mr Cable, you know that the BBC, owned by the people, is the real issue and the envyed target and has nothing to do with choice; but creeping elimination of publicly owned, accountable and advertisment free broadcasting on tv., radio and internet.



  • Comment number 11.

    ...or as news international owns Fox news - maybe we can expect more of this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN823dUu6KA&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    ...or this...

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

    ...or this....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55ZreK7CslA

    ...or this....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8xptCpnNh4

    ...no wonder so many people think it's acceptable to lie their way through this recession - dismissing all facts with an insistance that "we're all lefty losers" - I mean this is the sort of tripe they watch and believe!

    How can you have a constructive debate with people who will face you down with a blatant lie and demand that you accept it?

    Luckily the truth always comes out in the end - the US citizens are beginning to realise it - it's time we did too.

    Just take a look at some of the claims made by the supporters of Capitalism - and then question where a) the evidence for the claim is or b) the actual claim happening.

    I'm thinking about that recovery we're always being told about - well there are more people losing their jobs than gaining them at the moment, I don't need a TV station to tell me that - I'm meeting them every single day - they are real - unlike the claims that the capitalist supporters make when they suggest that the banks showing a profit is a sign of recovery.

    You can trust writingsonthewall - he's rarely wrong - that's because he is an analyst - he analyses the facts and draws conclusions from that - I can show you my workings.

    ...you will note that others making alternative claims on this blog cannot do this.

  • Comment number 12.

    If Vince does anything to stop Murdoch, will he ever get invited to tea at the flat upstairs in 10 Downing Street?

    2. At 10:30am on 04 Nov 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    BBC Scotland as the arm of the Labour Party? Really?
    What empirical study of our Scottish Anutie revealed that?



  • Comment number 13.

    Earlier this year I was unfortunate enough to experience Australian television. With the exception of ABC Murdoch owns and operates every other TV channel in the country as far as I am aware.

    The quality of the News is deeply disturbing and seems to show no journalistic integrity at all. Instead the news pushes Rupert Murdoch's agenda, attacking "liberal" spokesmen and reducing most political debate down to name calling and cheap characterisation.

    I believe Australia's democracy has been weakend as a result of the assault on journalism.

    There's also a weird culture of commercialism in every aspect of public entertainment. Breakfast TV shows will veer from an interview with a celebrity to a showcase of a new vacum cleaner for 15 minutes before cutting to the news. It's bizarre.

    Australians seem to be quite confused when public entertainment is not packaged with the appropriate corporate sponsor messaging.

    I feel we are fighting for the future of journalism and our democracy here and the issues go far further than a potential monopoly in the publishing and news industry.

    Who then is responsible for safeguarding our media?

    OFCOM! They are exactly the right people to be investigating this.

  • Comment number 14.

    8. At 10:58am on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    We do not have outube access at work - but it is good to see that you do.

    My point is, and obviously missed by ourself, is that if the BBC get away with it, why can't Sky and Murdoch if he gets it.

    And the BBC might be paid for by tax, but it does not mean that the public have any say in what is shown and how it is run.

    As to the question "who do you think is more likely to be biased in favour of the majority of people?", are you suggesting that the BBC is more or less biased than Sky? I thought they were impartial....

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    13. At 11:55am on 04 Nov 2010, Freedom From Religion

    My, that sounds just like US TV, fit only to be a platform for certain idiots such as those from Delaware and Alaska!

    In the US they are growing a new, Independent TV.

  • Comment number 17.

    Clearly New International think that increasing the stake from 39% to 100% does make a difference, or they wouldn’t be shelling out good money to do it. I can certainly imagine the benefit in reducing the costs of all of the News International news outlets by integrating and merging; such a tactic makes commercial sense, even if it would mean a loss of plurality for the UK. Somehow I don’t think the Murdoch’s will be too worried about loss of plurality.

    I do worry about the relationship between News International and the Conservative Party. Occasionally I wonder if I didn’t miss the outsourcing of the Tory media policy to said company.

  • Comment number 18.

    11. At 11:47am on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    You are ranting again, WOTW. Be careful for you might just upset Averagejoe.

    …or is Averagejoe just your alter ego? You two sound rather suspiciously alike. Would be handy to support your main character when his arguments run threadbare as they typically do when you are I lock horns. I wonder sometimes…

    Wait, there is another one that sounds just like your clone - M_T_Wallet. One way of boosting one's group of "supporters"...

  • Comment number 19.

    11. At 11:47am on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "You can trust writingsonthewall - he's rarely wrong - that's because he is an analyst - he analyses the facts and draws conclusions from that - I can show you my workings."

    In that case you wouldn't mind showing me the evidence ("your workings") that I have changed my position (over 40 blogs – wow, that’s impressive - you really counted those...?), again repeated in post 85 of the “BP and Lloyds: We all pay for their recovery” blog of 2 November. It’s still forthcoming, is it, WOTW? This year perhaps? Or was it just another cheap shot you so love to dispense, WOTW?

  • Comment number 20.

    The BBC has 9a) a charter requirement to be unbiased. That plainly doesn't mean that it doesn't have a range of programmes for & against individual viewpoints - but they have to be "balanced". I suspect there are many Labour supporters who feel that the BBC was heavily biased against the previous Government, not least because of the Hutton enquiry. But you only have to see Sky News to realise that to realise how balanced the BBC is - even in Scotland! Murdoch's power in the media is an anti-democratic menace and we shouldn't just be blocking this takeover, we should be breaking up his existing media empire. His ocrrosive lies & dumbing down have devalued our democracy and society.

  • Comment number 21.

    Tea Party ?

    Fine.

    Where are the new Industries and businesses that are allegedly going to rebuild Britain ?

    What would happen if China turned off the Export tap ? Or indeed if China was unable to export?

  • Comment number 22.

    There is no dilemma for OFCOM at all.

    It is absolutely against the public interest for Rupert Murdoch to control both newspaper and TV and FOX etc. in the States and TV interests in China/India etc etc.

    To argue anything else is idiotic.

    In a rational World we would make him sell his stake in SKY.

  • Comment number 23.

    Lets face it Murdoch wants to rule the world by hook or by crook and pass his interesting views onto the masses. If you've ever had the misfortune to watch Fox News in the States it is indeed the right wing rantings of people who should actually be laughed at or locked up if they weren't so scary. The problem is that people actually believe that these rants are true which is even more scary. As for the BBC being the mouthpiece of the Labour Party in Scotland, I think not. Presumably the Tories will continue to whinge about this, but lets face it there aren't many of them in elected seats in Scotland, either in the Scottish Parliament and that's pretty much because of PR and only one in Westminster so obviously they've got the hump with Auntie since they won't blame themselves for the Scots not voting for them they've got to blame somebody.

  • Comment number 24.

    Robert wrote:

    "Starbucks in Beijing, where I am struggling to establish an internet connection"

    Aren't you lucky I've been having that problem for months in the UK ever since the ADSL2+ upgrade!

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    We are heading to an evolutionary Dead end in News Production.
    Soon Newspapers will die, the BBC and Sky will own the media output (ITV might as well give up now and only broadcast X-Factor 24/7) and Google and Facebook will enter the market as the online alternative.

    Merde' owning BSkyB will make no difference. In many peoples eyes he already does. So what if Sky News now features a Page 3 girl presenting the Weather and the Headlines sound like a GW Bush campaign slogan? Another News Channel is only 1 click away. Or even better BBC Parliament means you can watch the news actually happen.

  • Comment number 27.

    18. At 12:40pm on 04 Nov 2010, you wrote:

    Just before the nit-pick brigade jumps in "typically do when you are I lock horns" should read "typically do when you and I lock horns".

  • Comment number 28.

    14. At 12:11pm on 04 Nov 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "We do not have outube access at work - but it is good to see that you do."

    You need to get that sorted out - of course if you were a computer genius then you would know how to circumvent IT security.

    "My point is, and obviously missed by ourself, is that if the BBC get away with it, why can't Sky and Murdoch if he gets it."

    I was burgled about 6 years ago - does that mean I can do the same - I mean they never caught the guys that did it - so why can't I do the same? I think this shows how you think - it's petty one upmanship - no wonder you love Capitalism - bet it makes you feel all superior when you look at your bank account!

    "And the BBC might be paid for by tax, but it does not mean that the public have any say in what is shown and how it is run."

    yes, it's called the BBC trust...or something like that. Have you noticed the BBC have 'points of view' - can you show me a similar programme on any commercial channel? - mmmmmm strange that isn't it, they don't like to self regulate in the commerical TV world.

    "As to the question "who do you think is more likely to be biased in favour of the majority of people?", are you suggesting that the BBC is more or less biased than Sky? I thought they were impartial...."

    Nobody is impartial - it's just degrees of impartiality - if you want total impartiality then you're looking at home - a member of the financial world, a success under Capitalism campaining for the rights of workers and the end to Capitalist exploitation.

    ....but we already established in an earlier blog - I don't exist so therefore the theory still stands.

  • Comment number 29.

    All Murdoch wants is to crush independant news and install Fox type networks to push his right-wing Ronald Reagan loving agenda. Fortunatley we have rules stopping that over (on TV at least). Although watching FOX can be hilarious it is quite adept at pushing the narrative towards wedge issues and destroying Democratic candidates. GOP candidates now openly ask for money on FOX news. Do we really want to start edging towards this type of media?

  • Comment number 30.

    I’m not entirely sure I understand the idea that Sky News is ‘a loss making programme, and that it would be difficult to sell off.’ Am I being naïve in thinking that people would actually be scrabbling to get hold of the Sky News brand??

    I also understood that any news service is inherently ‘loss making’ because of the unique nature of the programming involved – a news service has a very limited ability to draw an income stream, and this has to be set against the cost of maintaining constant up-to-date and wide-ranging coverage. However this is nearly always set within the context of keeping customers within a brand, i.e. Sky gives you the movies, it gives you the comedy, it gives you sport, and it gives you the news. If Sky News was perceived by the company as purely a loss generating service in monetary, it would not sustain it – it’s about far more than that. It’s about the overall brand, about the ability in Murdoch’s case to influence public opinion, and it’s about linking a product like the ‘best news coverage in the UK’ (laughable I know) with the overall package of a service provider. The overall BskyB brand is hugely profitable and the reality is that it wouldn’t be as profitable if it didn’t have Sky News as it would damage the overall delivery of the brand – the profitability of the rest of the brand more than covers the monetary loss of the News. This is exactly the same with ITV and Channel 4.

    I actually think it would be more a matter of who wouldn’t want the Sky brand that, despite le goût de Murdoch permeating it’s very being, is still one of the most influential news brands in the UK, and has potential benefits for a larger corporation than simply the programme’s annual balance sheet.

    As to the wider debate, I wholly agree with, and echo the sentiments of 13. At 11:55am on 04 Nov 2010, Freedom From Religion

  • Comment number 31.

    18. At 12:40pm on 04 Nov 2010, Ian

    Some of us have evolved into a superior species Ian, you're still struggling with your base animal instincts.

    How did you get on with the last task I set you - explaining the 180,000 years of Anarchy - a system which you claim never existed for any sustained period of time.

    If I were you I'd go back to bashing those rocks together - and hope that you don't 'anger the Gods' who have bestowed this crisis upon you for not worshiping them enough.

    I wish I could find such a simple scapegoat - unfortunately my mind is a little more complicated in it's demands on evidence.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    21. At 1:06pm on 04 Nov 2010, supercalmdown wrote:

    "What would happen if China turned off the Export tap ? Or indeed if China was unable to export?"

    ...as long as SKY news doesn't cover it - then what will be the problem?

    Stop complicating matters with reality - the sheepole want their news to reassure their shattered egos and make them feel they are safe - not to point out the harsh realities of life.

  • Comment number 34.

  • Comment number 35.

    25. At 1:20pm on 04 Nov 2010, Averagejoe wrote:
    18. At 12:40pm on 04 Nov 2010, Ian wrote:
    11. At 11:47am on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall
    etc etc etc
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree that Ian seems to be more about hearsay and probably the dogma of his upbringing, but he is sure to see aj and wotw as spouting heresy.
    Long may it continue (on a relatively balanced organisation's website, just to get back on topic).

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

    22. At 1:06pm on 04 Nov 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:
    In a rational World we would make him sell his stake in SKY.


    So is this a rational world?

    I ssee rational people all around me at work. Switch on the TV to watch some news and well, I'm not so sure about this being a rational world at all.

  • Comment number 38.

    Would I be right in thinking we still don't know the exact fate of Ofcom? We know that it is to be cut back and have some responsilities removed, but we (and they) are missing the details.

    Ofcom had better be very careful how they handle a leading supporter of the Conservative Party; unless they want to go down in a blaize of independent glory.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    Why does the Business Editor of the BBC have to be in China?

    John Humphreys from Radio 4 is also in China.

    All paid for out of the license fee?

    How many staff did the BBc have in Chile recently reporting on the miners?
    This really is scanalous

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    We have too many cartels and monopolies already. Non, non, non.

  • Comment number 43.

    27. At 1:24pm on 04 Nov 2010, Ian wrote:
    18. At 12:40pm on 04 Nov 2010, you wrote:
    Just before the nit-pick brigade jumps in ...


    Exclusively personal private war posts are off topic. Try including some reference to the subject of the blog.

  • Comment number 44.

    "Starbucks in Beijing, where I am struggling to establish an internet connection"

    Advertising, on the main page of the BBC website. I never thought I'd see the day even if it is mitigated by reference to your inability to gte a connection.
    Rupert would be impressed.

    I jest.

  • Comment number 45.

    ...of course cuts are the neccessity for salvation....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11693654

    Now is any Capitalist brave enough to explain why this isn't going to happen here?

    Lets do a quick roundup - I have been saying Ireland and Greece will default for about a year now - to the usual howls of derision from those who push a self interested agenda.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6A214A20101103

    ...and does it look less likely....or less likely now?

    You see they may think I have forgotten all that - but the writings forgets nothing - which is why they keep changing their ID's.

  • Comment number 46.

    What drives Murdoch? what is his intention. He has vast amounts of money and power. Why more?
    Its interesting to consider this in the light of Robert's article "The Entreprenaurs Wound".
    In it he outlines the similarities between a number of business leaders.
    The lack and need to survive in harsh circumstances they suffered in early childhood. I think this supports my idea that capitalism is a system suited to nations who can't cover their basic material needs but that after a certain amount of time captalism moves into a pretend mode where we simulate that sense of desperation. I'm conflating a personal problem with an economic system I know. But I think capitalism reproduces itself by artificially reproducing a system of need in the form of marketing driven 'wants' that we falsely think that we need. This gives people the opportunity to make profit. There is an incentive to keep the customer terminally disatisfied. If s/he wasn't then we might have an awful lot less work to do. What would happen then? Some sort of Utopia where we only had to work 20 hours a week rather than the life sapping labour we undergo at the moment?
    Its an obvious question but it is related to the article. When will Murdoch be satisfied? Lets face it - he won't give up sky news in a million years. Why does he want so much control? He has enough money and power as it is. Seems like vast egotism to me. Does he really believe that he is performing a public service?
    Forgive me if this seems Naive but it seems like a worthwhile question to me.

  • Comment number 47.

    38. At 2:15pm on 04 Nov 2010, Dancing_Hamster wrote:

    Good point. Very good point!

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

    #39. At 2:23pm on 04 Nov 2010, Christian wrote:
    ........." That is why i am excited about the up and coming situation. I believe it will be a fearful time, fraught with stresses. But to me this 9-5 serfdom is bleeding me dry. Making a name for myself/yourself, on the side of the good and the free for the indebted and opressed, in what could be the biggest upheaval in human history has to be the right thing to do. The more that join us the more chance it has of lasting."

    My sentiments exactly. And that is why myself and a coalition of like minded organisations have been planninmg behind the scenes for several months now. Those who think revolution is not upon us in some form or another because they can't see it are naive. I haven't yet been to a meeting with a six foot high neon sign outside saying "Revolution Being Planned Here Tonight at 7:00PM - All Welcome." Let's face it, we're not going to advertise in an increasingly fascist state are we?

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    I proclaim the alliance of the inteligent and free thinking logicals on this blog are strengthening.

    ...meanwhile the economic fundamentalists (I like that phrase) are dwindling - as their arguments are all based on 'faith' or 'belief' or 'unreal expectations' and of course 'self interest'.

    Today I feel a pride I have not felt before - where those who don't agree with everything I say (and lets face it - who would) can stand up against those who decry everything I say

    I never expect people to accept what I say without question - that is what the fundamentalists expect - all I ask is you look at the evidence I present and make up your own mind - and not dismiss it as with your political prejudice.

    Christian, M_T_Wallet, AverageJoe - I salute and respect your independent minds and your independent views.

    It's not your fault that great minds think alike - I think this unity scares those who put their self interest before reality.

    ..and that's why they're so nasty.

    Bring it on I say, I'm ready for the fight of my life to defend those who are unable to fight for themselves.

    Whilst the titanic is sinking - I am not pushing the women and children out of the way to get myself into the boat - I am staying on deck as assisting those who need it - unlike those who like to quote "you live by the sword you die by the sword" (reassuring their own superiority) or "selfishness and greed are part of human nature" (absence of responsibility for ones actions)

    I have 100% confidence in my moral position - it's a shame the detractors can't say the same thing. Which is why they continue to repeat "Capitalism is not perfect, but better than the alternatives"

    ...this is an attempt to justify the guilt that pricks their minds every single day, a lasting damage that I could never inflict no matter how hard I tried.....

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    45. At 2:49pm on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    ...of course cuts are the neccessity for salvation....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11693654

    Now is any Capitalist brave enough to explain why this isn't going to happen here?

    Lets do a quick roundup - I have been saying Ireland and Greece will default for about a year now - to the usual howls of derision from those who push a self interested agenda.


    push-back on the streets?

    There is a rumour flying around the building just now:

    'RBS on gordon st currently occupied by group of pensioners, activists, students, public sector workers, united against the cuts.'

    Well done to all our grannies for taking a leaf out the Greek book!

  • Comment number 54.

    48. At 2:59pm on 04 Nov 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    Why support and egocentric oligarch? Do you read the sun?? do you read the News of the World?? its no difference to that of "der Sturmer" or "Pravda" closely manipulated lies dressed with nonsense to dum down the thoughts of its readers and pull the wool over their eyes. The day quantative easing is announced in America, which could spell the start of some serious global problems. What do we get? An unfaithful General, a Rooney story, extremist terrorists under the bed, and Gareth Bale. Ask yourself why? I would have thought it is the media's obligation to report news that could have a profound impact on its readership. Especially when that impact will be to bankrupt them, cause them to go hungry and/or lose their homes.

    Why do bloggers have to highlight thesae problems kudospeter? i'd like to know

  • Comment number 55.

    49. At 3:06pm on 04 Nov 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    #39. At 2:23pm on 04 Nov 2010, Christian wrote:

    Do you have any information on these groups? I am with several well intended groups like

    www.positivemoney.org.uk
    www.bankofenglandact.co.uk

    but i'm feeling a talking shop about MMT while good might get trampled under the feet of thousands. I want action but currently have 2 years to the end of my engineering qualification. Im torn and its depressing me. I need to join the cause. But i need my degree.

  • Comment number 56.

    Vincent Cable wants to prevent 'rich' students paying their loans off early and happy for fees to rise to £12000. Now he is marching in lock step with the very banksters so many people say he is the nemisis of

  • Comment number 57.

    I can only agree with various previous comments that even a brief glimpse of the poisonous Fox News is enough to warn us off. One commentator (I shall not name him, but think a brand of beer) has called President Obama a Nazi, or words to that effect (a wickedly false accusation) and has used his ultra-right wing views to publicly support the Tea Party - he recently addressed a rally in Washington DC. Just imagine Evan Davies or Paxo or John Humph. coming out to support the BNP.
    I believe that a significant cause of some of the truly nutty views held by some Americans is the absence (or scarcity) of responsible media. We need a Brirish version of Fox News like we need a hole in the head!

  • Comment number 58.

    @ 10. At 11:24am on 04 Nov 2010, corum-populo-2010 wrote:

    > BTW. Let's not forget that Bskyb is British Sky Broadcasting?

    Yes. BSB allowed themselves to be controlled by business marketeers, and used the "squarial" dish, instead of the technically superior offset parabola used by everybody else. A flop.

  • Comment number 59.

    49. At 3:06pm on 04 Nov 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    #39. At 2:23pm on 04 Nov 2010, Christian wrote:
    ........." That is why i am excited about the up and coming situation. I believe it will be a fearful time, fraught with stresses. But to me this 9-5 serfdom is bleeding me dry. Making a name for myself/yourself, on the side of the good and the free for the indebted and opressed, in what could be the biggest upheaval in human history has to be the right thing to do. The more that join us the more chance it has of lasting."

    My sentiments exactly. And that is why myself and a coalition of like minded organisations have been planninmg behind the scenes for several months now. Those who think revolution is not upon us in some form or another because they can't see it are naive. I haven't yet been to a meeting with a six foot high neon sign outside saying "Revolution Being Planned Here Tonight at 7:00PM - All Welcome." Let's face it, we're not going to advertise in an increasingly fascist state are we?

    ............
    Good to see you are planning with friends/organisations. I'm still trying to convince my friends there's a problem. So much apathy. I hate the prospect of having to say I told you so, I want to save as many as I can, before the ship goes down.

  • Comment number 60.

    writingsonthewall - You do realise this is JUST an internet blog don't you?

    You seem to have a massively deluded sense of your importance, almost as if you believe the public will see your insane ramblings and decide that the revolution is upon us.

    "Bring it on I say, I'm ready for the fight of my life to defend those who are unable to fight for themselves."

    This sentence especially, calm down.

  • Comment number 61.

    51. At 3:14pm on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall

    Were you on the sauce at lunchtime old boy?

  • Comment number 62.

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

  • Comment number 63.

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

  • Comment number 64.

    #54 Christian

    I can't remember giving my support to anything, yes i do from time to time read the sun and the news of the world, I also feel like most of the british public i'm able to read through propoaganda. when we have discussed this matter before i've mentioned a few times that the Sun's and News of the worlds cynical switch of support to Dave cost the tory's a majority govt. I've also wanted many times a truely independent media, i don't feel we get that with the beeb.

    What i don't like is the rounding around and gang mentality towards anyone who wants to give a view opposite to that of the clique. I have every much a right to express a view as you.

    What i also do not like is hypocrital behaviour from someone who is able to ignore all their so called principles when being employed by a bank pays them a few dollars more than the norm and doing exactly the same as they pretend to be high and mighty against i.e. changing the truth on the basis most people can't remember past the last x factor result.

    I also feel you should give more props to Gareth Bale.

    Boom Boom Boom let me hear you say Bale!

  • Comment number 65.

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

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

    You say Robert:-

    " ... it is difficult to see how News Corp could turn Sky News into an audio-visual version of the Sun or Times ..."

    This could be achieved by lifting the editorialising restrictions on commercial TV. The Murdoch family make no secret of their desire that this should happen. Given the influence they have over our politicians, I am not be confident that they will not have their way.

  • Comment number 68.

    #46 ("i")

    You said: quote: "What drives Murdoch? what is his intention. He has vast amounts of money and power. Why more?" unquote
    ---------------------------------------


    The man is 80 and presumably mortal. He knows that at some point the grim reaper will take him, but until then he intends to drive on as he has always done. (Murdoch Junior is arguably just as ambitious and ruthless, but less talented.)

    I think Rupert Murdoch is a much simpler man than people make out. He cares for his business empire – and that’s it - he wants it to be ever more profitable. The power is needed to propel his business interests forward, e.g. gaining leverage on Blair, Cameron etc.

    The neo con philosophy - and as little regulation as possible - is championed because it provides a better playing field for maximising corporate profit.

  • Comment number 69.

    #66 - Fantastic, ANOTHER text book hypocrite Socialist joins the ranks.

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    64. At 3:46pm on 04 Nov 2010, Kudospeter wrote:
    #54 Christian

    Apologies for "ganging up" on you. Bullying is not something we need to promote in the days to come. I would respect your view if it were formulated as an argument. I may say it will be cold tomorrow due to high pressue. Going "ha it didnt happen, fool" is not an argument without explaining why I was wrong. The markets are jacked up on steroids. which is why the are so healthy. QE2 will make a lot of rich people a lot richer so they are bound to be priced high. We know what happens to people who use unnatural substances to promote their own performance. Look what happened to Chris Benoit.

    There is a truly independent media. It is called your brain, it is able to process many pieces of information and collate it into what is an opinion. I fail to see how anyone with the weight of information, not only on the internet but that of our own eyes, can say we are not in the middle of a corporate fascist state. National interest spouted by polititians and mainstream media alike means "their intrest" otherwise we wouldn't have massive level of private debt, joblessness, homelessness, poverty. These are issues a govt can begin tackle easily. But they wont because its a two pronged attack 1) distract then 2) extract.

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    65. At 3:48pm on 04 Nov 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "following up to my own post #62, that is the wonder of capitalism - someone else will step in and take the opportunity presented. Japan did it with the car and the silicon chip, China has done it with FMCG, India has done it with technology and call centre outsourcing. But if any of them should stop, then some other country will pick up where they left off."

    Who is going to buy this? - the richest country in the world is now skint and printing money (again), the biggest producing country in the world is now owed so much by the richest in the world that they are in a bind - lender to borrower.
    All the developed nations are debasing their currencies simultaneouly - in a forlorn attempt to boost their exports.

    Your example may have worked 50 years ago - but not now. All the capitalist nations are in sync - we rise together and we fall together. Who is going to pull the world out of recession?

    You regurgitate economic theory - but you don't seem to understand it.

  • Comment number 74.

    69. At 4:12pm on 04 Nov 2010, Againstthetide wrote:

    "#66 - Fantastic, ANOTHER text book hypocrite Socialist joins the ranks."


    ...well at least he realises he's a hypocrite - you haven't even got that far!

  • Comment number 75.

    #74: Say's the Communist bank hater who works for a bank.

  • Comment number 76.

    @ 62. At 3:42pm on 04 Nov 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    >> 21. At 1:06pm on 04 Nov 2010, supercalmdown wrote:
    >> What would happen if China turned off the Export tap ?

    > Simple, we would make it ourselves.

    It's mostly trash anyway, so who cares less?

  • Comment number 77.

    In an earlier post I concentrated partly on a semipsychological aspect of what drives business leaders. I don't think its viable to ignore the fact that whenever capitalism reaches a critical juncture that it manages to reassert itself against the odds with the same power hungry personalities stepping in to the same vacant spaces.
    People are apathetic and I don't think you can entirely blame the media for this (although the drip drip drip of it is powerful). Given the choice between considering whether wayne Rooney should be back in the Utd team or whether who has taken over Lloyds matters, most people are more likely to chat about a fat footballer.
    Change is happening though. Even the jokey concentration on nerds does something to overcome the bias against intellectual thought in this country (which obviously won't be helped if Murdoch gets more influence).
    The internet encourages people to participate and have a voice in various online petitions. Its easier to do that than it once was. Even little things like that edge us closer to more participation in society and economics). People can become the media.
    I don't expect a revolution any time soon though and I havent read many real alternatives to the irrational situation we are in on this blog.
    One of the most heartening things i've seen with regards to regaining control or infuence over the media was the LFC fans response to the Sun's coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. That sort of response to Murdoch's rubbish would really help.

  • Comment number 78.

    What i dont understand is this constant lean towards privatisation. I believe that socialism is a better system. Things that the public need to survive should not be used for profit. Water, Gas, Trains, Coal, Electricity should all be industriues run for the public by the public. not for profit. How is that not fair?? and Disregarding "profit" how is it not a great system. I would be happier if i knew that any profits made from me drinking water to stay alive goes back to the taxpayer. Any loss made by keeping the trains on time to get me to work can be absorbed by taxes. Profit should not come into the equation when talking about improving services required to live and work for all society.

  • Comment number 79.

    Come on yam yzf - how is this going to work?

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d2a17cba-e7fe-11df-b158-00144feab49a.html

    The US debases with QE - our 'export led recovery' goes down the tubes.

    ...what happens next?

    It's UK QE again - and then what happens when the yen rises (following the US and UK QE measures)

    ...that's right, they hit the print button - and then it's back to the US.

    I know they said "we won't have a currency war" - but surely you are not so naieve that you don't know that every politician under pressure will say the opposite of what they eventualy do (whether they meant to - or not)

    It doesn't take a genius to work it out - and yet you still think there is a recovery in there somewhere?...oh, and not just 'a recovery' but a strong recovery - which is what is required to undo some of the long term damage.

    Stop trusting economic theories like they are a religious doctrine - just use your brain man!

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • Comment number 81.

    77 i

    it wasn't just the LFC fans response, it was the whole of Liverpool and quite right to. As i've said before i have faith in the british public to see through vile propaganda.

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    31. At 1:41pm on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    “How did you get on with the last task I set you - explaining the 180,000 years of Anarchy - a system which you claim never existed for any sustained period of time.”

    Yes, the prehistoric times were such a well researched and documented period in our history… Wait, have you read up all about it in that fountain of all your knowledge, Das Kapital?

    Remember, what I was saying about threadbare arguments? Your comments above do show you in rather dismal light. To say they are childish would be quite magnanimous. It is rather disappointing you give up so easily – thought of you as more of a man….

  • Comment number 84.

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

  • Comment number 85.

    36. At 2:09pm on 04 Nov 2010, M_T_Wallet wrote:

    “However whereas I might want to lock up the criminals who have caused this economic caranage I don't think it will happen and doubt there will be a full scale revolution.”

    M_T_Wallet – with your last sentence you just assured me that you are most likely not WOTW. I am very happy to retract my earlier remarks. Nothing personal, it was a comment worthy of WOTW - that is cheap.

  • Comment number 86.

    You know you're on to something when the Murdochians start squealing. They're really enjoying the priviledges of having Cameron onside: the head of the BBC trust gone, BBC Worldwide to sell off its magazines business, the license fee pegged for 6 years. The News International lobbying machine really does work.
    Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 87.

    Good Luck to all those at the BBC that are striking tommorrow.

    The BBC has been a propaganda machine for the " evil family " since
    it's inception.

    Those that love the BBC will be the ones that strike and those that do
    not stike will be a part of the reason why the corporation has become a
    joke throughout the world.

    Poor old John Humphries will not be able to finish his hatchet job on
    China tommorrow morning for the P.M.'s visit next week....not to worry...
    the BBC can still rely on a good story about a new stronger strain of " swine flu " ......that should really put all things in the government's
    favour for hard negotiations.

  • Comment number 88.

    31. At 1:41pm on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    48. At 2:59pm on 04 Nov 2010, Kudospeter wrote:

    no 11 WOTW

    "You can trust writingsonthewall - he's rarely wrong - that's because he is an analyst - he analyses the facts and draws conclusions from that - I can show you my workings."

    your a legend in your own mind!. How about your forecast that the next movement in the ftse when it dropped below 3000 was that it would drop below 2000 next, your forecast of the death of all capitalised economic activity before the winter two year ago, that the oil spil would not be capped until every last drop had flowed into the open.”
    *************************

    My, my and here is WOTW setting himself as a superior species, a know-it-all prophet of doom. As you have said many times, WOTW, facts speak for themselves. Shame you are blind to them yourself.

    Seems like your little edifice of self-importance has taken a little beating lately…

    Still, my friend, the body of evidence and facts is growing by the day ready to be used whenever appropriate. You just keep bashing your revolutionary nonsense.

  • Comment number 89.

    no 71 surely anyone who believes they can tell what the weather will be tommorow with certainty is fooling themselves.

    Anyone who changes what they predicted to the outcome in the hope no one will remember is fooling themselves

    Anyone who has got to pretent other people made preditions they did not make are fooling themselves.

    Anyone who says i made a prediction is wrong because i never have and never will. Sorry for being light hearted with the last bit, and i mean that with all the sincerity of the apology you gave me

  • Comment number 90.

    #68

    I didn't realise that he was that old. Are you talking about Elizabeth Murdoch taking over the reigns? Yet more nepotism - just like medieval times again.
    My view is that for Murdoch its like a sport, a game. He just enjoys "winning".
    In that sense I think you are right when you say he's fairly simple.
    He just likes controlling things and being in charge. It feeds his massive ego and the he enjoys the thought that when he pops his clogs and has his brain put in a jar with a loudspeaker attached he will be the winner of everything.
    As for the profit motive I don't think he's "saving up" for something he can't afford (like say, India) - I think its just self-glorification. Isn't this just like any other self-obsessed leader - for instance numerous cult leaders/dictators?
    In the absence of a moral agenda then I wonder if the man is in some way mentally ill! The fact is if he controlled ALL of the worlds media then he would move on and attempt to dominate something else. What worries me is that there are LOTS of other people like this out there. So how can we escape from this sort of behaviour?

  • Comment number 91.

    66. At 3:51pm on 04 Nov 2010, Christian wrote:

    Are you for real…?

  • Comment number 92.

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

  • Comment number 93.

    #90 "i" wrote: quote: "I didn't realise that he was that old. Are you talking about Elizabeth Murdoch taking over the reigns?" unquote
    --------------------------------


    No, I was thinking of James Murdoch - son and currently Chairman and Chief Exec of News Corporation, Europe and Asia (plus some other roles).


  • Comment number 94.

    83. At 5:04pm on 04 Nov 2010, Ian wrote:

    "Yes, the prehistoric times were such a well researched and documented period in our history… Wait, have you read up all about it in that fountain of all your knowledge, Das Kapital?"

    ...so you can't dispute that 180,000 years of anarchy (in the political sense) reigned quite happily then? - glad we sorted that one out.....unless of course you believe the world was created in 'about 7 days, around 3000 years ago' - like Sarah Palin.

    "Remember, what I was saying about threadbare arguments? Your comments above do show you in rather dismal light. To say they are childish would be quite magnanimous. It is rather disappointing you give up so easily – thought of you as more of a man…."

    ...not your sort of man - I'm not driven by primeveal instincts, I am clearly a superior species - I mean you have problems with greed and self interest driving your decision (and you think everyone else is the same) - I must be from a more advance version of humanity as I do not have these difficulties. It seems I am not the only one who falls into this category - the human race has advanced and you have become "the new neanderthal" where logic and reason is rejected for faith in a system you don't seem to understand.

    If anyone wonders why my arrogance is shown here on occassions - just look at the tripe I'm having to argue with. I mean seriously - where is your logic Ian - where is your reason, can you show us how you come to your conclusions? rather than expecting us to simply believe what you say?

    Let me break it down for you - in real simple terms you might understand.

    Surplus value is stored up within the Capitalist system.
    Simultaneously the profit of the Capitalist industry declines - this is due to technology replacing human labour (source of profit) amongst other things.
    This leads to the capitalist taking bigger and bigger risks (the banks lending) and having to leverage on the Economies of scale (Globalisation)
    This eventually shows in a bout of overproduction - resulting in asset devaluation (that's when supply exceeds demand)

    Then in order to stop this deleveraging the Government does what it always does.
    Currency debasement
    Retraction of the welfare state

    This is because Governments don't understand the causes - so they are very bad doctors when it comes to the cure.

    This is shown in huge fluctuations - first we had the stock market boom, then the money left....then we had a treasury boom (flight to safety) - which is at breaking point, finally we have a commodity boom - as the money sloshes from one bubble to the next.

    In amongst this we have a currency crisis (I think the Euro now classifies as having this) and you can now add the dollar into this mix too. The two largest economies in the world in a currency crisis - but I'm sure this is nothing to worry about.

    We're already getting sabre rattling between the US and Iran, The US and China, Japan and China, Russia and Georgia (to name just one) and Israel seems ready to invade everybody.

    I'm not making this up Ian - you can find evidence for it everywhere.

    ...just like you believed that the war in Iraq was 'clinical' and that the US can achieve 'precision bombing' - because you couldn't accept that we would murder innocents in the name of oil - which the Wikileaks seem to have since undermined...the same way your faith in Capitalism will end in disappointment - at which point you will hypocritically proclaim "well I never liked that system anyway"

    ...it's your conscience - you have to live with it, not me.

    Now run along and try to find holes in what I have said - go and find me some economist who can explain away all I have said - you won't find one however - he / she doesn't exist. The majority on this blog realise this - only you and a few others are insistant this isn't the case - a number which has strangely diminished a lot in the last 2 years...I wonder why?

  • Comment number 95.

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

  • Comment number 96.

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

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

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

  • Comment number 99.

    88. At 5:10pm on 04 Nov 2010, Ian wrote:

    "Seems like your little edifice of self-importance has taken a little beating lately…"

    from who - you?

    It's clear that your only reason for being on this blog is to "take down writingsonthewall and prove him wrong"

    ...well you've failed - simply because everything I have stated is coming true.

  • Comment number 100.

    82. At 4:50pm on 04 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    I don't blame people for wanting to distract themselves with triviality ... more time to absorb it into their psyche.


    Andrew Haldane said in a speech last July: "... measures of foregone output, now and in the future, put the net present value cost of the crisis at anywhere between one and five times annual world GDP".

    The scale and extent of this crisis has not sunk in yet.

 

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