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New sandpit

July 14th, 2011

Here’s a new sandpit for (non-nuclear) lengthy side discussion, rants on idees fixes and so on.

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  1. Ken n
    July 14th, 2011 at 16:29 | #1

    A few more observations about Murdoch and BSkyB.
    The odds of success with the big have lengthened but I still believe that eventually it will succeed.
    News controls the business now with 30 something percent and it makes business sense to take out the rest of the shareholders who are in effect a minority. I understand they are or were happy to accept the bid.
    The only grounds the government has to refuse the deal is if it reduces competition. It does not seem to do that – The parties are not competitors now.
    “fit and proper” is not relevant in the takeover – at law. The government could yank BSkyb’s licences (I believe) at any time on the grounds that it is not fit and proper. If it did that there would be an almighty legal fight that News wouldrobably win. BSkyB has a few channels but it is mostly a disseminator of TV channels – like Foxtel here – and I doubt that seroius

  2. Ken n
    July 14th, 2011 at 16:44 | #2

    (apologies – bloody iPad) serious crimes committed by a sister company running a newspaper would be enough to say that News is not fit and proper to run BSkyB. And as I said, that issue can come up without the takeover deal. It would be a brace government that tried to take the licences away – not because News is a powerful company but because cancellation of a very valuable asset is something a court would only do on strong and clear evidence.
    The US cases on similar laws have come out this way.
    Of course News might not want to try the bid again but I think they will eventually and I think they will succeed.

    If you believe that Murdoch is the personification of evil you will disagree with all this. I don’t.
    To me one of the most interesting things is whether Murdoch will retire soon. He won’t want to go out under a cloud but he might be forced to. In that event my guess is that no member of his family will follow. The board will stand up and insist on an outsider taking the job.
    But that’s just my guess.
    Many people – especially some some on this blog – overstate Murdochs’s power. I don’t believe he has ever made or unmade a government or started a war.
    His papers climb on when something is running – the Australian News papers supported Whitlam in 72 and all subsequent labor governments elected at the start of their terms. That includes Rudd. The papers wait to see which way the wind is blowing…

  3. rog
    July 14th, 2011 at 17:01 | #3

    With the progress of technology the media has become more important and hence more powerful, they operate the gateways to news and can influence opinion on many levels. The recent revelations indicate that the Murdoch business condones and employs criminal activities. The issue here is not whether Murdoch is responsible (he is) but more that he may be representative of an industry that is entirely corrupt.

  4. Ken n
    July 14th, 2011 at 17:24 | #4

    rog – I think MSM is becoming less powerful. Certainly it is no longer possible to control news in one city or country anymore.
    As to Murdoch’s guilt, I am sure we will find out in due course.

  5. Fran Barlow
    July 14th, 2011 at 17:52 | #5

    On this day, 222 years after the opening shots in the Great French Revolution, it would be nice to think that the massed could storm Wapping and every other place of commercial significance and metaphorically free the prisoners and decapitate the rulers.
    Down with the Murdochracy! Integrity! Transparency! Empowerment!

  6. rog
    July 14th, 2011 at 18:41 | #6

    @Ken n

    All depends on what news outlet you read. Some are now decrying Murdochs brilliance at being decisive and snatching victory from the jaws…blah blah blah

    Like Donald Trump he may well be too big to fail.

  7. Ken n
    July 14th, 2011 at 23:00 | #7

    No, he’s not too big to fail. But we will see…

  8. Ken n
    July 14th, 2011 at 23:01 | #8

    And how did the French revolution turn out for everyone, Fran?

  9. July 15th, 2011 at 00:06 | #9

    Too early to say.

  10. Scott
    July 15th, 2011 at 06:24 | #10

    The French Revolution? Turned out okay if you are a citizen of France. For the French Royals, not so much. It wasn’t perfect but compared to what came before it, it was a vast improvement for the vast majority of the voiceless.

    I think people forget just how vile the French ancien regime was…

  11. Ian Milliss
    July 15th, 2011 at 21:50 | #11

    OK, now Rebekah Brooks has resigned. So much for the “she’s there as a firewall for James” theory. Seems more likely that she was there for as long as it took for the retirement payoff to appear in the Swiss bank account. Will she front up to Parliament on Tuesday?

  12. Ian Milliss
    July 15th, 2011 at 21:58 | #12

    Scott :
    I think people forget just how vile the French ancien regime was…

    About as vile as the current US kleptocracy from my reading. I am always amazed how little history most people know and how rarely it occurs to them that what happened once can in some form happen again. I have long feared that once the reality of AGW hits there will be serious recriminations that could easily slide into a replay of the Terror. Unfortunately history also shows that in any Terror type scenario a higher percentage of radicals go to the wall along with the reactionaries, most of whom survive through a quick bit of rebranding and rewriting of personal history.

  13. July 17th, 2011 at 14:55 | #13

    I vote this article among the idees fixes of all time. Frank Joseph Smecker and Derrick Jensen at Truthout are saying “You Can’t Kill a Planet and Live on it too”.

    Somebody tell Tony Abbott, Andrew Bolt et al – if only for their reactions. But getting beyond the emotion and the nonsense, that might be the start of the serious discussion of the what the alternatives and implications really are.

  14. July 21st, 2011 at 21:15 | #14

    As Prof. Quiggin seems interested in alternative Left policies/politics as a counterbalance to the shift towards the Right, he might want to have a look at

    Towards a Liberal Critique of Left Neo-Liberalism Policy
    http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/towards-a-liberal-critique-of-left-neo-liberalisms-policy-objectives/

  15. Malthusista
    July 23rd, 2011 at 22:09 | #15

    Professor Quiggin, do you intend to say something about the war against Libya?

    Whatever flaws Ghaddafi has, I think he and the Libyan people deserve our admiration for standing up to the NATO bullies. For the truth about the military attacks upon the sovereign nation of Libya, visit globalresearch.ca.

  16. Malthusista
    July 23rd, 2011 at 22:10 | #16

    Professor Quiggin, do you intend to say something about the war against Libya?

    Whatever flaws Ghaddafi has, I think he and the Libyan people deserve our admiration for standing up to the NATO bullies. For the truth about the military attacks upon the sovereign nation of Libya, visit globalresearch.ca.

  17. Scott
    July 24th, 2011 at 02:52 | #17

    Professor Q might have enough on his plate at the moment; investigating the facts of the Libyan civil war is probably not a useful waste of his time.

    I have a few thoughts on what’s been going on in Libya, but since I’m not an expert, I’m going to shut up and see what happens before making an ass of myself.

  18. Freelander
    July 25th, 2011 at 02:32 | #18

    Scott :
    The French Revolution? Turned out okay …

    I thought Zhou Enlai said it was too soon to say. (His alleged response when asked for his verdict.)

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