Meltdown In Politics, Banking And Now Media. But What Progress?

My hopes just keep getting raised; a referendum on changing the electoral system (ok, to a system not much better) but.., result - lost; MPs caught with their hands in the till, result - no real change, bankers - ditto.

So I haven't raised my hopes during Murdochgate. Yes we have some judicial inquiries, yes some resignations (with handsome payoffs no doubt), yes the BskyB bid is defeated (for now), but will any of this really convict the establishment figures up to their neck in it?

My reasons for starting this blog 6 years ago were to highlight how centralised and monopolised our politics, media and finance had become. This breeds a lack of competition. The main solutions seemed simple enough to me - proportional elections, regulated ownership and impartiality rules for the media, and regulating speculation, debt and inequality. All these things could be achieved if only powerful rich vested interests could be defeated. There has been no time better than the present, yet somehow the people have been sidetracked, bamboozled and it remains 'business as usual' for the powered rich elite that form the establishment. I really don't know how they do it.

On MPs expenses, what highlighted just how little had changed was Tories like David Cameron berating large families on benefit for claiming £20k in benefits just so they can pay their exorbitant rents (not their fault). While at the same time Cameron claims £20k from the taxpayer for interest on a mortgage he doesn't even need. While this guy on a taxpayer funded salary in excess of £150k and worth an estimated £30m can get away with this there is little hope (MPs still get 3 times average salary and £100k expenses on top). What real chance has a family on benefit got to change their circumstances when it is obvious to anyone that there are no jobs going to pay them the amount they need to live. Is that their fault? Isn't the solution to make sure work pays, rather than throw them on the street? Of course you would never read any of this in the press. Even if Murdoch is destroyed, would it be better if the Daily Mail or Richard Desmond have even more power? And of course bankers are still getting millions in bonuses.

I was trying to reason that surely Murdoch can't be all bad, but looking at Fox news in the US and hearing Murdoch wailing at the injustice of it all just emphasises we should have no sympathy for this guy (face-pie or no face-pie - I just wish that idiot hadn't done that).

How Will Murdoch Get Out Of This One?

I cannot possibly write down all the thoughts I have on this hacking crisis. Nowadays you have to be very careful. Just to say that if you add up all the people who have been in jail in the UK, add in their families and then add all those who deserve to be in jail but got away with it, it probably comes to around 4 million people. Around 4 million people bought the News Of The World on Sunday. Just a thought. In my humble opinion, buying the NOTW (or for that matter any tabloid involved in hacking) after this scandal is like spitting on the graves of murder victims, war dead etc. Provocative I know, but sometimes it needs to be said.

There is a very simple test as to whether Murdoch is going to get away with this hacking scandal - whether or not the BskyB bid goes through. Ed Miliband has forced this issue into a parliamentary debate - he has kept 'punching the bruise' as one Guardian journalist put it and Cameron and the Tories have consequently without Lib Dem support looked very weak and had to back down in their support for Murdoch.

Miliband has been very brave and I hope he reaps the rewards. He will definitely at some point get a payback from the Murdoch press, they will bide their time. The revelation in the Guardian that Miliband received threats from NI sources about this was a turning point for me. Miliband showed he now is willing to take the risk and that is good news for all of us. Without Miliband's intervention (and the Guardian's persistence), Murdoch would have triumphed. Whatever his other lily livered failings, on this Miliband has shown real courage.

I think Murdoch still hopes he can get BskyB in 6 months time, his willingness to go to the competition commission shows he is willing to lose some of his print media to get it. He also knows any diversion from the real issue of 'fit and proper' ownership is welcome. So to answer my question in the title. If public opinion fades on this, like it did with the expenses scandal, if Miliband and Labour lose their nerve, if the Lib Dems are offered policy/media sweeties by Tories/Murdoch to allow it through, don't write off Murdoch yet. He has a knack of getting his way.