Dear Marsha Singh MP,
Like me, I’m sure you’ve seen this week’s coverage of the scandalous behaviour of the News of the World.
While the continuing revelations have been shocking, I am concerned that the phone hacking incidents are merely symptomatic of a deeper rot that has been allowed to permeate the British media. Watching Tom Watson’s excellent speech to House last night, I was reminded of the influence the Murdoch empire has over the British people and our politics.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation already owns 40% of British newspapers and 40% of BSkyB, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster. In the US, Australia and elsewhere this degree of media dominance would not be allowed. There’s no one else who controls the share of the UK media Murdoch does, and I believe the phone hacking case (and the alleged bribes paid to police to cover it up) demonstrate the degree to which News International have come to consider themselves above the law.
It’s clear that the executives of News Corporation are no longer fit and proper media owners, either morally or economically. Morally, this case has demonstrated that they do not respect either the interests or law of Great Britain. Economically, their growing monopoly is an impediment to the fair operation of the media market. The concentration of influence into the hands of such people is deeply damaging to our democracy.
Please do all you can to stop the the News International takeover of BSkyB, and to make sure an inquiry starts as soon as possible. Please also make the case in parliament for a tightening of the regulation of media monopolies, so that we can prevent further scenarios like this one arising.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.