Independent Hunt

With the digital changeover lots of people are having problems with their televisions. Whoever decided to do it this way is unlikely to ever get a job in a customer oriented business. With three changeovers, it means that each time people have to retune their new digital gadgets, unless they of course pay lots of money to Sky.

So this afternoon I helped two older people retune their sets. One of them had a little box separate from the television and it asked for a PIN number. Of course the owner had no idea, so I tried 0000 and presto, I was in. A bit like getting into someone’s mobile phone message box, so my thoughts went to the charade called the Levinson enquiry and of course the case of Mr Hunt.

I am not sure what the Levinson inquiry is about except that it seems to be the opportunity for most of the country to be seen on television – I am expecting to be called any day now – at vast expense. How much proof do we need that the Murdoch Empire used some pretty nasty tactics to get their news. Just watch Fox News sometime and you get a good overview of their way of thinking and their well developed bullying methods.

Personally I could never work in such an environment, but then they have not asked me either. The mere thought of the Empire controlling BskyB frightens the life out of me, but not out of Mr Hunt. He seems to have made it as clear that he was for the takeover as Mr Cable was against it, with the possible exception that Mr Hunt was more open about it.

Replacing Mr Cable in the decision making process by Mr Hunt was a clear signal that Mr Cameron wanted the takeover to go ahead. Mr Cameron had close and very personal ties with the Empire and appears to have wanted to maintain their support.

I have no doubt that Mr Hunt would have found lots of ‘independent’ support for his views, much in the same way I suspect Mr Cable would have found ‘independent’ support for the alternative view. Whatever the view, Mr Hunt’s role should be investigated and Mr Cameron’s protection smells distinctly bad. Regulating the takeover was never going to work. It would just lead to more very expensive Levinson enquiries.

In running my own organisations I have always tried to do what is best for the organisation. In this case the question is what is best for an independent media which does not become so powerful that it becomes the back seat driver for the government.

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