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It All Ends?


It All Ends?
 
“It All Ends” is the slogan of the last Harry Potter film; could it also be an apt slogan for the Rupert Murdoch media empire?
 
What started a few years ago as a case of phone hacking involving the News of the World ‘Royal Editor’, a private detective and members of the British Royal Family has escalated to a firestorm resulting in the closure of the 168-year old News of the World, Murdoch’s first media purchase in the UK, as a damage limitation exercise. This week, we have learned that over the years the News of the World has: hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl; hacked the phones of deceased service personnel and their relatives; hacked the phones of victims (and their relatives) of the 7th of July 2005 London bombings and paid money to Metropolitan Police (London) officers for information. Day by day more revelations come out as we descend deeper into the pit of depravity    
 
As George Galloway put it in the Saturday the 9th of July 2011 edition of the Morning Star:
 
“Here is the flagship paper of an overweening media empire which helped hurl this country into war after war and then hacked the phones of relatives grieving at the loss of the very soldiers it had done so much to put in harm's way.
And then, with a straight face, "campaigned" for the armed forces' covenant. 
Here is a rag which took genuine public grief at horrific crimes against children, manipulated it into dangerous and cynical campaigns to sell more papers, and all the while spied on the parents of the very murdered child in whose name it said it was acting. 
Here is a sewer which gushes forth filthy smears that disabled people and single parents are scroungers who refuse to take responsibility, while its gilded executives – the son placed in the top job by daddy – sack others to save their own. 
No-one should be surprised, because this is an outfit that vilifies migrants and Muslims while remaining in the grip of a foreign billionaire who scarcely pays tax in this country.” 
  
Twenty five years ago I went on a demonstration to protest against the sacking of 6,000 print workers by News International, the parent company of The Sun, News of the World, The Times and The Sunday Times. News International had built a ‘fortress plant’ at Wapping in the east end of London. When the plant was ready, News International sacked the entire Fleet Street workforce as they had already staffed the new plant in secret. An industrial dispute ran for the best part of twelve months by which time the sacked print workers were penniless, despondent and broken. The demonstration was substantially peaceful until we were a couple of hundred metres from the plant when horse mounted riot police charged the crowd and struck out with batons. I went down but managed to roll away and did not get trampled by the horses. Others in the crowd were not so fortunate and there were many serious injuries that night. I have had a pathological hatred for horse mounted riot police ever since that event but that hatred pales into insignificance when viewed against my feelings for News International.
 
This was when Thatcher was at the peak of her popularity in the UK. The miners had been destroyed and corporations were king. The unions were ‘the enemy of the people’ as News International told us relentlessly through their right wing, jingoistic, false patriotic, racist, homophobic rags masquerading as newspapers. Politicians fawned at the feet of Murdoch – Thatcher: Major; Blair flew half way around the world at News International expense to give a lecture; Brown and last, but not least, David Cameron who employed Andy Coulson, an ex-Editor of the News of the World, as his Director of Communications. Cameron convinced himself that you had to have the support of the Murdoch Empire in order to be elected to govern the UK; Coulson was his link back to Murdoch. Coulson had to resign his position as the phone hacking scandal started to spiral a few months back. He was arrested on Thursday this week on suspicion of conspiracy to hack voicemails and making corrupt payments to police officers.
 
As the week’s revelations got worse and worse, advertisers started pulling out not wanting to be associated with the destroyed brand that was the News of the World. The thought of an advert free paper being burnt in the streets by an enraged population was too much for Murdoch and he ordered the closure of the paper.
 
The Murdoch Empire is teetering on the edge of the abyss as far as the UK is concerned. I cannot believe that they have behaved any differently in other countries as hacking, spying and bribery is their modus operandi. Similar allegation arising in the US, India, China and Australia could see the rotten to the core Murdoch Media Empire fall apart completely. Good. I look forward to a total collapse. Burn in the hell that you have created News International / News Corporation.    

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