Tuesday 29 June 2010

Polly Toynbee puts heat on Vince Cable over Sky

Polly Toynebee in the Guardian today questions whether Business Secretary Vince Cable has the "nerve" to stop Sky taking full control of BSkyB - and she also describes the exposure of Chris Huhne's affair by the News of the World as an example of "raw Murdoch power".
She writes: "Cable has 25 working days to decide if Murdoch's purchase of the rest of BSkyB is in the public interest. The takeover will require clearance from the European commission, but if Cable wants to intervene he must do so before the commission's judgment: he can call in the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom. His officials will do what officials do – advise he takes the primrose path of least resistance. He has the power to declare this monopoly is not in the public interest: it plainly isn't. The question is whether he has the nerve.
"It's a tough test so early on in his new job. The fate of Chris Huhne was a well-timed reminder of raw Murdoch power, sending snoopers out to trap this arch critic of News of the World phone-tapping under Andy Coulson. Cable needs to show he is not easily intimidated."
Toynebee also suggests that if Jon Gaunt wins his High Court case over the Ofcom reprimand for the former talkSPORT shock jock calling a councillor a "health Nazi" it will "let presenters rant and rail more, sliding into Foxification" of broadcast news.
Gaunt is being supported in his court action by human rights group Liberty.

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