Nick Clegg says big question marks hang over Rupert Murdoch

Via The Guardian:

Nick Clegg has said there are “big question marks” about Rupert Murdoch’s fitness to run News Corporation in the wake of a damning House of Commons report on the phone-hacking scandal.

The deputy prime minister said the report, published on Tuesday, raised “serious questions of basic corporate governance in the Murdoch empire”, which allowed its journalists to engage in illegal invasions of privacy on an “industrial scale”…

During a visit to Fife before local council elections, Clegg threw his weight behind the culture committee’s central findings: “What’s striking about it is how much full, cross-party consensus there was behind a number of excoriating observations about how the Murdoch empire was run.

“Of course, that means there are very serious question marks about the basic accountability and corporate governance of an organisation which, as we now know, whilst it was denied for a long period of time, journalists were abusing the privacy of ordinary people and flouting the law in huge and sustained way.”

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14 Comments

  • Richard Dean 3rd May '12 - 1:54pm

    He’s right, and he’s right not to say the thing he doesn’t say, that Rupert Murdoch “is” unfit to run an international company. Determining that kind of fitness is surely a thing that needs to be done in a court of law. It does not seem to be a thing that a parliamentary committe has a right to determine, particularly if it was not set up to sepcifically address that question, and if it did not consider the question against a list of independently pre-determined criteria.

  • Actually I thought it was upto Ofcom to decide whether or not he is a fit and proper person to run a Media Company. I am not sure the Select Committee were right to say he isn’t a fit and proper person to run an International company. An interesting comment I heard was that because he was so successful he must be a fit and proper person, I guess that the guys who run the Mafia and the guys who ran ENRON must be fit and propertoo.

  • I think Nick Clegg as a member of the government is right not to express a view as to whether Murdoch is a fit and proper person to run a media company but I don’t see any reason why a parliamentary committee shouldn’t. It’s judgements are not legally binding, nor do they have executive power. Seems to me they can say whatever they like and the rest of us can decide whether we agree with them or not.

  • Good question John Roffey.

  • …………………….“What’s striking about it is how much full, cross-party consensus there was behind a number of excoriating observations about how the Murdoch empire was run…………………

    A bit strange then that Gove and Hague have both spoken in favour of Murdoch and the Tory members of the committee decided that censuring Murdoch was ‘a bit OTT’.
    Both Gove and Hague have links to Murdoch and, in Hague’s case NI hold ‘embarassing’ photos of his friend.
    I don’t of course believe, in spite of his recent comment to the Leveson enquiry, that Murdoch would be capable of anything underhand; it’s just my idle thoughts……

  • Richard Dean 4th May '12 - 12:36am

    What an interesting range of views, very eduational for a new LibDem like me. Like many voters, I am cynical about politicians, and I like the idea of a press that holds them to account. And the Sun does do a bit of that, as well as many interesting human interest stories. The impression I get is that the problem of Murdoch’s apparent influence is as much to do with the cowardice of MPs as anything else.

    @John. If the devil won the election, would it be better to coalish to prevent some of the harm, or to futilely resist? The majority of MPs sounds like paranoia! If if the Murdoch web was that huge, wouldn’t there be leaks for sure? We’d know about it already?

    @Jason. Is it not possible that Murdoch is withholding those pictures for honorable reasons?

    @AndrewR. Surely most people don’t have time to sift through the committee’s report and come to an independent judgment? Don’t they see the report as more of an “authoritative” judgment. We know that power and influence corrupts, so is it not a good idea to have a few checks and balances on what these influential committees can say?

  • Richard DeanMay 04 – 12:36 am………….@Jason. Is it not possible that Murdoch is withholding those pictures for honorable reasons?……………..

    Of course it’s possible; after all, NI have a history of restraint in such cases .However, a cynic might well believe that the £20K was a good investment.

  • Richard Dean 4th May '12 - 8:45am

    @John. Paranoia is very debilitating. And that website does not seem to come with any guarantees either.
    @Jason. What £20k?

  • £20K, according to the seller, was the price NI paid for the photos.

  • Richard Dean 4th May '12 - 12:33pm

    @John. Ha ha! Some humour is indeed necesaary at this time :-) .Paranoia may not be consistent with reallity, but it can at least be consistent with itself!

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