Never before has Rupert Murdoch’s UK media empire been embroiled in such murk and controversy – one that has embroiled the whole industry and its relationship with police and politicians. Now is the hour to seize the initiative and take a stand against his hegemony.
Few on the Tory benches will want to do so, although many of their Lib Dem coalition partners think differently. Labour, however, should use this golden opportunity to cut its umbilical cord with News Corporation, and to take a stand against the unjust system of media ownership in this country.
There is no time to be lost. Ed Miliband and his team – which includes ex Times journalist, Tom Baldwin – should do two things right away. First, they should make clear to the British public that they will not be puppets of Rupert Murdoch’s or any other media empire. Those days are over. Secondly, they should argue vociferously for the establishment of a new media commission to review all the existing rules and practices on ownership, regulation and standards.
Media plurality, a phrase that does not trip lightly off the tongue, needs to be central to any strategy and its importance fully appreciated. Labour should no longer be afraid to discuss it openly and fight for it.
The public may not want to cancel their Sky subscriptions, but the mood has changed and the time is ripe for Labour to show Murdoch what the door is for.