Socialist Worker

Murdoch - part of the corrupt political establishment

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2300

A number of media moguls were giving evidence at the Leveson inquiry into press standards this week.

Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch from News International were set to answer questions as Socialist Worker went to press.

The relationship between their media empire and politicians is corrupt to the core.

Murdoch’s companies held parties inside government departments in the run-up to making takeover bids. Rupert Murdoch has boasted of his access to Downing Street.

In 2008 David Cameron accepted free flights from Murdoch to hold private talks and parties on his yacht.

Cameron has admitted to sharing 26 dinners and other engagements with News International executives in just over a year.

He employed Andy Coulson, former editor of the News of the World, as his spin doctor in July 2007.

News International kept paying Coulson after he started work in Cameron’s office—although it is not known how much he got.

Charlie Brooks, an old chum of Cameron’s from Eton, is married to Rebekah Brooks.

Murdoch made Rebekah Brooks chief executive of News International in 2009.

Cameron is also best mates with Matthew Freud. His firm, Freud Communications, has pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds from the government.

Freud happens to be married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth.

Murdoch has now turned his papers a little against the Tories—but only because he knows they are unpopular.

Politicians and media bosses attend dinners and parties together because they are from the same class and share the same interests.

It was the same under Labour. Tony Blair claimed that winning over the media was key to winning elections and used this to shift Labour to the right.

There was much talk within the Labour Party of avoiding the toxic Murdoch brand at the height of the hacking scandal.

Yet Labour’s Ed Balls was writing in News International’s Sun on Sunday only last week.

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Article information

Tue 24 Apr 2012, 16:25 BST
Issue No. 2300
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