Monday, November 27, 2006

Are Labour unwilling to back free speech?

Are Labour able to defend free speech consider this, back in July 2003, the Communications Act became law, a key part of this law was setting up of Ofcom the purpose of which was to act as a single regulator for broadcast media but also the Act reformed rules of Media ownership in order to promote competition and investment in the broadcast industry.

Right now Rupert Murdoch's media empire has purchased a 18 per cent share of ITV this has done absolutely nothing to promote competition or investment in the broadcasting industry what it has done is prevent Richard Branson or anyone else for that matter acquiring ITV and promoting it as an independent voice within the British broadcast media.

At the time of the introduction of the communications act Tessa Jowell had the following comments to make about it
"People often ask me: what is the purpose of government?" then giving this answer: "[To] promote competition and regulate - if we have to - to protect the public, the consumer." "I was - and I remain - totally confident in the strength of the content regulation we have put in place,"
"Ofcom must now deliver a new regulatory system that will be a light touch and unobtrusive wherever possible, but decisive and robust wherever necessary,"

So where is all this leading, who knows certainly the government and the culture Secretary seem blissfully unaware of the implications that BSkyB's purchase of ITV represents to free-speech in this country.

I just wonder what sort of culture Tessa Jowell is promoting on behalf of the Labour Party, when our broadcast media are dominated by a single foreign company, casinos are no longer big enough and we need super casinos, plus promotion of Internet gambling and all this the responsibility of the Culture Secretary who's recently had to revise the cost of the Olympic Stadium from £280 million to a slightly higher £500 million.

I don't have the resources to monitor everything the culture Secretary has to say, what I do find surprising is the lack of any comment over share-ownership in ITV.

I hope I am mistaken and that Tessa Jowell is doing everything possible to protect British media but I doubt it somehow.
Whatever view you have about Rupert Murdoch, or the Murdoch family, do we really need to have majority control of broadcast media in the hands of one family, one can only assume our politicians are hoping for an endorsement from the Murdoch press hence the silence.

Earlier Posting

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