Just Another Shocking News International Revelation – Time for Rupert Murdoch to close The Sun and The Sunday Times?

News International TitlesAnother second passes another appalling News International scandal. Just how many more hacking allegations are there to come? And what else has been hacked – Email and other Computer related accounts? And what other scandalous practices are there out there in Tabloid Land that remain yet to be uncovered?

Last week Rupert Murdoch did the right thing in winding up The News of the World – first there was the phone hacking of murdered Milly Dowler’s mobile phone then the phones of the bereaved relatives of the 7/7 victims then those of the widows and other bereaved relatives of British soldiers. Surely there were no lower depths to plumb?

And then the violations of the ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown by The Sun and The Sunday Times of among other confidential details his bank and son’s medical records. Again Rupert Murdoch should do the right thing and wind up these newspapers.

This would leave us with just one National Murdoch owned title, The Times. They would have to learn the lessons – that is if they themselves are not already tainted.

All mainstream parties are now remarkably and impressively supporting a House of Commons Motion presented by Labour Leader Ed Milliband for Rupert Murdoch not to proceed with the bid for BSkyB as not ‘in the public interest’ – that is quite a turnaround for Murdoch – in that context from hero to zero.

This so far has been a partisan post unavoidably as notably no politician victim of this hacking has been a Conservative – and because all three titles are of the right. However I am quite sure from what I understand that these practices are quite widespread in other publishing homes and not just the conservative ones such as Express Newspapers (Northern and Shell) and Daily Mail and General Trust but also Trinity Mirror plc.

The whole industry could collapse under the weight of its own depravity.

We could end up with a situation where only the Financial Times and The Morning Star are left in circulation!

This would be no loss – most readers would migrate online if they are not online readers already. Online media is much more plural – not just the online presence of the printed-titles themselves, but many flavours of political magazines, the radio and television media, the blogosphere and yet other sources of news and opinion. And not just confined to the UK too but a world wide perspective.

Daily printed newspapers are increasingly ever more irrelevant and it is an irrelevance of their own making. The invidious presence of monopolistic press barons and unashamed partisanship and the damaging effect this has on UK Parliament and the general body UK politic could finally be laid to rest.

Lay this body down.

Politicians professional twitter – get tweeting real!

Please politicians do not tweet unsweet nothings into my ear.

I recently started following Sarah Brown the wife of Gordon our last Prime Minister. I was impressed that she had a twitter account but a little disappointed if not surprised that most of her tweets were carefully crafted professional pronouncements. This alas is the way generally with our politicians and their partners.

What I like about twitter is the warts and all of a member off message as well as on.  I don’t follow twitterers who tweet their schedules or who tout their latest merchandise – and in the case of politicians their party manifestos and latest political positions.

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

I am following Ed Miliband – as the new leader of Labour since September 2010 I thought it would provide an insight to him beyond the party spin machine and media rinse.  Not so – the whips or whoever, have truly gotten to him and his tweets are so unremarkable I cannot remember a single one – I am sure they were supportive of motherhood and apple pie and though I share many of his political views if I want to find out about them I can do so on the Labour Party website.

When former Labour leader Gordon Brown remarked that he listened to The Arctic Monkeys and our current PM that he enjoyed Lark Rise to Candleford of a Sunday evening – it felt a bit scripted but at least they were revealing a bit more about themselves beyond their party positions. I would much rather know how Ed Miliband is feeling about the performance of his favourite sports team or what gadget David Cameron just bought or what music Nick Clegg is currently listening to.

In the interests of this post I did have a search for David Cameron’s tweets but he does not have a Twitter account though he does have quite a few fake ones such as David Scameron with the strapline ‘Saving Broken Britain by building the Big Society whilst putting the Tory into history!’

Nick Clegg does have a Twitter account and it is another political pulpit – professional and unmemorable.

Where Twitter can betray interesting facts about a politician is by listing who they follow!  And Nick follows a few British comedians such as Ross Noble and Armando Iannucci.  He still has a sense of humour!

There are plenty of spoof Nick Clegg accounts too including Nick Clegg’s Soul with strapline “I am Nick Clegg’s Soul that he hasn’t lost, apparently. I know what he thinks even when he is saying the opposite, which is quite often these days”!

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond leader of the Scottish National Party also has an account and it too is a dull affair. Again a number of spoof accounts including ‘Alex Salmond MP – Self-appointed King of Scotland, I shall deliver this land from sleepwalking into Communism.’ Sounds like the account of a disgruntled Scottish Tory – there aren’t many of them – Scottish Tories that is gruntled or otherwise!

I thought I would check out too the account of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson has someone who can go off message. His tweets have their fair share of pronouncements from his Mayoral office and party positions but does at least comment on events beyond the political sphere and with some passion too.  And he is following opposition leaders! Such as Ed Miliband for one – keeping tabs on the other side no doubt – I am sure like me disappointed though with the scripted content!

Sally Bercow – interesting tweet tweet!

My favourite political tweeter is Sally Bercow not a politician but rather the wife of the Conservative Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow – and remarkable as quite open about her views which are supportive of the Labour Party.

Would our leaders’ partners prove more illuminating then?

I could not find an account for Sam Cameron – plenty of fake and unflattering ones – which clearly goes with the territory of being a politician or their spouse.  Nor was I able to find a twitter account for Ed Miliband’s soon-to-be wife Justine Thornton.

Of course it is quite possible that some politicians and their close family members are posting under false names – something that we the great unwashed would never do!  I came upon one account for Miriam Durantez wife of Nick Clegg with just one tweet – ‘Honey calm down por favor’ – clearly fake! Alex Salmond’s wife Moira is also victim of a fake account as Moira McFish and referred to has the First Lady Of Scotland!

I guess politician’s children not their spouses are likely to be more natural and at ease with Twitter – alas our current political leaders either do not have children or they are too young to be tweeting – though I don’t think you have to be that old to tweet!

If you know of any politicians especially leaders of their parties that tweet beyond party political banalities please let me know.

Now Cherie Blair – I bet she has a lot of interesting tweet to share!