HUNT BALLS 2: Cable OUT for being biased against Murdoch, Hunt IN for being slavish admirer of Murdoch.

Tory Culture Minister splashed admiration for Murdoch on his own website

Hunt…far from being put in a corner by Cameron, Hunt was gung-ho for the Newscorp deal

This morning, the Slog showed how Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt shares a liking for monopolism with Rupert Murdoch. But the full extent of his admiration for the controlling Digger is only just coming to light.

Although the toast of the town some months back, ingenue hackette Holly Watt of the Daily Telegraph may yet turn out to have been the most expensive asset ever acquired by the secretive Barclay Brothers.

She it was who – pretending in a flurry of girlie giggles to fancy Vince Cable, and masquerading as his constituent – taped him saying how much he’d like to get rid of Rupert Murdoch. One wonders a great many things about Holly the more one digs into her past…..but above all, The Slog could be forgiven for thinking she’s really a Murdoch secret agent*. (She used to work for the Digger, under whose tutelage Ms Watt learned many a trick.)

For now Murdoch’s bid for BSkyB is to go through….because Vince was dropped in favour of the oleaginous Jeremy Hunt.

But just as Cable clearly loathed Murdoch, it now transpires that Hunt was far from objective about the Greatest Living Americo-Australian Chinese-Marrier. In fact, being a ceaseless (and careless) self-publicist, Jeremy Hunt was daft enough to plaster this admiration all over his own website.

‘For further proof that the Conservatives have shaken off their reputation as the “nasty party”, look no further than Jeremy Hunt, the shadow minister for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport these past 12 months’, gushed Broadcast Magazine in January this year. Puffed up with pride at the glowing interview blurb he’d received from Broadcast, Culture Minister Hunt reprinted the whole piece on his site. In it, Hunt had this to say about the man whose fitness for even more power he was about to judge:

“We have to recognise that Sky is responsible for a surprising amount of public service broadcasting. Sky Arts, for example, produces quite a lot of arts programming that neither the BBC nor C4 is willing to fund….Rather than worry about Rupert Murdoch owning another TV channel, what we should recognise is that he has probably done more to create variety and choice in British TV than any other single person because of his huge investment in setting up Sky TV which, at one point, was losing several million pounds a day. We would be the poorer and wouldn’t be saying that British TV is the envy of the world if it hadn’t been for him being prepared to take that commercial risk. We need to encourage that kind of investment.”

Well Jezzer, I have news for you: your job as the Culture Secretary isn’t to spout Thatcherite gibberish, but rather to ‘worry about Rupert Murdoch owning another TV Channel’.

But it’s not in Mr Hunt’s way to hide his refracted light under a bushel. And despite the glass chin that is his educational-supply company (as The Slog reminded readers this morning, it is a very, very preferred supplier to the British Council – albeit under variously assumed names) JH couldn’t resist working in a plug for that too. Cop this for a combination of economy and spin from Broadcast:

‘His subsequent career as an entrepreneur led to him co-found Hotcourses, the educational directory company that now employs around 180 people. “Eventually we stumbled upon educational publishing,” he recalls, making the whole enterprise sound like a happy accident. In fact, post-Oxford, Hunt, who briefly worked as a management consultant, set up a whole series of businesses that flopped (exporting marmalade to Japan was one) before striking gold in the shape of Hotcourses….’

Well, it’s a well-known fact that if you strike gold and then push out every other miner within 5000 miles, you will indeed make a lot of money. But being two Monopolists, Murdoch and Hunt are made for each other.

One amusing divagation if I may. Since this morning’s posting, my inbox has been slowly filling with the largely sour memories fellow Oxbridgers have of Hunt. This one is typical and quite succinct:

‘Oooo wonderful!! I was at Magdalen with chunt. Smug oily nasty hack’.


* As The Slog (among several others) also revealed last month, the Barclays hired a top New York firm of private dicks to root out who had given the Cable/Murdoch story to the BBC’s Robert Peston after they’d spiked it. Apparently, the wise BBs of Sark feared that exactly what has happened would happen.

6 thoughts on “HUNT BALLS 2: Cable OUT for being biased against Murdoch, Hunt IN for being slavish admirer of Murdoch.

  1. in the investigation report following a recent complaint about police violence against two black males at the notting hill carnival (incident occurring at around 7.00pm at the junction of tavistock crescent and st luke’s road london w11 on 30.08.10), it was alleged that there was absolutely no footage of the arrest whatesoever, despite the suffocating presence of comprehensive, nay obsessional, camera coverage (including aerial helicopter surveillance) which has become a traditional feature of carnival. this outcome indicates how the authorities surveillance equipment sadly only sees what those in power wish it to see.

    this sorry situation was all the more serious in the case of this particular investigation as the evidence of an independent witness contradicted that of the police officers involved. the independent witness observed four metropolitan police officers set-about the two men with batons, as a prelude to flooring the arrestees, restraining them, and detaining them with the assistance of further colleagues – yet the investigating officer, inspector crispin lee, only found that one man had been struck with a baton (twice) by one officer, named pc hawkes. the independent witness could not be precise about how many times each officer hit each man (as the events were so swift), but made a statement to the effect that that officers executed between about two and five blows each, to the body and limbs – however, the investigation report misrepresented the evidence of the witness and claimed that the independent witness had stated that each man was hit to the body exactly five times, and, indeed, it was apparent that other evidence stated indefinitely by the independent witness was also misrepresented as definite by the investigation report. these afore-mentioned discrepancies, along with the fact that the independent witness could not give evidence concerning a confrontation involving two groups of young men and the police officers, due to the independent witness’ standpoint and restricted view, were implicitly used to discredit the indepenedent witness’ evidence wholesale. in addition, the independent witness is certain that he did not observe any struggle between the police officers and the detainees, nor, from his viewpoint, any struggle between the police and other members of the public, nor any struggles between members of the public themselves – yet the attendant police officers reported that all these things had happened. it was also apparent, from reading the investigation report, that one of the detainees was never interviewed in relation to the complaint against the police, and that two further men were arrested at the scene whose evidence was not sought by the investigating officer – facts which, in themselves, cast doubt as to the accuracy of the invetigation report, and as to whether both victims of the police attack were ever even correctly identified.

    furthermore, the independent witness has remarked that the investigation into the complaint was dubiously suppressed and unreasonably delayed (predominately by the actions of ps puttock and pc langman) until after the two men had been tried and convicted for affray in the magistrates court – thus ensuring that the independent witness’ evidence would not be submitted in the court-case.

    the independent witness is convinced that inspector crispin lee has wilfully failed to investigate properly the circumstances of the arrest, that he has made a clumsy attempt to cover-up a clear incident of police brutality, and that the police officers present at the arrest, namely pc hawkes, ps keogh, pc thind, pc foley, pc driver, and pc tiley, have conspired to give false evidence by means of lying about and omitting vital details in respect of the circumstances of the arrest.


  2. John: is it possible that Hunt is being driven by the desire to introduce “plurality” into PSB, currently run/dominated by the ubiquitous BBC.
    It is necessary to mention how much the BBC is hated by a lot of people.

    Obviously, those who like the BBC and/or dislike Murdoch will not be happy about this. Many others who intensely dislike the BBC’s expensive and arrogant dominance of all things broadcasting will be mostly happy, perhaps with genuine reservations about whether Murdoch is the ideal choice for confronting the BBC head on. But in this case Hunt would rightly argue that there is no one else with the resources/skills. So his duty is to make his best endevours to open up the market and exercise controls over NewsCorp to prevent abuse of power.

    Reading the piece on Hunt’s own website you linked to yesterday, he clearly states that change will be “evolutionary”, not revolutionary, and acknowledges that the BBC is not universally disliked. He therefore thinks it would be wrong to dismantle it for ideological reasons (which is what many people would like to do given its nepotistic Left-leaning, multi-culti, wimmens issues agendas). Also, the BBC is responsible for a range of things outside of simple TV/Radio eg: it has overall responsibility for the switchover to digital terrestrial TV and broadcasts the majority of Royal events etc etc. So Hunt cannot wield the knife into its heart, just remove its controlling dominance wherever possible by introducing competition and a counter balance. It may also force the BBC to apply more commonsense when it comes to salaries/slush budgets etc.

    The shennanigans of NewsCorp w/r/t hacking et al represent alleged evidence that it has a Dirty Tricks dept and needs to be very tightly locked into legal controls, but it doesn’t deal with the central question:

    if not NewsCorp to take on the BBC, then who??

    As a by-word, it would be interesting to see what a future Labour Govt (whatever they’re calling themselves at the time) would do about NewsCorp’s role as the 2nd PSB, countering BBC Left propaganda and disinformation. That may add some benefits to democracy. Dunno.

    my 2 cents worth…


  3. Very reasonable view, and one with which I’d broadly agree were the spearhead not Murdoch. But if you go all the way back to 1969, it is impossible to reach any conclusion other than that of Rupert Murdoch being an incorrigible liar who tears up every single ‘agreement’ he ever makes.

    As his one-time supporter Andrew Neill now admits, “With Rupert, the negotiations start after you’ve signed the deal”.

    I am hugely for plurality and reforming the BBC to make it less pc and more edgy. But (1) there is a vast amount more to the BBC than its news output and (2) only a Cammersconi would give the job of competing with the Beeb to an organisation very likely to face charges of corrupting police officers and illegally hacking private phones.


  4. Sure, there’s a lot more to the BBC than News. But isn’t that part of its problem: it’s too large and too dominating? Whichever which way one sees the BBC, one cannot ignore that it dominates the Fourth Estate and generally sets the news agenda in presentation and how/what news gets reported. Unsurprisingly, it’s often described as the Establishment mouthpiece with privileged access to anybody and everybody in power to spout the ‘official’ explanation for the latest screw up which has cost taxpayers yet more £billions.

    None of that is good for democratic accountability which is sorely lacking in our system of government. The BBC adds to the lack of accountability because it is not accountable itself and resists all attempts to explain its behaviour and obscene spending.

    [NB: a recent BBC documentary (Panorama?) was clearly based on the premise that the financial crises of 2007-8 was the fault of the banks, no one else. It made zero mention of the underlying cause: Gordon Brown’s mad economic policies and absence of regulatory oversight, and of the BoE’s absolute failure to blow the whistle] .

    THAT IS the BBC for you: protecting its Establishment comrades.

    And given the number of people who dislike it and resent being forced to pay an annual tax to support it, change towards plurarity is essential. And it again raises the issue: if not Murdoch, then who?
    Britain has no other organisation able to take the BBC head -on.

    All that said, if the new investigation by Knacker of The Yard produces some more muck, it will cause serious embarrassment for Hunt & Co – and maybe for New/Old Lav. That is why I believe the *really dangerous* muck will never be allowed to come out. Don’t forget: the police are themselves a part of the State Establishment, albeit the blue-collar wing.


  5. Pingback: NEXT AT THE SLOG: The predictably surprising strikes again, and reminds us all that being right isn’t enough. | A diary of deception and distortion

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