Thursday, June 14, 2012


Why Was Vince Removed from BSkyB Bid in First Place?

Well, I was right to doubt Hunt would resign or be sacked but that doesn't change the outrageous nature of his survival. He has misled the House about influencing the decision and, if he is to be believed that is, failed to direct his own aide, Adam Smith, who has taken the rap for his boss to date.

The thing which still astonishes me is the idea that someone can conduct a 'quasi-judicial process' when one has publicly expressed a bias in favour of one side of the argument. By this criterion it would have been perfectly satisfactory for Vince cable to have carried on supervising the process. So why bother with 'sacking' Vince and hauling in crony, Jezza, unless one was aching to please a powerful press baron?

With Cameron facing the Leveson music today, it seems beyond belief that in the litany of already admitted mistakes, nobody has yet taken responsibility apart from the misused above mentioned Adam Smith. I won't be holding my breath regarding chances of the exhaustively briefed Dave, doing so today either.

In moving responsibility they also moved it from the Dept of Business, Innovation & Skill to the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. Surely even if Vince should be replaced responsibility should still have remained in the same department.
I think the answer is that Hunt had expressed a strong opinion in favour of Murdoch - which in my view would rule him out of ruling on the bid, as it does in yours - but so far nobody has actually come up with incontrovertible evidence that he personally abused process. Although I personally think he did, thinking and knowing are two different things. (Chris Bryant says he has proof, but so far he hasn't produced it and frankly I wouldn't believe Bryant if he told me rain was wet. The irony of him accusing somebody else of lying despite his expenses claims was delicious.)

Meanwhile Vince, silly boy, had admitted openly flouting the rules to suit his own political stance, by saying that regardless of the result of the process, the bid would be rejected. As a result, if the jurisdiction had been left with him it was open to legal challenge and judicial review. Do you think Murdoch would not have done that, ruthlessly hammering Vince Cable to pieces in the process? It would have been a free gift to him, and would have guaranteed that regardless of the merits/demerits of the case, his bid would ultimately have succeeded.

Hope you had a good holiday in Italy.
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