AAVAZ: Investigate the hacking, freeze the BSKYB deal
At last, News Corporation has admitted illegally hacking the phones of celebrities and politicians. It’s a scandal that’s rocking the nation — and it could become the tipping point, the moment when Britain stands up and stops Rupert Murdoch.
Scarcely a month after Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he’d allow Murdoch to take over BSkyB, Murdoch’s people have been caught red-handed. Politicians from across the spectrum are now calling for the takeover to be suspended until a public inquiry shows the full extent of News Corporation’s privacy invasion and law-breaking.
Our voices now can move the nation from outrage to action. But we don’t have long: News Corporation has gone into damage control hyper-drive, buying silence from hacking victims, trying to scapegoat individual employees, and pushing the government to allow its takeover. Let’s show that Britain is hacked off with Murdoch’s escalating threat to our democracy. Sign and circulate the urgent petition to halt the takeover and launch a public investigation into the hacking — it will be delivered this Friday at the High Court and to Jeremy Hunt at a constituency meeting:
The News of the World — one of several aggressive Rupert Murdoch media outlets — hired people to listen into the conversations of public figures they wanted to write about. Murdoch’s men rode roughshod over our privacy laws, eavesdropping on tens, perhaps hundreds, of public figures — including Prince William, senior police officers, and even the minister in charge of media policy.
When a News of the World investigator was caught with notebooks full of evidence showing who he had hacked, the police prosecuted him, but failed to follow other leads, apparently believing the newspaper’s lie that this was one person’s fault. This same lie has been used in many such cases — from Watergate onwards — only to shatter as more evidence emerges. Now, after newspaper reporters and lawyers dug out more details, the police finally arrested two senior News of the World staff last week, perhaps the first of many.
Jeremy Hunt says the phone hacking scandal has no bearing on his BSkyB takeover decision, although it’s clear that we can’t trust News Corporation to implement the safeguards that are part of the deal, let alone uphold the media quality standards which Hunt has a duty to protect. But, even before the latest scandals, an Avaaz/YouGov poll showed 60 per cent of the public think Murdoch already has too much influence on British politics and oppose the merger. If tens of thousands of us — Avaaz and 38 Degrees members together — sign this petition now, we can make our senior politicians stand up for democracy by halting the takeover until we all know the extent of the phone hacking scandal. Sign now and send to everyone:
The belated hacking confession shows how Murdoch’s media tramples our laws and values, and manipulates our political system. Avaaz members have repeatedly campaigned against the Murdoch media empire, and have won similar battles in Canada. Let’s make this moment matter: let’s stand up for a trustworthy, fair and honest media at the heart of our democracy, informing all of us and holding politicians to account.