A common foe
By Andrew Rhodes
It hasn’t been the best of years for Rupert Murdoch and it’s only February. I feel fucking sorry for him.
His efforts to distance himself from Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s bit of rough, failed when the phone tapping scandal that will never be properly addressed due to conflict of interest resurfaced, and a series of more than unsavoury events within his empire began to unfold.
His efforts to avoid such scandal arose before a decision was made that would allow Murdoch to regain total control of BSkyB. Lately his and the modern football fans’ beloved Sky have been fighting fires started by their two star presenters who, when not engaging in conversations about female representation in football, talk about ‘hanging out of the back of it’.
I don’t know what difference taking total control of Sky will make to the fabric of British TV and media as it is in 2011. The man already has too much control, far too much control.
Murdoch’s newspapers spread the right wing agenda, and despite he himself not being from these shores, their approach begins with small, constant attacks on immigrants and often ends with lawsuits settled out of court with victims who have already been ruined, often because they can’t match Murdoch’s financial might.
For a nation of so-called sports lovers it’s difficult to accept that only people affluent enough to have a Sky subscription can watch The Ashes series, British boxers fighting for world titles, the Ryder Cup, England internationals and on and on.
The Sun reader, who appears concerned most days about the influence of foreigners here, is quite happy to accept an Australian, born already into extreme wealth, deciding who they vote for and which British sportsmen they can and can’t watch.
And yet people complain about a licence fee that is free for pensioners and the BBC’s own scandal regarding Ross and Brand pales into insignificance compared to the complaints against Murdoch’s Fox News presenter Glen Beck, who regards supporters of Barack Obama’s reforms as Nazis. Beck has lately bullied a 78-year old opponent of his into fearing for her life from the right wing extremists that Murdoch’s press in America seemingly stirs up at every opportunity.
January’s United v Liverpool FA Cup tie opened old wounds when a handful of forum hard men, supposedly fighting the United corner, showed their support for the Sun and its disgraceful reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy. These fans were obviously too young to understand the reasons behind the attacks on the Liverpool fans by the Sun, and failed to see that had it been United fans dealing with the tragedy, then we ourselves would have been victims of the same slurs.
Manchester and Liverpool have been a constant thorn in Conservative sides, sometimes even the bitterest enemies have the same common foe.
As more and more fans spout meaningless vitriol about overpaid pre-Madonnas and how the game has been taken from them, a protest from the football working classes has never been given such momentum. If you’re Against Modern Football, you’re against Sky. Find another way to watch the game, get yourself to that football ground (Gigg Lane, for now) and boycott Murdoch.