Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

It’s time for Nick Clegg to step up.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 8, 2011 in British Politics

A man stands up.

A man stands up.

I’d like to see Nick Clegg give the following speech:

“Good morning. I think it is fair to say that all reasonable minded people have been pretty disgusted by what has being going on at the News of the World. I’m not going to repeat the details, because we are all very much aware of them. However, this scandal also raises a greater issue. The fact is, it is hard to believe that senior management at News International did not know of the practices that seemed to be standard at that newspaper. It is just not enough to close the newspaper, and fire lower level employees, many of whom were not even in the newspaper when these events occurred.

But, more importantly, it also raises the broader question about the prevailing attitudes at the highest levels of the company. The reality is that the same company, and the same senior management, are currently attempting to take total control of BSKYB.

It is my belief, and the belief of the Liberal Democrats, that News International is not fit to win control of this organisation, and it is a political decision that we will oppose. I have spoken to the prime minister and been very clear with him that this is a red line issue for us. If the culture secretary takes the political decision, and it is a political decision, to approve the takeover, I will lead this party out of government, and we will vote against the government in any subsequent motion of confidence.

Let me be clear: I do not want to bring this government down. This is a good government, led by a man I believe has good instincts and intentions. Believe me: no one will suffer more than the Liberal Democrats if there is an early election. But being in government for the Liberal Democrats means making decisions that are hard and right, and it is right that News International be prevented from expanding its malicious influence further into the media of our country.

I appeal to our Conservative colleagues in government to see this too. I do not want to fight a general election on the issue of News International. This country has far more important issues to deal with, but the Conservatives must be clear in their understanding. A decision to assist News International by this government will not stand. Thank you”

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