Murdoch – the police – the government and the state


THE admission by Met police chief Sir Paul Stephenson, that Murdoch’s News International was paying serving police officers, comes as no shock to those workers who were hammered by both the Metropolitan Police and the Sun newspaper during the miners strike in 1984-85 and during the year-long printers struggle in 1986-87.

These were the four years in which the relationship between the Murdoch media empire, the police and the Thatcher government was cemented, in the struggle to shut down the mining industry and smash the Fleet Street print unions.

This relationship developed to the point where Murdoch must have thought that he was about to take over the Cameron government when the ex-editor of the News of the World, Coulson, became the Number 10 press chief.

This appointment came after Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World because, although he denied being involved in any way, that the newspaper had been caught phone hacking.

Despite the stink of scandal, Coulson was effortlessly placed inside number 10. As the phone hacking scandal developed, he had to be forced out of Number 10, with Cameron fighting all the way to keep him on.

This episode did not dampen the PM’s enthusiasm for the Murdoch empire. Last Xmas he had Christmas dinner at the home of the leading News International executive, Rebekkah Brooks, despite the additional fact that she had told a parliamentary committee that the Murdoch empire had paid police officers for service rendered.

Since then it has become known that while Brooks was editor of the News of the World, the phones of murder victims and their families were hacked.

Nevertheless Cameron yesterday refused to call for her resignation when urged to do so at PM’s questions.

Again, showing his loyalty to Murdoch, and demonstrating the solidarity of the ruling class, he refused to call for the News International attempt to take over BSkyB to be referred to the mergers and monopolies commission.

After the resignation of Coulson, the demands for police action to uncover the extent of the hacking rose, with hundreds of people suspecting that they had been victims. The police stubbornly refused to take any action, to the point where this conduct was denounced by the ex-deputy Prime Minister Prescott.

Now the flood gates have begun to be opened after it has emerged that News International was hacking into the phones of murder and terrorist victims’ families, and paying the police large sums.

News International has now shopped Coulson by handing Sir Paul Stephenson evidence that a ‘small number’ of officers were paid and that it had ‘uncovered e-mails’ that indicate payments were made to the police by the News of the World, during the editorship from 2003-7 of Andy Coulson.

The officer in charge of the original phone hacking inquiry, Andy Hayman, has been called to give further evidence to MPs. After he retired from the police he worked for News International as a columnist.

Acting Commissioner John Yates and News International chief executive Rebekkah Brooks are to be asked what prior knowledge there had been of hacking in the Milly Dowler case.

The coming together of the Murdoch empire, the police and the government is a fact of life in the imperialist epoch when a handful of monopoly capitalists run the capitalist world as their private property.

No number of inquiries can break up this coming together of the monopoly capitalists, capitalist governments and the state apparatus, since it is a coming together in order to face up to the working class and hold it down.

The only remedy for this fusion of the state, government and big business, is a socialist revolution that will smash and break up the capitalist state, and bring in a workers government to expropriate the bourgeoisie and establish the rule of the working class, putting an end to capitalism.