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  • News of the World boycott

    by Rumbold
    6th July, 2011 at 8:59 pm    

    After the disgraceful revelations around the News of the World hacking case, the response from campaigners has been heartening. Rather than just criticise the News of the World, people have begun to threaten to boycott companies who carry on advertising with the paper. As of 5:15pm this evening, seventeen companies have already withdrawn their advertising, and more are likely to follow in the near future. Why is this heartening? Because it shows that activism can have an effect on an issue, as well as showing the benefits of leaving such campaigns up to a free market (companies don’t want to lose their customers, so they pull out), rather than calling for greater regulation etc. (which probably wouldn’t work anyway). Undoubtedly some companies would have considered pulling out anyway regardless of any campaign, however, increasing the pressure is on them is likely to see a better result.

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    1. douglas clark — on 6th July, 2011 at 11:15 pm  

      You should be advocating the confiscation of all Rupert Murdochs assets, those of his children and his childrens children, their arrest and imprisonment along with their lackeys and lickspittles and the pursuit of damages for evermore, followed by their banishment from our shores.

      Apart from that, carry on….

    2. Javed Khan — on 7th July, 2011 at 2:01 am  

      Ye olde brain cell is lonely bumpin’ around up there all by itself, poor thing. Does being a foolish old twat ever become tiresome to you, douglas?

    3. Boyo — on 7th July, 2011 at 8:12 am  

      Yes… but, a blip. They’ll be back - money follows money, what matters is that NoW was found out.

      This is nothing new - I was a tabloid hack (The Express! The Star!) - why does that not surprise you? - 20 years ago, and nothing has changed. It is a cultural thing - watch His Girl Friday to know everything you need to know about newspapers. There has not been a more accurate account since.

      They will say they give the readers what they want, and perhaps they do. The UK is that most hypocritical of nations, pagan almost in its hunger for blood.

    4. Rumbold — on 7th July, 2011 at 9:51 am  


      The public does have an appetite for this sort of thing, it is true. Othere nations do as well, they are just not as ‘well served’ I think.

    5. damon — on 7th July, 2011 at 11:53 am  

      I might have known that flipping Brendan O’Neill would come out with some contrarian view of this.

      In essence, the Dowler revelations have satisfied a need for scandal amongst the political and media elite and various activists. Ours is an era in which the exposure of scandal, followed by public and even preening expressions of moral outrage over that scandal, is a highly prized political activity. Today, political movements, or at least political moments, only really seem to emerge and gain traction through the act of uncovering and wringing one’s hands over scandalous behaviour.

      It’s just as well no one takes him seriously.

    6. douglas clark — on 7th July, 2011 at 3:37 pm  

      Javed Khan @ 2,

      No, not really. But it is so nice to know you care….

    7. Refresh — on 7th July, 2011 at 5:37 pm  

      Closure of NOTW is only the beginning.

      Zac Goldsmith has got it right.

      Murdoch’s is a merciless and disgusting creed. It must be cut out of all speres of public life and placed on permanent watch in its private dealings.

      Conrad Black went, lets see this one go too.

      Rumbold, there is really little merit in pursuing a ‘market-led’ campaign against organisations when it can take decades for the truth to out.

      We need to look at media ownership as a whole.

      BTW I am also hopeful this might be a sign, that going to war will not be as easy as Murdoch made it through its duplicitous papers.

    8. Don — on 7th July, 2011 at 5:37 pm  

      Is this a good result?

    9. Refresh — on 7th July, 2011 at 5:41 pm  

      And another piece of good news, police in Scotland is reviewing material related to Tommy Sheridan’s trial.

      I can see Cameron’s spokesperson (ex-) getting at least a taste of the NOTW medicine.

      There is something of Reginald Maudling (past Tory home secretary if I recall) about all this. Heads will roll.

      And Ed Milliband had better not mess this up!

    10. Refresh — on 7th July, 2011 at 5:48 pm  

      ‘Is this a good result?’

      It is if we are not bamboozled by this one closure. Otherwise Murdoch is acting just the way politicians do - stand by a minister or spokesperson only for them to resign and then be brought back when the heat has died down.

      We appear to have four centres of power, greatest of these has been the weakest since Murdoch’s arrival - Parliament. The others are not the media, but one man who controls the media, bankers and it seems the Police.

      I am also hopeful there will be lessons learnt from this by campaigners in other countries wherever Murdoch operates.

    11. Don — on 7th July, 2011 at 5:59 pm  


      It is if we are not bamboozled by this one closure.

      Yes, that what I was thinking. The public reaction to NOTW’s actions (and the subsequent corporate response by sdvertisers) was, I hope, driven by a recently realised loathing of the whole Murdoch ethos. Will this closure, as Murdoch must hope, stop the momentum?

      I hope not. I hope that that momentum can be switched to preventing the BSkyB buy-up.

      BTW, how long would you give Brooks? In her job I mean, not if you were on the bench and she in the dock.

    12. Refresh — on 7th July, 2011 at 6:20 pm  


      ‘how long would you give Brooks?’

      A very interesting question. If I recall correctly Glen Mulcaire had been receiving News International funding for his subsequent legal costs - even after being jailed (and possibly still). And I would be surprised if Brooks wouldn’t be due far more support than Glen.

      And also her departure now would scupper ‘The Bid’, and impact NI valuation. Down 4% already.

      But 3 months, courtesy of Jeremy Hunt, will be long enough. A resurgent Murdoch, a pliant Cameron; and quiet if not subtle pressure on critics, esp. MPs, (who doesn’t have skeletons?) and it could all be back in the bottle within 9 months. That is the danger.

      Brooks future? Go off and run another wing of NI in a distant land (one where there is no extradition treaty with the UK); and then back here within the next 5 years. Not quite like Profumo, as he just stayed away.

      But lets hope wherever she goes the

    13. Refresh — on 7th July, 2011 at 7:00 pm  


      …campaign will keep tabs on her, and make her every move front page news.

      In addition to that we need a website (best run by or in the style of Private Eye) which monitors every move of every NI journalist and executive. They should also be required to register with a Journo’s version of Megan’s Law, should they physically move into an area or start to cover a new story.

      In fact that reminds me, I must start getting Private Eye again.

      Boyo, is there any reason why you shouldn’t be on the register?

    14. Refresh — on 7th July, 2011 at 7:04 pm  

      Has anyone got an idea whether all this intelligence gathered through hacking and interception gets passed through to a specialist group within News International?

    15. Don — on 7th July, 2011 at 7:20 pm'have-right-to-know-if-news-of-the-world-pervert-lives-next-door'-201107054034/

      Damn, I like the Daily Mash.

    16. douglas clark — on 7th July, 2011 at 10:08 pm  

      Don @ 15,


    17. Don — on 7th July, 2011 at 11:32 pm  

      One of the most succinct comments I have read, and I can’t remember where, was along the lines of, ‘It’s not that they have done this thing, it’s that it’s what they do.’

    18. Refresh — on 8th July, 2011 at 1:48 am  

      Sequester of Murdoch assets is the least we can do. Lets not forget that he’s hoarded the money that should have been handed over to us, the real taxpayers.

      A judge next dealing with a NI hack or executive should seek to put a value on both the profit generated and the damage done and demand it be taken out of the NI coffers. I believe there is legislation which is clear that crime must not pay.

      At 6000 hacks at £200,000 each - that would be £1.2bn.

      And where they are using interception equipment, nothing less than £1,000,000 per intercept.

      A class action in the US, which I believe is feasible, as NewsCorp are based over there, should harvest many billions.

      Michael Mansfield should get to work and put them out of business, I say.

      Douglas Clark, I agree with you their children’s assets should also be put up.

    19. jamal — on 8th July, 2011 at 10:23 am  

      so news of the world closes down well that’s one down only another 10 giant propaganda machines to go!

      Look at David cameron’s luke warm response what a coward. At least you know one thing he takes care of his own that means the bankers and his buddies at news international.

    20. Kismet Hardy — on 8th July, 2011 at 12:30 pm  

      The Sun on Sunday. Business as usual…

    21. damon — on 9th July, 2011 at 12:43 am  

      My mum will be dissapointed. She always got the News of the World.
      Although she was sick of reading about Jordan and Peter Andre.
      She really enjoyed the Ryan Giggs stuff, even though she’d never heard of him before.
      She likes Rooney, and feels sorry for him as he was ‘dragged up’ by his chav family.
      She can’t stand Victoria Beckham, but doesn’t mind David. And she loves Frank Lampard because he loved his mum.
      And she knows nothing about football.

    22. Rumbold — on 9th July, 2011 at 10:35 am  

      Why don’t you get her started on Spiked Damon?

    23. damon — on 9th July, 2011 at 3:44 pm  

      My poor mum can only read red top tabloid newspapers.
      I’m pretty sure she never read a broadsheet in her life.

      But this is a jucy scandal in in’s own right isn’t it?
      It can make you feel all warm and self-rightious without having to do anything. Who sent off some e-mails to advertisers then? And joined the great Sunny and Mumsnet crusade.

      My mum doesn’t have a computer, but maybe if I printed off this spiked article and gave it to her, she just might get this idea.

      The focus of anti-scandal fury can change from one month to another. Over the past couple of years, everyone from expenses-claiming MPs to greedy bankers to evil tabloid hacks has become the focus of exposure, finding themselves on the receiving end of furious, if quite fleeting, campaigns of moral disgust and bombast. There isn’t a great deal that links the MP who claims expenses for taxis with the banker who plays the ‘financial casino’ or with the tabloid hack who taps into celebs’ or crime victims’ phones. Some of this behaviour is legal, some of it is illegal; some is immoral, some is just morally neutral. Yet what the exposure of each of these very different groups of people satisfies is today’s free-floating need to find an outlet for the expression of moral fury, of what feels like an urgent and real feeling of anger about something.

    24. douglas clark — on 9th July, 2011 at 4:20 pm  


      That is so much bullshit. ;-)

    25. Don — on 9th July, 2011 at 5:39 pm  


      I guess most of us are used to a sort of background level of sleaze in the institutions that run our lives. We don’t like it, but it’s too pervsive to get worked up about. Then sombody really drops the ball and a particularly egregious example flops oozing onto the drawing room carpet.

      You seem to be of the opinion that when this finally pisses people off enough to raise their voices, this repesents a moral flaw in them.

      It can make you feel all warm and self-rightious…

      What a stupid thing to say. One could equally say that the attitude in the Spiked articles you keep gifting us with (rather like a cat dragging a dying mouse into the kitchen, with that look that says ‘I’ve brought you a snack, don’t say I never do anything for you’.)can make you feel all smug and superior to the fickle, hopelessly unself-aware mob.

    26. damon — on 10th July, 2011 at 12:48 am  

      Sorry Don, I don’t mean to get on anyone’s wick. Is that how I come across?
      It is a forum where ideas and opinions are meant to get batted around. I do say things I haven’t worked out fully, often in the hope that someone will help me out with something that is only half baked in my mind.
      It has really surprised me (over a long time now) how people who don’t like them will just not touch anything they say with a barge pole. And I don’t just mean on this forum and LC.

      They certainly have got things very wrong in the past, and that seems a good enough reason for many people to be able to ignore any of the good challenging stuff they (spiked) produce.

      But everyone gets stuff wrong. Look at this website’s overly keen focus on the losers and nobodies in the EDL and BNP. It seems to question that direction and focus is an embarrassing ‘forum faux pas’.

      Maybe a forum where earwicga, Douglas Clark and Joe90 are regular commentators isn’t the place for that kind of analysis. But I really think there was something in what they were hinting at on thursday. That line that says ”The focus of anti-scandal fury can change from one month to another ….”
      I don’t know why that arouses my interest more than the calls for action on everything from this NotW story (which is a total scandal) to protesting about MP’s expenses, to tax avoidence and the WTO type meetings.

      I’m listening to Sunny on the radio right now. He’s very good as he often is (I thought he was spot on about his friend Kia Abdullah on the radio the other night btw), but I am actually looking forward more to next weeks Spiked analysis of this News of the World story, because I want to see if they can tease out this intriguing view to what is happening right now with this current national scandal. Maybe they can’t.

    27. damon — on 11th July, 2011 at 12:04 pm  

      There’s three articles on Spiked today about the News of the World scandal, but I won’t bring them here ”like somthing the cat dragged in” as even though they are about what is being discussed on this thread, this is obviously not the place where such campaigns themselves are open for discussion and debate. One of them has the sub-heading ”The cultural elite’s crusade against News International is only a more erudite version of the News of the World’s war on perverts” … which I can’t help finding at least intriguing. While I find the Daily Mash’s amusing take on this quite funny, I actually would rather ask some more searching questions about what is going on here. Just like people did about the reaction to Princess Diana’s death. There’s something going on here more than just outrage at some phone hacking and police corruption (and spineless politicians and characters like Mr Burns from the Simpsons).

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