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Monday, July 06, 2009 

Death to the quangocracy!

Interesting how out of the hundreds of quangos which David Cameron could have chosen to pick on, he decided that Ofcom was the main one that just has to be cut down to size. True enough, Ofcom is one of the most prominent and one of the most expensive, yet Peter Wilby draws our attention, while dealing with the question of the next Sun editorship, to something currently causing much anger in Wapping:

Though the bookmaker Paddy Power last week quoted him at 10-1, hardly anybody mentions Fergus Shanahan, the Sun's executive editor and former deputy editor, as a candidate to succeed Rebekah Wade in the chair. But Shanahan clearly takes himself seriously and is making special efforts to catch Rupert Murdoch's eye.

In his weekly column last Tuesday, he recalled how, in Atlas Shrugged, the futuristic novel by the American rightwing author Ayn Rand, bosses of companies that refuse to share inventions with rivals are tortured under a leftwing US government. Shanahan drew comparisons with Ofcom's proposal to cap the price at which Sky TV sells sports and movie channels to other companies. "This ruling means firms like Sky, who invest money, take risks and spend years building a customer base, can have everything stolen from them by the state."

That's just the kind of fearless, independent judgment that Murdoch values in his editors.

Surely Cameron isn't so shamelessly courting Murdoch that he's proposing slashing Ofcom just to get in his good books? What's next? Flying across the world to address Murdoch's yearly soirée?

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Ayn Rand " ... one of the most evil figures of modern intellectual history." (N. Chomsky). Yep, she'll be a Murdoch pin-up.

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