The power of Murdoch
David Cameron’s speech on quangos clearly wasn’t any kind of bonfire – as many have noticed. But it did have one clear policy commitment – taking strategic policy away from Ofcom to give it to a minister.
There is a debate to be had about accountability and quangos, but if there is one area of policy that needs maximum daylight because of the dangers of ministers doing things in return for political favours it is anything involving media magnates.
And this is a not a one sided observation about Conservatives. As the Guardian says today (though I can’t find it online) the government agreed to the Information Commissioner’s request that breaches of the data protection code by private investigators acting for journalists could be punished by prison.
However a lobby by leading figures from News International, the Telegraph Group and Associated Newspapers persuaded Gordon Brown to overrule the plan.”