Writing in Open Democracy, Des Freedman, co-editor of The Assault on Universities: a Manifesto for Resistance, argues that we should be angry, but not suprised, about the revelations of ministerial collusion with News International:
None of this should come as a surprise to anyone who has followed not simply the revelations of the Leveson Inquiry but, the everyday concessions offered by neoliberal governments at the behest of powerful corporations. This is not about pressure but consensus, about the ‘common sense’ desirability of minimising regulation and maximising the free flow of market forces through all areas of social life.
James Murdoch and Jeremy Hunt, in their absolute commitment to the neoliberal project, are ideological soulmates. The former asserted back in 2009 that ‘[t]here is an inescapable conclusion that we must reach if we are to have a better society. The only reliable, durable, and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit’ and has long called for a ‘bonfire of regulations’ in relation to the broadcast sector.
Hunt is just as eager for deregulation promising, when shadow culture secretary back in 2009, to ‘strip away the regulations in the same way that Big Bang revolutionised the City to make it the major financial centre of the world.’ Indeed, he even dismissed as ‘absolute nonsense’ accusations that the Conservatives were in hock to News Corp in return for the backing of the Sun ahead of the 2010 election. Any suggestions of collusion between the Tories and News Corp were, he insisted, ‘completely wrong and totally improper.’ They were obviously just as wrong then as they are now…
Visit Open Democracy to read the article in full.
A Manifesto for Resistance
Edited by Michael Bailey and Des Freedman
Sharp essays take on the government’s agenda of university cuts and fee increases, and outline an alternative manifesto for higher education.
“The corporatising of universal education is one of the most insidious and dangerous attacks on the very notion of human rights. This book calls us to arms. Every student, every educator who cares should read it.” – John Pilger
“This is an essential book. The future of our universities is up for grabs and the manifesto will play a huge role in providing alternatives at a time when the government says there aren’t any.” – Clare Solomon, President of the University of London Union (ULU) 2010-11 and editor of Springtime (2011)