Friday, March 2, 2012

#Leveson Inquiry: Michael Delaney - How Did He Die Mr.Murdoch ?

Mike Jempson is a former Wapping resident, writing in a personal capacity.

Michael Delaney was only 19 when he was killed, crushed beneath the wheels of a TNT lorry under police escort from Murdoch’s Wapping printworks, on the night of 10 January 1987. I had known him since he was a child.

With the launch of the Sunday Sun, Murdoch wants to put the past behind him and start afresh with pledges of ‘a new bond of trust’ with his readers and ‘the values of decency’. It is just the latest in a long line of cynical ploys by the wily old dingo. His baleful influence has blighted many lives. Right now he needs to bolster morale among staff battered by recent arrests over phone hacking and scandalised by the disclosure of their sources to the police, and to try and win friends and influence people at a time when his power seems to be on the wane.

Until recently politicians of all persuasions pandered to his every whim to win the patronage of his papers. In 1981 he had no problem persuading MPs not to refer his purchase of The Times and The Sunday Times to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, then wiped out more than 500 jobs. All his papers provided a platform for the deregulation agenda he shared with Ronald Reagan and Mrs Thatcher. He aimed his guns in particular at the BBC to help make room on the airwaves for his Sky satellite services. 

Upwards of 5,000 more jobs were lost when he shifted his titles to Wapping in 1986, a move characterised by deceit, blackmail and bullyboy tactics. It began with false claims that he would print a new title The London Post there; continued with secret deals to bus in electricians from outside London to run the machinery; then blue collar staff were issued with an ultimatum - work to new inferior contracts or face the sack. Then journalists were offered £2,000 to cross picket lines and work behind the razor wire and security cameras that surrounded his new East London headquarters.

When the inevitable industrial dispute began, Murdoch boosted the fortunes of transport company TNT to deliver his titles direct to retailers, breaking up the nationwide distribution system shared by other publications and doing away with many more more