The campaign to stop Murdoch’s BSkyB powergrab continues

Update 14:23, 13th July 2011. We did it!! Murdoch has withdrawn his bid for BSkYB. Well done everyone!! We did it!!

This isn’t a campaign victory post – there’s almost certainly more to do in our campaign to rein in Murdoch’s power.

But with today’s announcements of public inquiries into hacking, and positive noises from Ofcom about an investigation into whether Murdoch is “fit and proper” to own BSkyB, it does seem like a good moment to recap everything 38 Degrees members have done so far:

– July 2010: 38 Degrees members launch the campaign
Rupert Murdoch announces plans to take over BskyB. 38 Degrees members came together calling on the Minister responsible, Vince Cable, to block the deal. The petition grew quickly with tens of thousands of us signing.

– September 2010: 38 Degrees members urge Cable to listen to advisers
We had our first breakthrough when the BBC received leaked documents from Vince Cable’s department revealing that even his own advisers were telling him that Murdoch’s deal mustn’t go through. So 38 Degrees members came together signing an open letter Vince Cable to listen to his advisers and hold firm by blocking Murdoch’s plans.

– November 2010: Success – Cable orders Ofcom inquiry.
We’d raised money for adverts in Vince Cable’s constituency demanding an inquiry into the deal. 38 Degrees members then celebrated as Cable accepted our demands and ordered an inquiry into Murdoch’s powergrab. Thousands of us wrote to our MPs urging them to make sure the inquiry had teeth.

November 2010 – 60,000 of us tell Ofcom the deal needs to be halted
38 Degrees members teamed up with our friends at Avaaz and together we sent over 60,000 submissions to the Ofcom inquiry.

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

60,000 messages to Ofcom saying "Stop Murdoch's BSkyB power grab"

Photograph by 38 Degrees

22nd December – Hunt replaces Cable
After Vince Cable was caught by undercover journalists commenting on Murdoch’s power grab, he was replaced by Jeremy Hunt – an outspoken supporter of Rupert Murdoch.

– 31st December: 70,000 strong emergency petition
Together with our friends at Avaaz we handed in our 70,000 strong emerency petition on New Years Eve, demanding Murdoch’s BSkyB takeover is sent to the Competition Commission for a wide-ranging and impartial investigation. On the same day Jeremy Hunt receives Ofcom’s report,recommending that Murdoch’s plans should be referred to the competition commission.

– Feb 7th 2011: 38 Degrees members meet Hunt
38 Degrees member, David Morgan, organises a meeting with his MP, Jeremy Hunt, to deliver the 40,000 strong petition along with local 38 Degrees and Avaaz members.

– June 30th: Rally against Murdoch’s green light
As the Guardian reports  “Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that he plans to give News Corporation’sBSkyB takeover the green light, after nearly four months of negotiations between the culture secretary, Rupert Murdoch’s media company and regulators over spinning off Sky News”, 38 Degrees members join with Avaaz to hold an emergency rally outside Hunt’s department.

Mass Demonstration

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Mass Demonstration

Photograph by 38 Degrees

– 5th July 2011: Emergency Petition passes 100,000
As news breaks of widespread phone hacking by Murdoch’s News Of The World, 38 Degrees members join with Avaaz members to demand a full public inquiry into the Murdoch empire’s phone hacking activities.

– July 6th: Emergency protest
38 Degrees members team up with Avaaz to hold an emergency protest outside the House of Commons (along with puppets of Murdoch, Hunt and Cameron)

– July 7th: Thousands of 38 Degrees members urge MPs to speak out
As disgust at the behaviour of Murdoch’s newspapers grows tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members email their MPs urging them to speak out and stand up to Murdoch

– July 8th: Emergency petition handed in
On the final day of the government consultation we hand in the 100,000 strong emergency petition, along with our friends at Avaaz.

Our protest against the BSkyB deal

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Our protest against the BSkyB deal

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Murdoch wants BSkyB

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Update: here are a few press reports about the last few days:
Huffington Post UK – How Social Media Helped Bring Down Britain’s Biggest Newspaper
Phone Hacking Protest Outside The Houses Of Parliament
New York Times – Move to Close Newspaper Is Greeted With Suspicion
The Guardian – Murdoch’s reckless gesture is Cameron’s historic chance