Archive for april, 2013

NEWS CORP. | För två år sedan såg hela Rupert Murdochs medieimperium ut att vara hotat. Idag står han starkare än någonsin.

Bloomber Businessweek den 22-28 april 2013

I juli 2011 var han tvungen att inför en panel av parlamentsledamöter svara på förödmjukande frågor om den telefonavlyssning man ägnat sig åt på bl.a. News of the World.

Bara dagarna innan hade man tagit beslutet att lägga ner tidningen.

Men idag har Sun on Sunday – Murdochs senaste publikation i Storbritannien – fler läsare än konkurrerande söndagstidningar.

Felix Gillette, Bloomberg Businessweek, skriver:

“We started off with phone hacking, and along the way the business of police corruption, long suspected, also came out in the public,” says Claire Enders, the founder of the London-based media research firm Enders Analysis. “These issues have grown and grown without there being any commensurate damage. It’s simply unbelievable.”

Today, Murdoch survives at the helm of a global entertainment and publishing company that, far from being diminished, has soared in value. The day before Murdoch appeared in Parliament, the stock closed at $14.96 a share. On April 12 it closed at $31.54. The company is now valued at $73 billion. Revenue and earnings are up. The company has $3.3 billion in cash. Since July 19, 2011, the Murdoch family’s 38 percent stake of News Corp. Class B voting shares has grown in value from $5.1 billion to $9.5 billion.

Given his track record, it should come as no surprise that Murdoch has slipped away. “Time and again when his plans have gone awry and he has found himself facing calamity, his superb survival skills have saved him,” the Australian journalist Neil Chenoweth wrote in a biography of Murdoch published in 2002. “Just before he hits the wall … he feints this way and that, and then he sets off with undiminished speed in a new direction. This is Murdoch’s genius: not that he gets into a jam, but that he is able to walk away afterward, an implausible winner.”


“The big win for Murdoch is that as much coverage as it got in the U.S., the crisis didn’t jump the Atlantic,” says [advokaten och krishanteraren Richard] Levick. “They were able to cordon it off as largely a British story.”

In February 2012, seven months after closing News of the World, Murdoch rolled out a new Sunday version of his daily tabloid the Sun—effectively reoccupying the niche his company had made such a big deal of leaving. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, between September 2012 and February 2013, the Sun averaged 2.3 million daily readers—significantly more than its closest rivals, the Daily Mail (1.8 million readers) and the Daily Mirror (1 million). Over the same time period, the Sun on Sunday has averaged 1.9 million readers, topping its competitors, the Mail on Sunday (1.7 million) and the Sunday Mirror (1 million). Murdoch’s papers may not be as popular as they were before the crisis, but, then again, few newspapers are.

The first half of the Leveson Inquiry—the government’s investigation into the press’s role in phone hacking—has come and gone. The second laborious chapter, which will focus on the role of the police, will take place at some later date. Meanwhile, Murdoch remains the most read publisher in the U.K.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Businessweek den 22-28 april 2013.

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The New Yorker cartoon.

Bild: The New Yorker. Fler teckningar på deras hemsidan.

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FILM | I ”No” berättar regissören Pablo Larraín hur chilenska Mad Men hjälpte oppositionen vinna valet mot general Augusto Pinochet.

Mattias Oscarsson beskriver bakgrunden i en recension i Sydsvenskan:

1988 anordnades en folkomröstning i Chile där befolkningen fick rösta ”ja” eller ”nej” till diktatorn Augusto Pinochet, som hade tagit makten vid en blodig, USA-stödd, kupp 1973. Ganska storstilat för en diktator, kan man tycka – men valet var mest en formsak för att legitimera regimen, inte minst i omvärldens ögon. Att Pinochet skulle förlora fanns inte på kartan: landets ekonomi var urstark, hans anhängare i klar majoritet.

Också som en formsak, för att tillfredsställa världsopinionen, tilläts nej-sidan sända tv-reklam varje dag under en månad. Det var första gången som den mörbultade socialistiska oppositionen fick göra sin röst hörd och kunde ge sin bild av Pinochets skräckvälde. Vilken chans! Äntligen kunde de visa chilenarna dokumentära filmbilder på övergrepp och dödskjutningar. Bombardera tittarna med hårda fakta om hur många som hade dödats, fängslats, torterats och flytt ur landet.

”Det säljer inte” fnyser nej-sidans inhyrde reklamman René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) i ”No”. Han tänker tvärtom: ge folket ett positivt budskap. Kräng demokratin som vore den Coca-Cola – med leenden, popmusik, dansande ungdomar, humor och en klatschig regnbåge som kampanjsymbol. Han får igenom sina förslag. Den buttre Pinochet har inte en chans mot glädjechocken.

Läs mer: “Try Freedom: Less Filling! Tastes Great!” av Manohla Dargis i The New York Times.

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ARTIKLAR | The Spectator var den första publikationen med nationell räckvidd som gav Thatcher sitt stöd när hon kandiderade till partiledarposten.

The Spectator 13 april 2013

Mrs T’s unfinished business

Ledare, The Spectator

Her victories were so decisive and spectacular that it is possible — as we have seen in the last few days — to dwell almost entirely on them (and those who didn’t like them). But another part of the Thatcher story is the battles she regarded as unwinnable. She knew, for example, that the welfare state had started to ensnare the very people it was designed to help, that the National Health Service was being slowly captured by a bureaucratic elite, and that state schools were being made into the playthings of local government politicians. But there was only so much she felt able to do.


It is natural for Tories to look back with pride and nostalgia on a period in which one woman’s energy, grit and fearlessness saved a nation. But there was plenty of unfinished business then — and there is plenty now. Conservatives should be wary of accepting the myth of Mrs Thatcher as a Tory Boudicca who would have flown into every battle no matter what. Her success stemmed from her ability to mix principle with practicality. As they mourn, Tories ought not to be too hard on themselves or their current leader. In many important regards, this government is completing the Thatcher revolution.

The Economist 13-19 april 2013

Freedom fighter

Ledare, The Economist

The essence of Thatcherism was to oppose the status quo and bet on freedom—odd, since as a prim, upwardly mobile striver, she was in some ways the embodiment of conservatism. She thought nations could become great only if individuals were set free. Unlike Churchill’s famous pudding, her struggles had a theme: the right of individuals to run their own lives, as free as possible from micromanagement by the state.


Criticism of her comes in two forms. First, that she could have done more had she wielded her handbag more deftly. Hatred, it is true, sometimes blinded her. Infuriated by the antics of left-wing local councils, she ended up centralising power in Whitehall. Her hostility to Eurocrats undermined her campaign to stop the drift of power to Brussels. Her stridency, from her early days as “Thatcher the milk snatcher” to her defenestration by her own party, was divisive. Under her the Conservatives shrank from a national force to a party of the rich south (see Bagehot). Tony Blair won several elections by offering Thatcherism without the rough edges.

The second criticism addresses the substance of Thatcherism. Her reforms, it is said, sowed the seeds of the recent economic crisis. Without Thatcherism, the big bang would not have happened. Financial services would not make up such a large slice of the British economy and the country would not now be struggling under the burden of individual debt caused by excessive borrowing and government debt caused by the need to bail out the banks. Some of this is true; but then without Thatcherism Britain’s economy would still be mired in state control, the commanding heights of its economy would be owned by the government and militant unions would be a power in the land.

Bloomberg Businessweek 15-21 april 2013 Europe Edition

The Skeptic

Clive Cook, Bloomberg Businessweek

In 1988, Thatcher gave a speech to the College of Europe in Bruges that stands as an eloquent statement of liberal euro-skepticism. “Britain does not dream of some cozy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community,” she said. “Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community.” At the same time, “the Community is not an end itself. Nor is it an institutional device to be constantly modified according to the dictates of some abstract intellectual concept. … [It’s] a practical means by which Europe can ensure the future prosperity and security of its people.”

Well said. The problem was that most other times, Thatcher gave every appearance that she really did dream of some cozy, isolated existence on the fringes of Europe. Howe accused her of seeing “a continent that is positively teeming with ill-intentioned people, scheming, in her words, to ‘extinguish democracy,’ to ‘dissolve our national identities,’ and to lead us ‘through the back door into a federal Europe.’ ” He was right: That’s what she saw. Many British voters saw the same, and still do.

Läs mer: The Spectator har tagit fram en rad artiklar om Thatcher som man publicerade mellan 1975 och 1990. Se även ”No ordinary politician i ovanstående nummer av The Economist.

Bilder: Tidskriftsomslagen är The Spectator den 13 april 2013, The Economist den 13-19 april 2013 och Bloomberg Businessweek den 15-21 april 2013.

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Daily Mirror har haft en bra bevakning från Margaret Thatchers begravning. Se 34 bilder från kortegen och begravningsceremonin.

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TNS SifoPOLITIK | När man talar om trollen så står de i farstun. Och trollen i det här fallet är Vänsterpartiet.

Trots ett gynnsamt politiskt klimat har Vänsterpartiet inte legat på alltför imponerande siffror i opinionen. Men nu verkar det ha vänt.

Efter att en längre tid ha legat stilla i opinionen är man nu det enda partiet i Sifos opinionsundersökning med en signifikant uppgång.

Politiskt beror uppgången på 1,6 % säkert på att man för en gångs skull har legat rätt i opinionen.

Medan Socialdemokraterna har gett otydliga besked om vad man vill gällande vinster i välfärden har Jonas Sjöstedt kunnat ge ett desto tydligare svar på frågan. Man säger nej, nej och åter nej.

Och inom Alliansen verkar man mest vilja slippa frågan.

Frågan är om Vänsterpartiet i kommande undersökningar kan hålla fast vid sin uppgång.

När Socialdemokraterna nu äntligen har tagit ett beslut på sin partikongress kan Sjöstedt inte räkna med plocka lika enkla poäng på frågan.

Men en och annan partistrateg på Socialdemokraternas partikansli oroar sig säkert hur man skall lyckas kommunicera sitt kompromissbeslut till väljarna.

Bland de rödgröna är Vänsterpartiet det enda partiet som ökar. Men trots detta ligger man fortfarande efter både Sverigedemokraterna och Miljöpartiet.

De rödgröna som block har en rejäl ledning över regeringspartierna. Mycket beroende på Kristdemokraterna och Centerpartiet ligger kvar under fyraprocentspärren.

Men de rödgröna får också hjälp av att de borgerliga väljarna känner apati inför Alliansen.

Toivo Sjörén, vid Sifo, skriver:

Studerar vi olika regioner finner vi att det bara är i Skåne som alliansen har ett övertag över de rödgröna. I Stockholm är det mycket jämnt, främst tack vare att Vänsterpartiet når nästan 12 procent av väljarna i stockholmsområdet. I göteborgsområdet har nu de rödgröna ett övertag på dryga 10 procent. Bland tjänstemän har man fortfarande ett nominellt övertag med en dryg procent. Studerar man vart alliansförlusterna har gått, finner man att 40 procent återfinns i soffan och utan någon partisympati alls.

De rödgröna 50,3 % och Alliansen 33,3 % (exklusive Kristdemokraterna och Centerpartiet)

Socialdemokraterna 34,4 % (-0,6), Miljöpartiet 8.9 % (-0,4), Vänsterpartiet 7,0 % (+1,6)

Moderaterna 27,9 % (+0,6), Folkpartiet 5,4 % (-0,2), Kristdemokraterna 3,6 % (+0,3), Centerpartiet 3,5 % (-0,3)

Sverigedemokraterna 8,0 % (-1,0)

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SPORT | Att Paolo Di Canio är fascist är ingen nyhet. Men skriverierna tog fart i engelsk  media när han blev manager för klubben Sunderland.

Paolo Cocco -- AFP-Getty Images

Charles Moore, tidigare redaktör på konservativa tidskriften The Spectator, prickade rätt när han sin i sin krönika skrev:

One reason I do not like professional football is that it seems fascistic. By that I mean that it promotes the worship of the team by the masses and foments contempt of all other teams. It demands blind loyalty, loves crowd displays and has a cult of uniforms and symbols. The fact that Paolo Di Canio is a fascist should qualify him well for his new post of Sunderland manager.

Han kunde lagt till att detta passar in på fler sporter än bara fotboll. Men för alla som såg SVT:s Uppdrag granskning om supporterklubbarna verkar just fotboll dra till sig särdeles mycket löst folk.

Denna ihopblandning av politik och fotboll är inte ovanligt ute i Europa. Här lutar vissa klubbar tydligen av tradition åt antingen vänster eller höger.

För alla som hatade idrott i skolan bekräftar detta bara vad man alltid vetat. Professionell sport är genuint osunt till både kropp och själ.

Bild: Paolo Cocco AFP/Getty Images.

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