Yes, you read it right, as the worst possible grammar allows for we see the needed expression: ‘Me is havening to be the stupid man today‘ statement. It all started in the middle of the night when the Guardian brought us: ‘Saudi state part-owns Evening Standard and Independent, court told‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jul/23/evening-standard-and-independent-unable-to-rebut-concerns-over-saudi-ownership). It gets to be worse (and the actual trigger) with: “Government lawyer tells court part-sale of news outlets has ‘national security implications’“, the naive Neanderthal in me is wondering what kind of drugs David Scannell is on and if I could get some of those (it never hurts to ask). The media (specifically the newspapers) are about the truth and about giving us actual information. The fact that the government has never ever been able to get a handle on whatever Rupert Murdoch does, in that same air the issues with Paul Dacre (specifically on a missing airplane), makes me wonder how the implied gossip that several newspapers spread are national security.
We could go with the premise that with a part owned Saudi Newspapers, the readers will actually get exposed to the acts or Iran, and the facts that many newspapers decided not to give visibility on that (like the proxy war Iran is waging via Yemen). That is beside the point that David Scannell is claiming national security issues against a Russian citizen, is that not laughable too (a Paul Hogan comedy kind of humour)?
So when we get David Scannell stating: “What is of concern to Her Majesty’s government is that a foreign state could be acquiring a substantial stake in Lebedev Holdings [owner of the Evening Standard] and the Independent simultaneously“, whilst her majesties government is seemingly forgetting that the current owner is Russian (born 8 May 1980, In Moscow Russia). Perhaps David Scannell would prefer to consider journalistic integrity and hold the UK newspapers to a much higher standard? He (his bosses more precisely) could have done that a decade ago by removing 0% VAT rights from these glossy ‘news’ bringers, a solution that would fit the UK citizen and resident to the largest degree, but just like the facilitation to the FAANG group (and their less than 2% tax), big corporations are facilitated to the largest degree and a clever Saudi investor thought that this was a good return for their investment. Then there is the other part.
When we see: “The heavily lossmaking free London newspaper is edited by the former Conservative chancellor, George Osborne“, we could consider that this is about changing the hearts of readers, yet if the government legal team is so worried about ‘poor record on press freedom‘, has that legal team not considered that in the end, when the papers becomes even more loss making that the current owners back out and the government could take over at £0.01 per share? In addition, if there is enough evidence in the statement of: “Both the Independent and Evening Standard insist concerns about editorial independence are unfounded and they are not influenced by financial backers” then what is this actually about? It seems that there is a reduced to zero chance that there are actual national security implications, the fact that national security events were always embargoed and as such these two papers must adhere to this, foreign owned or not and in the end, in addition, the fact that we saw last May the quote “There is nothing new about concern over the impact the company, which controls 70% of the country’s newspaper circulation, might have on democratic debate” (source: the Guardian), that keeping more papers out of the fingers of Murdoch might be a Humanitarian good, is that not important too? In addition, there is a second consideration, if the digital worlds that these two newspapers have, setting a stage that this evolution is passed on to places like the Dallah al Baraka Group, Al Arabiya, Al Saudiya and Al Ekhbariya could set a long term prosperity to both Saudi Arabia as well as their European affiliation. This is a long term slow plan and when we consider that Neom City is still happening, having a city well over 20 times the size of New York, also implies that overall the media will grow as well; digital marketing as well as 5G information streams will evolve, and evolve faster. Part of my IP was designed to do just that, whilst promoting commerce on several levels. We see that the evolution cannot begin in Saudi Arabia, but over time evolving those and new stations will be in the interest of Saudi Arabia who is eager not to lose it all to the UAE (Dubai Media Incorporated) or Qatar (Al Jazeera) changing the game and the way they do business is an essential must in the long term and in the short term evolution is more and more pressing.
Evolution has stepped in and as the Homo sapiens we are now, life is not that simple, the interaction of the media is larger and more complex. Yet I still find the approach through David Scannell laughable. We want to muster muzzles and bits to state who is allowed to go where, yet the unbridled freedoms pushes through by places like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google remain unhindered. Even in a stage where these groups pay less than 2% taxation in the end, the monster we know is still less acceptable than any optional new monster we do not know. The policymakers have been unable and unwilling to adjust laws ad legislation for almost two decades, the premise of iteration and Status Quo are found everywhere but were given on how the new owner (partial new owner) is setting the stage of national security. When we look at the fines we see in the direction of Facebook and Equifax are partial evidence that this ship has sailed years ago, the latest data breaches show that there is no stopping the flow of data and whilst we look towards North Korea who does not have the storage abilities, skills and bandwidth to do 10% of the issues that they are accused of, we see that the foundation of the current batch of National Security monitoring teams are seemingly in a stage that they have no clue where to look and what data to sift through (a common shortcoming).
So in all this we have larger issues and whilst we forgot about July 2015 ““source close to the family” (MH370 disaster)” with the additional “what is also important is that we saw an issue in 2014 the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) decided to investigate a case whilst using only 1 of 83 plaintiffs” (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/31/that-joke-called-the-first-amendment/), it would be my personal recommendation that the government (as well as David Scannell have bigger fish to fry. We could start a new Leveson investigation and force harsher settings, but all kinds of chief editors will burst into tears in the House of Lords and as we know that those gentlemen are really unwilling to slap crying girls around, so we get nowhere ever and the option to remove the 0% VAT from some of these newspapers is not regarded as an option, so we are at a stalemate with no solution. But the call via National Security seemingly remains.
In the complete evolved view we see that there is political power into the ability to reach an entire nation through the newspapers and the media, yet in that light when we accept Gay Alcorn (the Guardian) who gave us: “There is nothing new about attacks on News Corp’s influence on policy and politics in Australia. There is nothing new about claims that Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers are not just right wing, but distort and manufacture news“, does it actually matter whether news is manufactured by NewsCorp (Australia) or the Independent (partial Saudi)? Is pushing this path not a race towards discrimination lacking all diplomacy and subtlety?
I am merely asking, because even as i really do not care who the owners are becoming, and the fact that the previous owner is Russian, is it not just all water under the bridge. To be slightly more precise a bridge called Facebook transporting terabytes of data per minute?
In the end, the legal battle is seemingly set to “The legal challenge was only against the decision to refer the Saudi investment to the Competition Commission on merger grounds“, whether valid or not (that is a legislation issue), the fact that the entire article has only one mention of the word ‘merger‘ in that entire article. Informing the public on the exact nature of the issue on the merger, would that not have been an essential first? If that is the case, how does National Security actually fit would be my question, but we really don’t see a clear answer on that either, do we?