Letter: BSkyB damaged the industry

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The Independent Online
I HOPE BSkyB's Director of Public Affairs, Ray Gallagher, (Letters, 23 January) is paid a lot of money to cast BSkyB in a favourable light. It must be very difficult work. Whatever technical arguments he might come up with to make BSkyB seem to belong to Britain, the facts are that it's a foreign intruder that has done serious damage to our broadcasting industry.

Lest anyone forget, Britain spent a lot of time and effort planning and franchising a truly forward looking satellite service, which was dashed from the skies by a combination of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, the connivings of the international money markets and the then Thatcher government's inaction.

Mr Murdoch's 'Sun in the Sky' seemed a more comfortable option for the Tories than an organisation founded on similar principles to the BBC and Channel 4. Too many liberals prevailed in BSB for Tory tastes, and it was left for dead.

Had Sky Television been set up by a wealthy French socialist media mogul, Margaret Thatcher would probably have had it strangled at birth, and BSB and the British television industry would have thrived. Peter Brooke's recent assertion that Mr Murdoch's cross-media ownership is acceptable is sheer humbug. Yet another example of the complacent arrogance that allows all Tories to re-write any history they find embarrassing or inconvenient.

Sam Keogh

London W13