Even though we all know that Polly Toynbee really doesn't like Rupert Murdoch we do think that rather more evidence than this must be used to decide upon whether he may buy those parts of Sky that he doesn't already own. For Polly's tirade really just isn't enough:
She had no real choice. The culture secretary, Karen Bradley, this morning referred to Ofcom the Murdochs’ 21st Century Fox bid to take over all of Sky. Ownership of the remaining 61% would bring them enormous future profits and greatly expand, yet again, their control over British media.
Way to go Polly, way to go. In order to gain access to those enormous future profits it is necessary for them to purchase the parts of the share register which they do not currently own. The market value of those parts being the net present value of that future profit stream of course.
After 10 years, the deal last time said, Sky News would revert to Sky control. In those 10 years we can expect to see a groundswell of pressure to change the laws that impose strict impartiality on British broadcasting. Hear the drumbeat already. How stiff and staid is our TV news! How old-fashioned, in the new media circus of raucous opinion! Fox News makes a fortune, unlike Sky, which loses heavily, so take off the gag, let news be noisy and exciting!
If people wish to have a biased news source then why should they not have access to a biased news source? We here might complain about the Guardian's slant on matters but we most certainly don't think that government should insist it start telling the truth occasionally. And no, we cannot see the difference between pixels that appear, static, upon your screen and pixels that move around upon it.
We might also make a comment or two about how the BBC's influence is rather an elephant in the room when discussing media plurality in the British marketplace and so on. But let's cut right to the important point here.
Those shareholdings in Sky which Murdoch wishes to buy are currently the private property of those who own them. Polly's demand is that they should not be able to dispose of their own private property, as they wish - for don't forget that an offer must be made which tempts them to sell - simply because Ms. Toynbee doesn't like Rupert.
It's true, there are times when we don't allow people to sell their own as they wish. We're just fine with restrictions upon trading with the enemy in wartime for example. But however much La Toynbee is the grande dame of British journalism we're not convinced that such breaches of property rights are justified just because she thinks she has enemies.