The tycoon, who is stepping down from News Corp and Fox, has used his outlets to promote denial and delay action, experts say
Scientists have described the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch as a “climate villain” who has used his television and newspaper empire to promote climate science denial and delay action.
Prof Michael Mann, a climate scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, said Murdoch had been “one of the most destructive forces in modern history when it comes to climate action”.
“He has wielded his global media empire as a cudgel to sow confusion and doubt about the science and the solutions. He will go down in history as one of the greatest climate villains,” said Mann.
Dr Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, said: “There’s no doubt that the Murdoch empire has played an important role in letting the public believe that there was any scientific doubt that the burning of fossil fuel causes the climate to warm and that it is detrimental for society and ecosystems. It is a terrible legacy he leaves, that many people paid for, and are paying for, with their lives and livelihoods.
Unlawful practice still used in Kent was condemned after more than 200 went missing from accommodation
The UK Home Office has placed more than 100 lone asylum-seeker children in hotels in recent weeks, despite the practice having been found unlawful by the high court.
The government’s continued use of hotels has been condemned by human rights and refugee organisations since more than 200 children have gone missing, including dozens who vanished from one hotel in Brighton.
One of the reasons why children continue to be placed in hotels, some for a number of weeks, is that Kent county council says it cannot cope with the number of children arriving. The council’s geographical location means it has responsibility to take into care lone children who arrive at the Kent coast in small boats. It has warned that they are struggling to meet their legal obligations to UK as well as asylum-seeker children.
Both the Home Office and Kent county council have been found by the high court to have acted unlawfully by failing to look after these children properly.
The anti-boycott Bill targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in solidarity with Palestine. It is openly a bid to enforce British foreign policy on all public bodies: Communities Secretary Michael Gove claims councils, universities or other institutions which seek to make ethical decisions on how to spend or invest funds are guilty of “pursuing their own foreign policy agenda.”
In banning public bodies from taking stances on international questions at odds with that of central government, the law is part of the creeping enforced conformity chilling democratic debate in Britain, reflected in Tory anti-protest legislation, Labour’s relentless search for heretics to expel and the online censorship of alternative and foreign media in the name of combating “disinformation.”
The cross-party consensus on stripping us of our democratic rights is evident here too. Though Labour proposed a “reasoned amendment,” setting out objections to the Bill without actually amending it, it instructed its MPs to abstain when that fell rather than oppose the legislation.
In an interview with Jewish News, shadow communities secretary Lisa Nandy stressed the party’s support for a ban on BDS, saying Labour’s only concerns were that the Bill might also stop councils boycotting other countries, namely China: suggesting Labour would police enforced alignment with British foreign policy even more closely than the Tories. Her concerns are misplaced, anyway: the Bill breaks new ground by explicitly referencing Israel, giving it a unique impunity from activist pressure under British law, as well as by specifying that it should also cover the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights, endorsing Israel’s illegal colonisation projects in practice while continuing to oppose them formally.
The heads of three major messaging apps have exclusively told The Standard that the Online Safety Bill, which is facing one of it’s final votes this week, will lead to the mass surveillance of every private online message and London’s reputation as a place to do business will be destroyed if the bill passes into law.
They also say Prime Minister Rishi Sunak can forget about the UK becoming a technology superpower if that happens, as tech firms will leave London and no one will want to start a business here.
“If the Online Safety Bill does not amend the vague language that currently opens the door for mass surveillance and the nullification of end-to-end encryption, then it will not only create a significant vulnerability that will be exploited by hackers, hostile nation states, and those wishing to do harm, but effectively salt the earth for any tech development in London and the UK at large,” Meredith Whittaker, president of not-for-profit secure messaging app Signal told The Standard.
“Passing the bill as-is sends the clear message that the UK government would rather make law based on magical thinking, than honor longstanding expert consensus when it comes to issues of complex technology.”