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When Rupert Murdoch, asked to name his priority, answered “This one,” and put his arm protectively around Rebekah Brooks, he took defiance to the point of delusion. He and News Corporation executives took too long to understand the revulsion at the allegations of criminal phone hacking, the choice of targets, and the delayed revelations. They were slow to realise that parliament had declared war.

It is possible (see Richard Northedge’s article) that Murdoch will now jettison his other British titles and even his BSkyB stake. His priority (Brooks aside) was the bid for the rest of BSkyB. In withdrawing, he…

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