The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

It's absolutely true. In the House of Commons debate, instead of the metaphor being the sword of Damocles, it was a pistol pointed at the heads of everybody concerned by a totally phoney timetable.

The basic thing is, Mr Murdoch gave the impression he would pull away completely. Thomson organisation wanted him. It was all phoney. It was a phoney war. In fact, the best speeches in the House of Commons were pointing out how phoney a war it was.

The Sunday Times was strike-bound for 12 months and we came back with a larger circulation than ever, so that was a false argument.

In fact, of course, it was ridiculous to say you can't go to the Monopolies Commission for the most important newspaper takeover in British press history -- "I'm sorry, we don't have time to make sure the law is being observed, I'm sorry, we don't have time to go to the Monopolies Commission" -- it's ridiculous. It was a whole set of chess moves. This was pawn to bishop 4, actually pawn to bishop 6, because they were going so fast to try and get the thing through.

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