The Cloud: A brush with Murdoch

I hadn’t realised until raising a question on the BusinessZone forum that BSkyB acquired The Cloud,  last year.

I’d bought th e Hotspot in a Box some years ago anticipating a revenue opportunity for our social enterprise activities.

Though according to The Cloud, nobody had used the service, I knew that a local RAC patrolman had taken an interest because there is no cellphone coverage in our village. So in spite of it returning no revenue I kept it running just in case it might be a social benefit.

Now and then, their support team would call to ask me to reboot my hotspot, giving the impression that it served them to have a local entry point to their service.

Last week The Cloud made contact to inform me that I had no contract and they’d have to take me off line unless I pay a subscription of £35/month.

As you’ll see from the work we’ve been doing in social enterprise, the issue of access to affordable rural broadband as a social and economic enabler has been a key part of our advocacy but claiming that ‘Capitalism is an insufficient economic model‘ in our business plan may well have been incongruent with Murdoch HQ.

It gets darker however

In 2006, having taken our efforts to Eastern Europe we discover the plight of disabled children in care and begin campaigning for change with the article ‘Death Camps, For Children‘ describing a place called Torez.

5 years later, a story about the same place would be published in the Sunday Times , with a twist. It identifies a leading oligarch Rinat Akhmetov as these children’s champion. He will resolve the problem over the next 5 years, they claim.

As you may see, referring back to the 2006 article, the same oligarch is identified as a primary cause of the problem. A recent video report from Al Jazeera on Ukraine: State of Chaos leaves a firm impression of his character.

In 2007 the author of the Death Camps story, who died last year wrote this in his notes.

“As the 60th anniversary of the Marshall Plan came around in June 2007, noise was emerging within Ukraine of a certain political boss preparing a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.  This person was a reputed mob boss — exactly the sort of entity that the original Marshall Plan meant to oppose.  It seemed most likely that whatever he came up with would be self-serving, hijacking the label ‘Marshall Plan’ and turning the whole notion on its head.  I reviewed the original Marshall Plan and realized that what I had written was, in fact, the definition and spirit of the original Marshall Plan.  Thus, in June 2007, I appended the original title with “A Marshall Plan for Ukraine.”  After some discussion among trusted colleagues over timing, I published an abbreviated version of the paper in two parts in August 1997 in the ‘analytics’ section of the Ukrainian news journal for-ua.com.”

One of the co-authors of the Sunday Times article runs the organisation People First which is affiliated with Conservative think tank Respublica.

Can someone explain why Murdoch INC would want to promote a ‘reputed mob boss’ who is renowned for being one of ‘Ukraine’s Scrooges

By default it seems, I’ve joined a club that wouldn’t have me as a member.

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