I’m not sure why we at Better Nation haven’t touched on the capitivating shitstorm that is going down at News International. Perhaps the issue is too big to get our little heads around, perhaps we’re already over it and just want some real news or perhaps my unbridled, unapologetic delight at the publication’s demise sits too awkwardly against my co-editors’ more compassionate concerns.

Anyway, there is nothing else really dominating the news agenda (*cough* drought in Africa?) so I’ll pick up the story with where we seem to be today – the political pressure that Rupert Murdoch may or may not allow to bother his designs for a 100% stake in BSkyB. Nick Clegg has joined Ed Miliband’s calls in requesting that Murdoch changes his mind on the deal with a hint of a parliamentary vote in the Commons later this week. One could argue that it’s a Laurel and Hardy version of a carrot and stick approach; others could say that it is the first long overdue steps to the UK political elite standing up to the tabloid media. I’m a generous soul, I’m plumping for the latter but then I’ve never been very good at seeing things in black and white.

For me, there is something very weak about a Cabinet member or leader of the Opposition requesting that a private company does not go forward with a proposed business transaction. Are they asking because it’s polite or are they asking because they don’t know how to say no?

Surely private entities should be constantly straining the limits of acceptable practise to ensure that the dog-eat-dog nature of capitalism can thrive and the UK grows as much as it can? Or have I just been watching too much Apprentice? Either way, it is for the Government to decide what is and what is not best practise, not Rupert Murdoch, so if that involves rubbing powerful people up the wrong way by doling out categorical constraints then so be it.

I would much rather Nick Clegg stated his clear intent to vote alongside the increasingly impressive Ed Miliband on this issue in the Commons vote on Wednesday and effectively message to Rupert that he can do what he likes but he won’t be getting his grubby paws on BSkyB, particularly not when so many strands of News International are facing criminal investigations. To his credit, I believe Simon Hughes did this very thing on Newsnight (or some such programme) over the weekend so the Lib Dems do look set to meet, or even surpass, expectations and remembering their voice despite being sat amongst Tory MPs.

That said, it all seems to be a bit like nibbling around the edges and if the initial reaction from politicians is that they should let business take place simply because private entities have requested it then that is very worrying indeed. And yet, in requesting Murdoch to change tack rather than promising to slap the American down, that is the message that the Deputy Prime Minister seems to be sending as far as I can see. Perhaps Nick Clegg is trying to straddle a wide fence between pro-Capitalist right wingers in the Conservative party that he is in coalition with and the regulation-friendly, anti-Murdoch lefties within the Liberal Democrats (that I would sooner identify myself with). And, hey, he is at least doing better than David Cameron on the issue, who is presumably too busy trying to find a way to save his own hide in amongst all of this to worry about piddly BSkyB.

There is something dangerously self-indulgent about this news story though. It fills the silly season hole very nicely indeed when there is little other news to discuss (*cough cough* gas prices are up 20%) and there is a risk that NoTW headlines and Rupert Murdoch pictures in newspapers will outstay their welcome. If there is any serious consideration to come out of it, other than to be disgusted at some of the operations that have taken place at the newspaper, it is that even in the immediate aftermath of such a disgrace and with public sentiment behind them, politicians still find it understandably immensely difficult to stand up to the powerful moguls that control these islands and send out a clear ‘No!’.

That needs to change, and the politicians (and public) can help by weaning itself from the tempting, titillating teat of a tabloid press, but it won’t be easy.

After all, as Tony Blair said: ‘We are the servants of The People, and we must never forget it”.