* Murdoch due to give evidence at media ethics inquiry
* His papers subject of hacking and illegal payments probes
* He attacks UK govt over IMF loan, taxes and wind turbines
By Peter Griffiths
LONDON, April 21 Rupert Murdoch on Saturday
mocked the UK government's "mad" plans to lend more money to the
International Monetary Fund and criticised its energy, education
and tax policies after arriving in London ahead of his
appearance at a media inquiry next week.
The 81-year-old News Corp boss will appear before a
senior judge in London's High Court on Wednesday and Thursday as
part of an inquiry ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron to
investigate standards in the British press. [ID: nL6E8FK9DW]
Famous for his at times controversial outbursts, Murdoch
wasted little time in criticising Cameron's coalition government
in a series of messages sent via the Twitter website on
His first target was Britain's pledge of nearly 10 billion
pounds to help the IMF tackle any fallout from the euro zone
crisis [ID: nL2E8FK0TS], as well as a new tax on hot takeaway
snacks put forward by finance minister George Osborne.
"Back in Britain," Murdoch said in one message. "Govt
sending IMF another ten bn to the euro. Must be mad. Not even
U.S. or China chipping in. Same time taxing hot food."
The government has been criticised for its proposed "pasty
tax", a new levy that means freshly baked hot food sold in any
shop will for the first time incur the VAT sales tax.
There was no sign of Murdoch at his London flat, however. A
News Corp spokeswoman had no comment on his arrival or messages.
In another comment, Murdoch waded into the political debate
over whether the British government should support the building
of wind turbines to generate greener energy.
"English spring countryside as beautiful as ever if and when
sun appears! About to be wrecked by uneconomic ugly bird killing
He went on to criticise the state of publicly-funded
education as a "crime against the young".
"Only one answer, really fix public education and give
everyone equal opportunity," he Tweeted. Cameron, Osborne and
many other government ministers were educated at fee-charging
Britain's Leveson inquiry into press standards has taken
evidence from celebrities, politicians and crime victims whose
phones were hacked to provide stories for Murdoch's newspapers.
The investigation is now turning its attention to the
relationships between Britain's press and politicians.
Murdoch, who has courted successive British governments and
still owns the Sun and the Times newspapers, closed his
bestselling British title, the News of the World, after the
phone hacking scandal provoked a public outcry last year.
The last time Murdoch was publicly called to account for the
behaviour of the News of the World was last July, when a
parliamentary committee investigating the phone-hacking scandal
summoned him and James Murdoch to answer questions.
"Plenty to talk about here," Murdoch added in another
message. "Ten lively energetic newspapers to consume."