August 17, 2012
Last June European Parliament President Martin Schulz received actor Hugh Grant in his Brussels office. Hugh Grant, famous for films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, recently gained notoriety in a completely different field.
The actor exposed the illegal phone taping by the Murdoch empire, and by other tabloids, of British politicians and celebrities. Hugh Grant actually did great investigative journalism when he himself tapped Paul McMullan, a former paparazzo from News of the World. McMullan described the relationship between David Cameron and the News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, actually saying that she helped him win the election. The paparazzo also said that 20% of the London police were taking bribes from the tabloids to get scoops.
I don’t need to go into detail, as Grant in described the story in a much noticed article.
Later, Grant became something of a spokesman against Murdoch’s News Corporation, culminating in a performance on BBC television’s Question Time in July 2011.
In Brussels, Hugh Grant met with Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes and with Martin Schulz. They discussed legislative initiatives to set maximum percentages of media industry in EU states that an individual or a company can own.
In some countries like Hungary you have the state controlling the media, but in the UK the media are controlling the state, Grant said.
I’m sure that Schulz, who plans to run for Commission President in the 2014 European elections, likes to make friends among such popular figures as Grant. But looking at the excitement of people in the EU premises around the famous actor, I think the EU needs people like Hugh Grant much more involved in politics. In any case, I would like to see him around in the EU elections.