Sky’s (infamous) AGM 

15 November 2003 tbs.pm/786

Sky Corporate’s press release on the recent AGM.

“It is a great honour to be able to stand before you today as Sky’s chief executive, and I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to play a role in the future of such a great company.” – James Murdoch

What this press release and statement disguises – even to the wider media who were more obsessed with saying “we never thought he wouldn’t get the job”, mistaking as always hindsight for foresight – is just how narrow even the votes they chose to publicise were.

Resolution 6 (To re-appoint Lord St John of Fawsley as a Director)

For 837,999,809 (59.02 per cent)

Against 581,935,350 (40.98 per cent)

The approval rating for the terrible Lord Fawsley wasn’t much, when you consider that the bulk of the shares are held by News Corp and its allies.

Slightly more positive was the vote on paying BSkyB’s board and execs a barrel full of money last year:

Resolution 9 (To receive the Remuneration Report of the Directors for the year ended 30 June 2003)

For 895,124,473 (61.27 per cent)

Against 565,942,247 (38.73 per cent)

But even this doesn’t seem a ringing endorsement, given that most institutional shareholders – the pension funds and unit trusts – vote for what the company recommends they vote for… in our name.

Yes, folks, if you have a pension or some kind of investment, you too voted in favour of Fawsley and of paying the directors of BSkyB by the wheelbarrowful.

Shareholder democracy and the union block vote. Which turned out to be more corrupt in the end?

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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