WE can only hope that the phone-hacking scandal is the last nail in the coffin for the Murdoch empire’s bid to gobble up BSkyB.

The Murdochs have thrown the News of the World to the wolves in a cynically desperate attempt to shelter themselves from the fallout.

The James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies, the story of a megalomaniac media mogul’s attempt to control what we read and see, was said to have been based on the Aussie Rupert Murdoch – and, as events are now showing, was not all that far removed from the truth.

No one with an ounce of intelligence could possibly believe that James Murdoch and/or Rebekah Brooks were unaware of the endemic culture of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

Shutting down the News of the World has about as much chance of putting an end to the greedy machinations of the Murdochs as a surgeon cutting off one toe of a gangrenous foot.

If the Murdochs should, after all this, succeed in obtaining government approval for the takeover of BskyB, it could only be as a result of yet more skulduggery in high places.

ROBERT READMAN, Norwich Avenue West, Bournemouth