by Alex Massie

As I write, parliamentarians are preparing for a debate that will call on Rupert Murdoch to abandon his bid to purchase the rest of BSkyB. Mr Murdoch's interest will not prevail. Prime Minister's Questions today was a moment when, as Paul Waugh suggests, parliament began to reclaim its prerogatives and cut the vermighty press barons down to size. As David Cameron put it, Murdoch should  "stop the business of mergers and get on with the business of cleaning stables".

Cameron cut Murdoch loose today just as, for the first time, he finally dumped his former Director of Communications Andy Coulson. Cameron's performance at PMQs was his most assured and bullish since this scandal began and yet even now he remains on the defensive and, bafflingly, will not be speaking in this afternoon's debate.

On the other hand, maybe he doesn't need to speak now that the Murdoch empire has withdrawn its bid to purchase the 61% of BSkyB it does not already own. Who'd have thunk we'd see the day when Rupert was beaten-up as badly as this?