Sunday, 12 February 2012

"The Sun" over the yard-arm - keep vigilant!

There is no appropriate response to the unfolding denouements of Rupert Murdoch other than a broad grin and a sense of optimism that there is more to follow.  Apparently the hacks employed to pump out fetid propaganda feel that the villains of the piece are those sections of the press who have lifted the lid on wanton criminality, amoral cover-ups and the entire crass, depraved perversion of free speech perpetrated in the name of the ex-Australian plutocrat.  Oh, the irony.

For healthy minds, the context is set by Baldwin's put-down to Lord Beaverbrook (if you need to look it up, then do) and the "Morning Star" description of "The Sun" - its first edition under Murdoch being summarised as more resembling "a paraffin lamp in a brothel" than the eponymous star.  The unravelling of crony capitalism, in the City, in the media, in the Chipping Norton set and in the perception of those who are interested in such things, is happening at a sparkling pace before our eyes.

To have a number of senior executives arrested over a prolonged period of wrong-doing is in my mind indicative of a much wider malaise and lack of corporate control.  The Murdoch press, and its acolytes in the true-blue mid-market tabloids, hounded the BBC over the Iraq War dossier - not stopping until such time as there was death, mayhem and a complete obfuscation of the fact that government lied to the population in order to crawl up George W. Bush's orifices - but will cry foul if they are held to account over direct criminality, the subversion of police and military discipline and the complete lack of control and responsibility so long as they weren't caught and the profits piled up.  So not allowing this to happen should be the first priority over the weeks ahead - particularly now that "The Times", the respectable fig-leaf of the empire, is as mired as the Scum and the Mail.

Murdoch's tentacles in the British media are gradually being withdrawn, and the more exposure and risk that this causes the more that those with an eye to the American and Asian markets will seek extrication from the cesspool that News International has created in Britain.  Purgatives and detergent, including the end of the dynasty, may just maintain positive cashflows and the viability of much of the global conglomerate, but that does not mean that crimes implicitly backed by the corporate body should go unrecognised.  He sacrificed "The News of the World" not for moral but for commercial reasons, there is no reason why other parts of the UK empire should not be immolated as well (especially since the profitability of newsprint is much reduced) - but this should not be enough.

The affluence and purchasing power of Sky came under question last year - which is why the Murdoch pursuit of Vince Cable continues with such venom.  Control over the dominant pay-TV operator should be in the hands of "fit and proper" individuals - the Tories could atone for their misplaced gratitude in 1981 when they waved Murdoch's takeover of Times Newspapers through without any scrutiny in return for the easy ride Thatcher had been given in 1979 - and there may even be a case for imposing much stronger regulation on both ownership and content.

What is now becoming clear is that a great deal more corruption and criminality will emerge from beyond the boundaries of Wapping.  Reading transcripts of Dacre, the editor of the "Daily Mail", a man with a fat pay-cheque and a messianic belief in his own importance, suggests that there is another toxic pimple waiting to be squeezed.  The smug, genteel, little Englander mentality thinks it is above the ordure of the "Sun", but it is really the same with added prurience.  So another one to watch out for.  Ditto the "Mirror", albeit feebly and with less common purpose than the Murdoch moloch.

This is highly pleasurable, but also needs to be exploited with respect to the cosy relationship between politicians and the media.  Blair and Cameron are equal in their shameless panderng to organisations that they should have been challenging - mainly through a combination of flattery, money and the misplaced belief that they can buy loyalty.  The incestuous posturing and the craven support for maintaining a status quo that as far as possible removes democratic input are nauseating and should be exploited by oppositionists for all they're worth.  Let's see what happens, and enjoy the ride as it goes forward.

1 comment:

  1. Masterful essay. Whatever the individual merits of these people, we are told that change is good. Time for change, methinks.

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