I was so busy this week I never got to blog about what was probably the most eagerly awaited select committee report in years. While it wasn’t quite as damming as I thought it would be even so, it got the message across the Murdoch’s have been manipulating both the media and politicians and thus circumvented democracy. Back in the days of Athens and the first democracy, they always feared the consequences of one individual gaining too much power and influence. Such an individual would typically be blackballed by his peers and banished from the city. Such seems to be the plan for the Murdoch’s, as many seem intent on tar and feathering them and running them out of town.
Of course, the bulk of the media coverage focused on but one line of report. This line, endorsed by the lib dems and labour, but not the Tory’s, questioned whether the Murdoch’s were fit and proper people to run a major international company. Clearly this was a nod to Ofcom and its investigation of the Murdoch’s.
To me, this is a statement of the bleedingly obvious. I mean no shit sherlock! Is the head of this committee Captain Obvious? As I’ve pointed out before, there are two possibilities either a) Murdoch knew exactly what was going on, in which case he should be in prison or b) he was sufficiently inept, stupid and incompetent to not know what was going on in his own company. I mean are we to believe that him, his son, and Sideshow Brooks were walking past employees each morning listening in to people’s hacked phones, reading hacked emails while counting out the bribe money to police and none of them noticed anything odd?
Again, there is an issue here of command responsibility. Top executives are expected to maintain control of their companies. This is how they justify millions a year in salary. If they loose control of an organisation, to the degree we are are let to believe occurred in News Corp, then all the Murdoch’s were being paid millions to drink tea and biscuits. Either way, the conclusion is they none of these are fit and proper people to be running a major news organisation.
Of course the one question that remains is why did the Tory’s make such a big deal about voting against the report because of this one line? My only conclusion is because they fear the consequences of what will happen next. They and their conservative allies in the US have benefited most from the Murdoch propaganda machine. Without the Murdoch’s or other media moguls, such as the Barclay Brothers, I doubt that Tory’s would be in power and winning the next election with a hostile press is going to be very challenging. Also one has to consider the level to which the Tory’s were in cahoots with the Murdochs. The issue over Jeremy Hunt a few weeks ago was a shot across the Torys bow. I reckon, its when not if Hunt resigns and once he goes the next domino to fall will be David Cameron. So you can understand the Tory fear here.
But either way, the Murdoch’s need to be dealt with. Hopefully, even if Ofcom doesn’t step up to the plate, the other shareholders of News Corp will now see the writing on the wall and launch a palace coup against the Murdoch’s forcing them out of the company. They will naturally be terrified of this crisis cross the pond to Fox News in America, indeed its almost certain in my opinion that what happened in the UK cannot have been an isolated incident.