I formulated the title above last, and it occured to me just what a anxiety provoking web of possible corruption it encompases.
Although today I have found it hard to think about anything sensible to write. Usually I set out with an intention to be at least a little organised about my posts, find a theme, think about what I want to say about it, and how I want to say it. Sometimes a news item sparks an idea and away I go. Somehow since the Murdoch’s appeared in front of the Select committee, I have had a sense of being in the interval of a play and waiting for the next act to start. Even writing about something else at the moment seems somehow not to flow as I want, since a little voice in my head pulls me back to this scandal again.
It isn’t even as if there are not ongoing news stories concerning News Corporation, the Sun for example has managed to arrange things so that the Guardian printed a correction regarding how the Sun obtained information about Gordon Browns son’s medical issues. The Sun having obtained an affidavit from a ‘member of the public’ who is supposed to have provided the story. Private Eye however is very Sceptical about this, noting that the affidavit concerned does not seem to have been actually seen by anyone, Private Eye goes further suggesting that the ‘member of the public’ might actually be the partner of a known source of the Sun in the relevant health authority. Which of course would bring us back to square one.
The voting system within News Corporation seems to be under scrutiny, Newsnight certainly devoted almost as much time to this as to the Eurozone Deal. It seems very odd that though Murdoch only owns 13% of the shares that somehow he ends up with all the voting rights. This is bringing out criticims and uncertainties for other large investors in News Corporation.
James’ Murdoch’s troubles would seem to be only just beginning. The people he claims ‘did not tell him’, have unsurprisingly crawled out from the woodwork and started saying ‘Oh Yes We Did’, which seems to herald the beginning of the pantomime season a little early this year. News Corporations sudden decision to stop funding the Legal costs of certain parties smacks a little of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Though in this case it does seem a little more as if James Murdoch is trying to cover his tracks. i.e. Ah I told the Committee this, so I suppose I should act as if I have now become aware of this information and act accordingly.
I confess that although I don’t particularly like Cameron, and I do think that he was as sycophantic as all the rest towards the Murdoch and Brooks and should have kept Coolson at arms length, that he is likely to survive in the short-term. Not least because he certainly seemed the most self-assured in Parliament on Wednesday. Though I think this is because Ed Milliband is the wrong brother, and Nick Clegg is tiptoeing his way through things trying to keep the Tories on side, whilst still trying to obtain political capital. I confess I am surprised that Vince Cable has not been more vocal, though he has said I told you so. Which he did, but I think I’d rather like to hear him say something else.
Despite seriously wanting to feel that Murdoch’s empire is crumbling around his ears, I would have to conclude that whilst there are some very big cracks, the papering over them is for the moment holding things together. The Metropolitan Police on the other hand seem to be suffering the proverbial night of the long knives. I’m not sure who is actually running the met at the moment, but I have a strong suspicion it might be a temporary, assistant, deputy, assistant, commissioner, or some such. Of the various candidates for the commissioners job, paraded through the press the other day, I confess my personal favourite for the job is probably the one that shouldn’t get it, at least in the Shor term.
Sue Akers is fully engaged in the Phone hacking investigation, and should complete it, or at least bring it to a point where the bulk of the work is complete. After that based on my observations of her she would be in a very strong position to become Police Commissioner, firstly on her performance in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee she was the most convincing member of the Met to give evidence, and the one who inspired me with trust. Secondly, Ms Akers, will after completing the inquiry probably have the best idea about who has been talking inappropriately to who, about what, and how much they have been paid for such conversations.
I can’t think of a better candidate than someone in that position.
Having written all that I find I am ambivalent about posting it, because there is still a huge humanitarian crisis brewing in the horn of Africa, and one part of me thinks that this is a more important story, so why am I still fascinated with Murdoch’s troubles.
For now my best answer is that I think the ‘unlimited free market’ ideas of Murdoch and the Koch brothers and the rest are as much responsible for Africas troubles as anything else. The idea that the free market will miraculously lift people out of poverty, has been the cry of obsenely weathy people for a very long time, yet so far it seems only to increase the gap between rich and poor.
Prehaps that is why Murdoch irritates me, the thought that his huge fortune could be easily used to build storage resovoirs, schools, hospitals, irrigation, solar farms, and generally build a better life for those living in poverty around the world. That and his dubious ethics.
Anyway some more thoughts tomorrow.
Have a better one.