Friday, 15 July 2011

News Corp and Marxist Irony

It's pretty old news now that Murdoch et al have finally come under close scrutiny due to the phone hacking allegations and investigations that are taking place; interestingly only considered an issue once a clear 'victim' was involved. By this I mean Milly Dowler's family of course, and as the FBI investigation now begins State-side, that of 9/11 families, who may have also been hacked, for whom I only have the most heartfelt sympathy, as does the entire country. Nevertheless, it must be said that when it was the realm of sleazy politicians phones - the Galloways - the sluts on the podium - the Imogen Thomas' - and indeed their love rat partners, of course the Giggs of the world, the media seemed to decide amongst themselves it was well deserved. In this instance, it seemed to be a result of rather simple Marxist manipulative theory, 'those with the means of material production' also have 'the means of mental production' (Marx & Engels),
the news told us it was shocking, they told us they were ashamed, nobody needed to ask if they needed to be punished. It had already been dealt, then was simply the time for signing the interview exclusive deals, free to eventually complete the full circle, and pose for the 'candid' photographs, showing the spontaneous sexiness the media raised them to have. Just like Miss Thomas' incredulous trip to LA in late June 2011 proved.

This is something which no one seems to have asked, indeed the cultural hegemony which has been cast, which subliminally makes all its members agree that this was the point at which it is okay to vilify Mr Murdoch, in my mind, has come unforgivably late. As Left Foot Forward reported recently, and something which Sociologists and Economists have known as far back as 1995, Murdoch has been paying 1.2% tax, 31.8% less than the rate of Corporate tax. As some right minded people I know have reiterated, it is not tax evasion, it is tax avoidance, but I hardly think it is the point. In the money Murdoch has saved in paying tax, in a country which he has been a silent political kingpin since Thatcher, he has denied the country at least 4 fully staffed and equipped state of the art NHS hospitals, or equally about 65 state schools, well, whatever it could have been spent on, in a time of cuts, redundancies, elderly welfare diminishing, and units specialising in children's heart surgery facing closure (those greedy babies wanting new valves... don't they know there's a deficit?!) 'evasion' or 'avoidance', there's a whole lot of people who are perhaps suffering now because he's not been asked to pay fairly. Certainly, I think I would take a small army of life-long benefit 'scum' to lose the country the amount of money we've lost out from Mr. Murdoch alone. Indeed, in recent weeks, news of the ever worsening cuts have been a mere babbling brook to the tidal waves of emotional sensationalist news depicting a left-wing revolution, which in reality is not much more than a self-governed set of public slaps to the wrists.

I suppose this is my biggest qualm about the whole media circus that has ensued; believe me, I have dreamt of the day Murdoch, in Shelley-esque style gets turned on by the monster he has created, but I also dreamt that it would be for the right reasons. So caught up one becomes in the repetitious damnation of Rebekah Brooks (again, I feel I must reiterate, I am not a fan of the woman, but she does seem to have taken the role of the sacrificial goat for the Aztec Gods of media manipulation somewhat) and the constant breaking news media cycle which endlessly churns out more and more victims until the whole country starts investigating how they may put a pin on their own phone, Murdoch's far reaching economic and political crimes go unpunished, simply because they are not on trial. And I wonder if they ever will be. If News Corp falls, will Murdoch still have punching power in England? Of Course! Where print media may be on a grim death-march facing the ever advancing armies of digital media, Sky is not set on any such grim course. Providing millions of British homes with digital media (not to mention channels and programmes), and interestingly, less than a week ago, Wales receiving £57m from Whitehall for super-fast broadband in times of strict austerity measures, there are just as many opportunities for wealth and power acquisitions in Britain as ever, and in the nature of private Capitalism, it is beyond the influence of any of its citizens.

Indeed, Murdoch's far reaching global empire is a support network to valuable to world economics to ever be allowed to crumble; his mental production vast enough to ever allow the suggestion to go too far. Indeed, if this is a man who hacks into private information of everyone from politicians to grieving families, who knows what information, let alone money he has to barter with? As Berger argues: 'The mass media still perform their job of distracting people from the realities of society and of "clouding their minds" with ideas that the ruling class wishes them to have', often in the NewsCorp scandal, quite violently, as Elisabeth Murdoch went on record in The Telegraph to say Ms Brooks 'fucked' the company, something which the kindly old Rupert denies.

As Rupert's bloody Friday draws to a close, there is real suggestion and hope for change, heads certainly will roll, but I think perhaps, only to keep the King's off the block. The post-modern world has replaced empires of countries replaced with empires of one presided over by their white male Tycoons who make their own rules to the games they play globally. When Capitalism allows for an individual to decide how much wealth they believe it is fair to pay to a country, and with ever mounting wealth, and means, they can become more and more surrounded by soldiers to wage their wars, it is hard to imagine how democracy can fairly prevail in any country. If you think this is going too far, just look into how Murdoch's impacted every political ascension in Britain since the 1980s.

N.B I write this after the event, where Ms Brook's involvement has become clear to say that this article did not suppose that she had no involvement, the level at which she provably has been is as clear now as it is abhorrent, but that it's image of her preceded significantly the evidence of her involvement, and that I only ever argued a case which I hoped would follow an 'innocent until proven guilty' ethic which rarely is in practice in news media.