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Humanity has left the building…

END OF A TYCOON?: Rupert Murdoch

OUTRAGEOUS, ASTONISHING, extraordinary. Three words that have been used to death since the phone hacking scandal erupted two weeks ago.

Who knows where it is all going to end. Will Murdoch and his business empire go down like the Titanic? Much like the Titanic the word on the street before its recent comeuppance was this powerful media-mogul could never sink.

What the News International phone hacking scandal throws up is that corruption is alive and kicking and living very well in this great democracy of ours.

It also throws up the fact that corruption lives somewhat comfortably in the hearts and pockets of the self-serving people who are elected or selected to govern and protect us all. It also throws up the fact that when faced down by a bully, albeit a powerful bully, those same people charged with governing a nation have shown us that they have absolutely no balls and a sliver of jelly where a backbone should lie.

Instead of standing up and being counted, they lunch together, go on hikes and throw parties in each other’s honour, all sprinkled with a predisposition of hurling subordinates under the blame bus.

The irony is that never before in our history have we, the public come under so much scrutiny.

We are filmed everywhere we go, our movements can be tracked at any given moment of day, and as we now know our conversations listened to. But we are told, “if you have nothing to hide then you won’t mind giving us your DNA.” Or “if you have done nothing wrong then you won’t mind if we stop and search you.”

One then wonders, if those at the top of the political and public service tree had nothing to hide, then why didn’t the grown ups not stand up to the Murdoch bullies?

He and his band of merry hacks were the kingmakers who, through editorial content, could make or break a government or ruin a career.

As politicians and police trot across our television screens to explain why they sat on their tongues and hands for so long, you can hear the excuses before they open their mouths.


Quite frankly excuses like “I didn’t know”, “It didn’t happen on my watch” or “I was not aware” do not cut it. They get paid a lot of money to know and to be aware.

Each and every time I hear a string of feeble excuses not even worthy of a 10-year-old caught with his hand in the cookie jar, I just want to smack them, and smack them really hard.

In many ways the Murdoch News International scandal, regardless of how it plays out in the next couple of days, months or even years, is an important tipping point in our history. It is, if we so wish, an opportunity to examine who we are and the role we play in this game called life. It’s a time to check whether we have simply opted out of life and are sleepwalking into a future where others dictate what we do and how to think.

If there was ever a time when the actions of the powerful minority tells us about the great unwashed majority it’s now. And it tells us that we are no more than a commodity from which they make money.

We don't even have to think for ourselves. All we have to do is sit on our comfy couch and be told how to live our lives.

From how to look, what to wear, what to eat, what our homes should look like, how to meet people, what to drive, practically every facet of our lives is taken care of.

If you don’t believe me, look around you, and ask yourself why did you purchase that brand of washing power, breakfast cereal as opposed to another brand. Why do you feel under so much pressure to look a certain way or how come you form negative or positive opinions about certain celebrities that you have never met or never will?
Much as some may disagree, we are shaped, in part by what we see, read and hear.

If you still do not agree think about the millions spent on advertising products in newspapers. So if these ads can trigger you to open your wallet and make a purchase, then it follows that blazing headlines and well placed editorials can influence the way we think.

Their actions simply show the self-serving nature of big business and those who climb the very greasy power pole.

In some senses we are no better off than the poor folk living under the toxic dictate of Mugabe who declared “Zimbabwe is mine”.

As the recognised King maker allowed to rule, the Murdoch family probably may have thought the same of Britain.

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