Sunday, July 10, 2011

The crises engulfing David Cameron, the Murdoch empire and the British political class

Gerry Hassan is always worth reading.  In his latest piece Hassan writes about the significance of the crises engulfing Britain's neoliberal state, particularly the collusion between the Murdoch empire, Prime Minister Cameron and the British political class. 
Hassan writes that:
"This may seem like a schadenfreude moment for many who have despaired at the profound influence of the Murdoch empire across British life, and who are feeling a little spring in their step upon seeing Andy Coulson, former editor of the ‘News of the World’ and Downing Street Head of Communications charged by the police, while David Cameron and his Tory-led Government struggle to deal with events.
The Cameron Conservative project is now in major crisis".
A Murdoch newspaper, The News of the World, and its Editors have been involved in criminal activity. They authorized and allowed the hacking of the phones of a murdered girl, the families and relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and people killed in terrorist bombings. One of the Editors of the paper who was directly involved in this illegal activity was subsequently employed by David Cameron, the current Prime Minister as his Head of Communications.
The British PM has been damaged seriously by the implosion of the News of the World and the fall out from the scandal. Some commentators are suggesting that PM Cameron has been damaged irrevocably. 
Robert Zeliger writes that Cameron is irrevocably tarred because he turned a blind eye to some of the press's shadier tactics, while cozying up to media executives in order to win political backing. Zeliger writes
"After all, Cameron has ties to some of the most vilified people in the scandal. He courted Rupert Murdoch in the run-up to last year's election (which helped to ensure his victory). He's friends with Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the tabloid and current News International chief executive who has become a focal point of criticism for the mess. And he hired Andy Coulson, another former editor of the paper, as his communications director at 10 Downing. This morning, Coulson (who stepped down from his job in January) was arrested for his involvement with the paper's illegal activities.
 Gerry Hassan writes:
"That brings us to the state of Britain and the Murdoch News International scandal. It isn’t an accident that in the last three years there have been three seismic crises of the new forces of power and privilege in the new British establishment. In 2008, we had the crises of the banks, followed by the political classes and the expenses crisis, and now, the escalating revelations of the amoral, out of control nature of the Murdoch press.

All three crises are important because they are parts of the pillars of Britain’s neo-liberal state: the reconfiguration of the British political, public, economic, social and cultural life of the UK, and the collusion of our politicians and wider political classes with all of this.
As Hassan ponts out:
"It may be heart-warming to see the attention of media, politicians and police investigation turn on the inner workings and abuses of the Murdoch empire, but we will need to ask much more penetrating, far-reaching questions if we are to take back British public life from the vulgarians, fellow-travellers and apologists for Murdoch’s empire, the marketisation of our society and development of Britain and the British state into an outlier for corporate power.

Two public inquiries into the phone hacking and media ethics are only the start. We need our politicians, media and wider political world to begin asking what kind of Britain have they colluded in creating? What kind of nomenklatura have they allowed to evolve and what have been its consequences? And given the forces of power, privilege and status which exist in the UK, and of which Murdoch is but one manifestation, how do we row back against the world they have created?

1 comment:

Ciaran Lynch said...

. . . 'how do we row back against the world they have created?'

That's the question, isn't it. We really do appear to be in the hands of the finaciers and the corporates. The competition for success - and to defend it - on all fronts - media and politics as much as any - seems to have permitted corruption to such an extent they are setting new boundaries. Israel, on the march.