Murdochs…not so much humbled as rumbled

Personal malfeasance suits in the States hold the key to Newscorp’s global future

There’s a bit of me – not very big, admittedly – that fantasises about Rupert Murdoch pulling the strings of global investment, in a last desperate bid to keep off the front pages by launching the greatest Weapon of Mass Distraction in history….and at the same time boosting the circulation of all his news media back to profitability.It would be a Class A Murdochian scheme.

Across the global Newscorp network, Roop’s agents are drugging Merkel, lacing Sarkozy’s coke with LSD, and feeding nonsense into George Osborne’s brain implant. In the Black Room at Newscorp’s US headquarters, sad little geniuses are selling German bonds, buying 8-track futures, feeding the Athens Government mind-numbing valium, and bunging Jean-Claude Trichet bribes in brown paper bags…a million bucks a week for Tricky, if he just keeps raising the EU interest rate. Thus is the world economy destroyed….but Newscorp remains a Murdoch company. A fitting end for one so humble.

As it happens, the world’s leaders are managing to be three steps off the game without any help from the Australian cultural attache, and talking of games, it looks like the Murdoch family’s may be up.

Newscorp is in big, big trouble in the US. There are two developments here – the near-Mafia style monopolistic racketeering in the News America subsidiary, and – over the last ten days – the decision by a group of the Great and Good to sue James and Rupert Murdoch personally for actions opposed to the good name and governance of the Company. In Merrie Olde Mammon UKplc, you can get away with that and suffer little more than banishment to a life of executive directorships, but in the States this is heavy sh*t, man.

I’m pleased to tell you now that contagion (up there right now as my 2011 Bollocks-Word of the Year) has spread to the Digger’s former nationality, where a huge superannuation industry group is urging members who are News Corporation investors to vote against the re-election of James and Lachlan Murdoch to the global media empire’s board. The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) says the sons of media baron Rupert Murdoch and other long-standing board members must be replaced with “credible, skilled outside directors” in the wake of the UK phone hacking scandal. As opposed, I assume they mean, to incompetent and mendacious criminals as is the case at the moment.

The ACSI not only has the Murdoch family in its sights; it has recommended its investors vote against the return of four other board members, including executive David De Voe, at the upcoming annual meeting.

ACSI chief executive Ann Byrne says the current board members are not the best for the company.”Such an arrangement does not reflect good corporate governance practice and fails to provide safeguards to ensure that the company is run in the best interests of its shareholders,” she said, adding this little thrust of the ice-pick: “All boards should comprise a majority of independent non-executive directors who are sufficiently motivated and equipped to fulfil the function of independent scrutiny of the company’s activities.”

She’s a game girl Anne, but her feet are firmly on the ground:

“In our view, the whole board is responsible for failures of oversight, however we regard it as impractical to recommend against the election of the whole board,” she said. It must give one a warm feeling to know that the only reason you’re staying in your job is that every one of your colleagues is an equally outsized jerk. Sadly, the other reason is that the Devil’s spawn own 40% of the the shares.

This could very quickly change, however, if the US and UK actions against Rupert or James became criminal in nature. In the case of Son of Digger, that’s a pretty safe bet, even given the Metropolitan Police being involved. For in Australia you can have not just your role but your stock control removed if found guilty of such malfeasance.

And a propos of not very much, why is Quentin Letts such an odious, smartarsed, deeply unloveable berk? I watched his ‘sketch’ about the Labour Conference on the Daily Bollotics yesterday, and it wasn’t so much a sketch as the daubings of an infant destined for a long career in refuse disposal.

How do these people get employed? Ah, hang on a ticky there: he writes for the Dacre Wail. Now I remember.

There is new silliness at The Big Top.


  1. Came across this just now, someone’s blog-forum byline:-

    “It is criminal to steal a purse, daring to steal a fortune, a mark of greatness to steal a crown. The blame diminishes as the guilt increases.”


  2. or
    one might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb

    that’s providing they don’t get a community service order because the hangman is on strike due to pensions


  3. Yes, corporate accountability in the US (and to an extent in Australia) is potentially far stronger than in the UK and the EU. For this reason, the occasional criminal prosecutions for negligent corporate governance that happen in the US could not happen in the UK – even if the Met Police were minded to proceed.

    IMV that is one serious deficiency of our legal system which has meant that not one single banker has been held to account, yet it would take a complete moron to believe that the top-dogs in the banks were not involved/responsible for wrecking the UK economy.
    Equally bad is that despite this obvious inadequate legal system, I don’t see one proposal from any Minister or MP of any Party to introduce new laws to correct this. (Red Ed’s Cultural Revolution carefully wrapped up as “values” is a complete strawman, only intended to increase State control over the wealth creating sector of our economy: ie fascism – and presumably, if elected he’d soon introduce The Great Leap Forward).
    As a Marxist he knows all about these things…

    Thus, the same thing could happen all over again …and again, and the taxpayer picks up the tab.

    As a strong believer in clear accountability, I’d like to see such laws introduced and for them to also cover the elected political Executive. It is way past time for cowardly politicians in office to get away with side-stepping responsibility for what goes on under their control.


  4. Let us cast our minds back to the “invitation”Mr Glenn Beck,a front man for a Fox Corporation program,made to members of Congress.The overtones were of the “we have tapes and will use them variety”if so,just how far will investigations go in the USA?


  5. Completely off topic but Politicalbetting.com says the odds of Red Ed not being leader of the Labour party at the next election are 11/2 and the odds on Yvette Cooper being the new leader are 4/1.
    Red Ed is given as 2/1 as the political party leader to lose his job whilst Cleggy is 3/1. None given for Cameroon.

    Filed from the bar of the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong. The best bar in Asia (and asia is a big place with more than one bar).


  6. Rupe could strengthen his hand by enfranchising the non voters,as the compensation to the voters would increase the family’s equity interest to over 20 percent,making it difficult to dislodge them, and at worse, a nice final payday as they flee the US for some friendly tax haven with no US extradition treaty.


  7. There is such a place? China peut-etre and Israel, where Cheney and others are rumoured to have stored their il- gotten gains.

    About to leave the bar at the FCC but will be back tomorrow to see England send the jocks home.


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