CAMERON DOOMED (2): the lies and pernicious Times of Rupert Murdoch.

Monday gets even worse as Murdoch serves up some HS2 for the PM to smell

Further to today’s earlier post about David Cameron having trouble inhaling while he is head-down in a hill of sh*t, you may not have thought this possible, but things got worse as the day went on. “I don’t like Mondays” sang Geldof’s Boomtown Rats way back in those innocent days of tertiary and post Punk, but one hopes that – as he sits at home tonight in Number Ten munching on Sam’s home-made Doppia Mozarella with extra Humble – the Prime Minister is capable of being philosophical about how his week got out of the blocks.

Shortly after I posted, various backbenchers, Tory-voting constituencies and new stalking horses popped up to say just how much additional excrement they wanted to pour onto Dave’s hill in relation to his pet project, the HS2 rail link. This is the one that will enable business people only on the train for the cooked-expenses breakfast to arrive in Manchester before they leave London. It’s also the one that is about to take the concept of Nimby to new heights of door-jamb biting opposition.

But the main thing to note here is that Murdoch’s Times once again has the spoon out, and is stirring the heady melange of turds, hate and division prior to depositing it on the only bits left sticking up from the hill, the PM’s calves and feet. The front page lead screamed ‘Tories push high-speed rebellion up the line’: yes, it was another Newscorp exclusive about what the HS2 blueprint will actually say, and why the Party’s grass roots are never going to stand for it. Page 5 had more Tory plotters planning to promote the likes of Graham Brady and Adam Afriyi as stalking horses ‘when’ King David of Camerlot comes a cropper.

You see, this is what happens when you’re the sort of ne’er do well who refuses to stand by Newscorp sociopaths who have broken more laws than Ned Kelly: Rupert will get you. Why else do you think that the Labour Party beyond a few brave backbenchers has an urgent bowel movement every time old scrotum-features tweets something unpleasant about Ed Miliband, or offers warm support to Alex Salmond? Why do you think Jeremy Hunt is Health Secretary, when much of the Tory Party and half the Cabinet would really rather he was the Deputy Foreign Secretary with special responsibility for Bolivian shrimp-farming?

A tame Health Secretary in place is a good thing for an ambitious antipodean-American diversifier to have….and the NHS is another potential medium in which things can be sold – even itself. So today’s Times was an NHS As Brand special. Suddenly, Roop decides, the Health Service is not a sinbin of Commies and truculent nurses desperate to become as incompetently deadly and costly as possible: for while once it was a many-headed dragon burning money, today it is ‘a respected brand the world over with the value of commercial gain for the taxpayer’ (Leader, Page 2), ‘a health service with a lot to shout about’ (Health Correspondent, Page 3), and a thing that should ‘create value and not just be seen as an expense’ (Opinion, Page 20).

You have to hand it to Merdeschlock, when there’s even a passing whiff of more power and mega-money, he is never held back by any commitment to moral consistency. The Digger is the isotopic Dayglo Pimpernel of Mammon: a being capable of both shameless and shameful behaviour at one and the same time –  a spinning electron in two places at once, neither of them where you’d expect him to be, because both are where he would never be if the world was sane.

The idea of taking a pale reflection of what the NHS once was sixty years ago – and selling the image of that to an unsuspecting world – is a betrayal of why the world admired us for it in the 1950s. But much worse than that, it is the worst kind of shallow branding bollocks. And I say that as a man who spent four decades at the branding coalface.

On a smaller scale, and with marginally less nefarious objectives, Sir Richard Branson is already powering ahead in the primary care sector of the NHS. Thus far in my neck of the woods – as I pointed out in a recent grumpy post – things can not ‘only get better’, because they are getting worse by the day. Having had my last appointment cancelled at 24 hours notice after waiting ten days for it to happen, I demanded an appointment this morning and was given one that promised a time 53 minutes before I was seen, as such. During this session, the doctor took my bp and found it to be 160/110.  I got a concerned look, but suggested by way of riposte that next time, she should take it when I’ve been kept waiting 3 minutes, not 53. Medical people really cannot cope with irony. I fancy this might have something to do their belief that God exists, and they are his representatives on Earth.

Footnote: For those healthy capitalists who might gain the impression that I am not of their persuasion, let me say that I am for entrepreneurial creativity, and virulently opposed to monopolism – be it State or neocon. But for those things concerning the social weal (and the promotion of genuine ethics) I am a massive fan of mutuality.


34 thoughts on “CAMERON DOOMED (2): the lies and pernicious Times of Rupert Murdoch.

  1. Agree with you. Murdoch is for Murdoch. New limited will sell its imprimatur to whichever political party will do the most for it. It is no accident that he always pops up in various capitals about Three months before election day.

    Years ago, we knew Blair and labour were going to be supported when it was announced that Blair would speak at the News Limited annual “editors conference”.


  2. O/T,perhaps,Cameron is a school boy ,compared to Sir Alec D-H.Anyone remember the Wilson government of 1964,with a majority of 3?And then a clever general election in 1966,before the catastrophe of the 1967 devaluation.Any old fool can make speeches about Europe,but if Cameron wants the electorate to take him seriously,he would be well advised to call an EARLY election.,


  3. I think one problem for any health service is that there’s not another side of the ledger to record any gain against the expenditure. So it’s only ever seen as an expense, we don’t quantify the benefit. Lord only knows how you calculate the value of a cured person which must be why it isn’t done.
    But the benefit tends to get left out of the conversation.


  4. Trying not to lower the tone or anything although the tone is getting that low these days, a whale might get beached, who the hell is Adam Afriyi and where has he come from? The British Obama I’m seeing in the MSM. Oh god no.


  5. Not quite true,back in the sixties there was a cheap government scheme to pay injured workers,capitalist complained it was to dear,well it really cost nothing compared with the ambulance chasers of today


  6. O/T But here we go again, British troops are bieng sent to Mali.
    As soon as the French turned up for some reason I could hear “The Riverboat Song” by Ocean Colour Scene.
    “I see trouble…. up ahead”


  7. Re the announcement about HS2, this is going to be a very expensive white elephant on wheels, strange how despite having no money, suddenly we can find mega-bucks for Mr Camerons train set…

    However the ‘figures’ it’s based on are ‘projections’, for which read, we don’t know but we have stuck a finger up in the wind and guessed. Far better to restore the lines axed by Beeching, however instead just like with gay marriage, ‘call me Dave’ is going to inflict another disaster upon us. .

    As why not build a hight capacity and speed braodband network instead, as that would do more for the economy. Lest anyone think I am biased, I use trains regularily, and whilst cattle class is always packed out, first class is hardly ever full.

    If it’s like this now, then why not simply abolish first class, and let people have more carriages, at a reasonable price, instead of the rip off prices, currently charged, thus increasing capacity.

    I fear we are going to be saddled with more costs, and eventually a subsidy for HS2.


  8. JW, I think you attach motives to Murdoch that are not deserved.

    The press in the UK has a blueprint that it uses in all circumstances, whether involving pop idols, theatre luvvies, national treasures or politicians. It’s the ‘build ’em up, knock ’em down’ routine.

    Every man and his dog can see that the coalition cannot survive a general election. The jockeying for position has already started; the unofficial starting gun for 2015 has been fired. Cameron is now passed the half-way stage of his premiership and the press has got just over two years to enjoy baiting him. Expect plenty more from Murdoch & Co. but it is only about selling newspapers, nothing more.


  9. Yes, Murdoch’s still throwing his toys out of the pram but in reality he’s a busted flush. He couldn’t get Cameron elected properly at the last election, even after getting Sky to stitch up Brown. Now his old game of playing Labour off against the Tories at every election looks to be over with the rise of UKIP. His pet propaganda sheet The Sun tried to embarrass the Tories by stitching up Andrew Mitchell too – but that didn’t work either. Now all his papers are losing circulation and he’s reduced to ranting away on Twitter like a teenager. Perhaps it’s time he retired and went back to Australia – at least that would be one fewer scumbag foreigner on these shores.


  10. Well funny you should mention the restoration of old railways lines. We once until the mid 1960’s had a perfectly good high speed mainline from London Marylebone to Manchester Piccadilly (nee Manchester London Road) called the Great Central Railway. It was rashly closed by the wretched Dr Beeching and had it still been in service today may well have negated the construction of HS2 (some part of which will utilise its old alignment). Also known as “The last mainline” it was built to a very high standard and continental loading gauge opening around the turn of the century. The Victorians actually envisaged it connecting to a channel tunnel!! It could probably have been upgraded without all of the modern planning hassle and protests that will now take place over the coming years at a fraction of the cost. What a pity, and damn the short sighted stupid Government’s of the 1960’s.


  11. To avoid the unnecessary risks to your BP via the inefficiencies of the GP system, why not buy yourself a D.I.Y. BP kit? Not expensive and easy to use. That way you can monitor yourself on a regular basis and avoid all that hassle ………


  12. “Cameron Doomed”? Seems to me that the City of london is about to be doomed… Especially with EU states now wanting a Banker Sales tax to be imposed.

    What is left for Britain after that? Now the real oligarchs of the UK will be exposed…


  13. Mr. Ward,

    I doubt you would be able to write such scintillating bollocks deconstruction, without an extremely healthy flow of red blood flowing through your brain at high pressure, volume and speed. I do however suggest, that if you haven’t already done so, buy a decent blood pressure monitor from Maplins. You want the proper arm job, not one of these funny finger ones. 10 years ago, I visited my doctor who I seriously dislike, and he told me I should already be dead. So I took his bloody pills and got ill for the first time since I was 8. I went back and said – look what your drugs have done to me. He said that’s nothing to do with the drugs, and prescibed me more drugs to deal with the problems his drugs had caused. The bloke at the chemist said – you should apply for a drugs passport mate – you are on so many it will save you a fortune.

    So I thought, well I felt fine before I went to the doctor – except I had an ear infecion for diving in polluted water. So I bought myself a blood pressure monitor – and rather than it being sky high, it was more or less completely normal, when I was relaxed, or weirdly enough 10 minutes after a long intense cycle ride.

    I flushed all the drugs down the bog, and I haven’t seen the doctor since, in nearly 10 years. I have only been back once, 5 years ago, for the same problem – ear infection from swimming at Palolem Beach in India (the sea would have been fine with traditional Indian sewage treatment – but they had to bring in these stupid flushing loos)

    I am convinced these So called Doctors are not only trying to kill us, but being paid to do so. Keep well away, and have an occasional smoke. Their recent excuse was that it lowers blood pressure too much. Oh, so its keeping me alive rather than killing me. Thanks to the House of Lords for that little gem.



  14. 32 billion quid, (plus surelly, at least 50%, just so people can get to Birmingham from London half an hour quicker
    It’s just f*cking weird. .


  15. Fortunatelly our utterly despicable newspaper barons have less influence on public affairs than anytime since the nineteenth century. If Murdoch et all couldn’t get Cameron over the finish line in 2010, with UKIP on 3% and Brown in meltdown, then they really have lost a lot of power. One of the very few positive things happening in our political culture right now.


  16. Pingback: CRASH 2: The mad, the bad, and the hysterically silly | The Slog. 3-D bollocks deconstruction

  17. Got the direction wrong there – it’s so that business can get from Birmingham to London, and from Manchester to London, and from Sheffield to London, and from Leeds to London…..get the drift ?


  18. Zeusgoose, the toilet water ends up as drinking water in Londonafter a very short time, they say they clean it up but I have my doubts. Could be the cause of so many moobs now (or maybe that’s just greed)


  19. Don’t worry………. Cameron told us there wouldn’t be British Troops sent to Mali (we would only give operational support)…….. So these troops are being desribed as ‘A European force’……….. so everything is OK and Cameron gets his second war in disguise……….. is there anything these people will not lie about. Do they have any concept of what they are supposed to be doing for the country. I am getting a bit peeved with the lot of them already :)


  20. The thing is………. if people wanted to get to (or from) the north that much quicker, it would likely be cheaper in the long run to provide free flights 5 times a day using business jets (No I have not costed it)……… and who will own this rail network ?……….. Who will be the ones to take the profit once the taxpayer has built it ?

    All in all – I have no objections to HS2 except that if it was a truly viable business proposition…….. a business (or consortium of train operators) would be investing in it. They are not and thus it is going to at least triple in cost, only to require permanent subsidy by the taxpayer to maintain and to run ‘profitably’.

    Much like the Windmill scam………. if there is no interest in investment without subsidy…….. it is never going to be a venture which stops the taxpayer footing the bill ad infinitum.

    Anyone would think that this Government has arrived in place with the message ‘there is no money left’ and has the intention of leaving it after one term with the message ‘we squeezed a bit more and now there really is no money left…good luck’.


  21. @ zeusgoose

    “Did you think that others share your habit of drinking toilet water?”

    DK is not all that far off of the mark! Go to Google and enter in – Contraceptives in waste water + University of Bonn. It should throw up some 41K of hits – with the greater number of them being in English.

    Some 12 years or so ago I was in regular contact with one of the university staff working on this project. The basic premise of it was:

    “Lady takes anti-baby pills. Lady eventully pees the hormones back out, the waste water goes to sewage works. Sewage cleaned, clean water fed back into rivers/streams. Water extracted from streams/rivers for treatment to make potable water. Potable water fed into mains water system. Gentlemen drinks water from the tap. It is found to contain traces of female hormones from anti-baby pills.”

    So there you have it. The water has been treated twice between the first and penultimate sentence, so theoretically the last sentence should not come to pass – but it does!

    It might also explain why German men are no longer the ruffy, tuffy and warry creatures that they once were – the changeover of the Bundeswehr to a volunteer force rather than a conscript force is proving to be a disaster: “We just can’t find suitable staff!”

    Now, if synthetic female hormones can survive in the water treatment cycle, what other medications might be lurking in there – even if only in trace quantities?


  22. Why do you think the quality of man’s sperm has dropped 60% since 1970? it tracks almost perfectly with the introduction of the pill. Also plastic bottles decompose in UV light and the chemical released is almost identical to Oestrogen. There has been talk at an EU level, but governments are keeping it quite due to the cost to actually clean the water. I believe the estimate for the UK clean up was about £30 billion.

    There are a couple of ways of getting round the high levels of oestrogen in water, a reverse osmosis water filter, pretty good at getting rid of contaminents at about a rate of 95%, still not perfect. You can also get Oestrogen blockers, Grape Seed Extract is a good one as it’s also a very good anti-oxident plus for your cardio-vascular health.


  23. clegg? no, no, no…we’re jumping not jumping on that clapped-out old wheel-challenged wagon – in fact, our (not so new) strategy will comprise the head-butting of immigrants (until they see sense and return to their countries of origin) and a general comfy comfy supportive approach to the present government’s neo-colonialist outrages, whether they be committed in west africa, east africa, the middle east or boris’ backyard fiefdom, inner london…

    …ultimately smoothing the grubby electoral ground for a historic labour coalition with errr…ukip, dear.


  24. I have assumed that HS2 is intended to reinforce London as the centre of the universe (all roads lead to etc.), suck more money into the capital.
    It makes very little sense otherwise. All of these super-speed railways across the globe require non-stop subsidies in addition to the capital cost.
    There is a perfect case-study to examine in the ongoing joke California High Speed Rail Network project. A perfect machine to make money for bankers.


  25. Lord only knows how you calculate the value of a cured person which must be why it isn’t done.
    But the benefit tends to get left out of the conversation.

    i know, i know – if only our government could get a grasp of what realsocialismus all about ist; we used to have a spitze nationalistische health service in deutschland, but tragicallisch, was mein rescuing ambulanze driver geshotten by an over-zealous ss officier who was only following of ze orders relating to ‘urbanische speed limitatzions’ (or as we simply say in the mother-tongulation, geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung) before he could to get me to our nice spik-spanking, world-beatings brains surgery theater, which was buried in ‘nem bunker located unter den linten trees.


  26. oh god yes…it’s the same guy init? it all fits in…sporadic attendance in the house of commons, pops over between inauguration ceremonies to show his face…betya he becomes prime minister shortly after obama leaves office…

    apparently he’s not ‘black’ but ‘post-racial’…gee, he must fit into the tory party like a sore box-tick…every time he enters conservative party headquarters the scene must resemble a trailer for stanley kubrick’s 2001: a spaceman arriving back on earth from 4000 years in the future, hailed by the jibber-jabbering screeching of a bunch of primordial effing apes.


  27. John, loved the post, as always, and hope to read many, many more. But … anyone with a BP like that, even after having to wait 53 minutes, is in need of having it lowered somehow. I speak as a formally qualified health care professional. One of my work colleagues just got carted off with a massive stroke and is only in his mid fifties. I really don’t want you to end up being his ‘super-positioned’ twin!!


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