dancing on graves

Speaking of James Murdoch in the Guardian today, Henry Porter describes

    the lowering, simple-minded greed of News Corp’s heir – values which he has taken from his father. That whole ethic seems suddenly unendurable because we see that they are only in it for themselves and they don’t mind who they crush on their way to dominance…

But neither do the managements of banks, or oil, food and clothing corporates; and neither do the shareholders of those kinds of organisations. It’s clear that, despite two or three years’ opprobrium, the bankers have succeeded in sweeping themselves under the carpet in a way Murdoch hasn’t (yet). Why ? Because the banking scandal had no Milly Dowler. There was no psychodramatic focus. Thousands of children are exploited day after day by the cheap clothing industries that supply the west; nothing is ever done because no Milly Dowler can be found to symbolise them and trigger the archetype of the murdered daughter.

Meanwhile, though the Guardian has done a fantastic job on News International (and while I agree wholeheartedly with Henry Porter’s assessment of the Murdoch philosophy and welcome the language in which he couches it), I wonder why they are pursuing the Murdochs on one hand, while on the other they are giving advice on how to install yourself and prosper in exactly the kind of organisations the Murdochs run ?

It seems like such a waste of energy to cut the heads off the hydra in one part of your newspaper while a few inches away on the screen you help regrow them. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to take a stand against “in it for themselves” where it begins, in the narcissistic madness of Brand You ? Help change the culture, instead of relying on the murdered daughter–or brave dead lad–to energise the occasional random success against its more florid excesses ?

It looks not so much hypocritical as conflicted to dance on Murdoch’s grave (or what you hope will be his grave, because, honestly, it’s early days where that’s concerned and the bankers were free, clear and talking about themselves as if they were the victims within a couple of years) while supporting the very ethic that gives rise to his, um, ethic.