It was a baking hot airless summer day, it was sooo hot even the cool bits were hot. We had left the car to bake while we had a quick swim at a local pool. By the time we got back, the car was very well done. On the brief drive back home the kids wound down their windows to get some air into the back of the station wagon and they put their heads out a bit to get some breeze on their faces. The policeman was having a bad day, at least I hope so because he was rude and instead of giving a warning he booked me twice, one for each child. Two fines of $175 each, 6 demerit points off my license and a drop in my respect for police who do a tough job that they sometimes make tougher when they behave the way this officer did.
The fact that I was concentrating on driving and couldn’t actually see my children behind me made no difference. The fact that I didn’t know that you are not allowed to have anything projecting outside any window made no difference. Ignorance of the law and ignorance that the offence was even taking place was no defence. As the CEO of the vehicle I was responsible for the behaviour of all the occupants of the car.
I found Rupert Murdoch’s performance in front of the UK Parliamentary committee incredulous. The acting training and the deliberately interposed one liners paid off for him. He was let off the hook especially off the hook of responsibility. Rupert Murdoch CEO of News International (the Hacked Phone Prince) denied responsibility for the hacking affair. He claims that the people he trusted were responsible and he hung his head in a beautiful portrayal of shame and no one followed up and asked him for the names of the people that are responsible.
Remember ignorance of he law is no defence so how can ignorance of what your staff are doing on such a large scale be a defense that was not challenged? Yes News International is a massive organisation but who was responsible for making it so large? Rupert Murdoch. Who has created the culture for the organisation that he has grown? Is it our fault that News International is so large that Rupert cannot keep tabs on his companies? No way. Is it our responsibility that, apparently, payouts of £700,000 were not even mentioned to Rupert? I don’t think so.
The CEO has to be held responsible. Taking responsibility is not an easy thing to do especially when the hacked messages hit the fan. Ignorance of persistent criminal behaviour by a corporation has to come back to Senior Executives who have too often been hired on a take no responsibility first and take no responsibility later basis. The disproportionate scale of their salaries is not linked to responsibility so then how can it be justified?
The missing questions were: “Who is the CEO of News International?” “So who is ultimately responsible for the actions of News International?” “If you cannot keep track of your operations should News International be broken up?” This is the solution but this will not happen unless the Rupert Murdochs of this world are held accountable and responsible. The thought of ‘Cool Hand Rupert’ is a cheery prospect.
Murdoch expects us to meekly swallow the lie that News International is just too big for him (and many of his Senior people) to be held responsible for the consequences of their company’s actions. Have we lost our gag reflex?
It is not healthy that News Empires are now so large that they can bully politicians and countries and exert control on democratic elections. Those elections are corporocratic elections not democratic elections and that is not healthy.. We need media and corporate diversity and strong media regulation because bigger is not better, it is simply less accountable and responsible.