Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Murdoch - a predatory capitalist

"We are talking information here, and Murdoch controls a vast amount of the information that flows around the world, from China to California. As the OJ Simpson affair shows, he's a cultural, as well as political, gatekeeper. That's why, though we should worry about Branson, we should worry more about Murdoch. Branson also has a gigantic network of interests, but he's essentially a brand label that can be slapped on anything from jeans to jumbo jets, and doesn't have the same influence on how we perceive the world...

Murdoch is so much a part of the landscape that we sometimes lose sight of how outrageous his power is; we think his behaviour is just that of a natural businessman, as in some senses it is. But British political leaders cross the globe to pay him court, like tribal chiefs from outlying provinces offering tribute to a Roman emperor. He pays only the tax he feels like paying, which isn't much. To a remarkable extent, his political agenda - light business regulation, tight shackles on trade unions, a semi-detached status within the European Union, support for the American neocons in Iraq - is also the British political agenda."

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