The media is carried away with the ScrewsNews scandal. I’m well past having had enough. The stories emerging are not very significant. The banks continue not to do anything like full disclosure on much more important issues. Prescott is moaning on about morality and responsible journalism as I write and describing Murdoch as a ‘gangster’ under Parliamentary privilege. Dickiebo has an interesting summary of ‘Honest Keith Vaz’ who is chairing one of the important committees.
The problem, broadly, is that we aren’t interested in real news and want to consume soap opera, whether in tedious television productions or Fox News. Meanwhile we live in a kleptocracy that the press doesn’t penetrate – and we need it to be able to and for society to show interest.
For all the revelations in this story it’s really only worth a tenth of the focus on it. We put relatively minor phone hacking, some clown Met policing and a ‘boy’s club’ well ahead of financial scandal that has depressed wages for 30 years and now leaves us holding the baby, and probably is leading us to war.
What all the stories have in common is false accounting. The answer, and one we have technology for, is greater transparency and to understand this has nothing to do with our demand for salacious soap and private lives. Much that should be public is not and purposely hidden. Milly Dowler’s father was subject to ludicrous court disclosure, yet all kinds of ‘Swiss’ banks hide money that should be subject to taxation and this is the tip of the warped iceberg of transactional banking that steals capital based on work and the ground from under tenant farmers’ feet.
The false accounting is manifold – our own lives as ‘free people’ are a lie and the false accounting can only take place on the basis of claims to personal integrity or even, as with Blair, appeals to God.