The world stops turning….and the Sun rises…
News International have today attempted their own version of Billy Flynn’s Razzel Dazzel in closing down the News of the World (shortly to be the Sunday Sun). Contrary to popular belief, this was not the victory it first appears, as is illustrated by this piece in the Guardian makes quite plain. All that Murdoch has done is advance his plans to try to score some easy PR points and make his acquisition of B Sky B easier.
A word has to be said about the job losses this closure has incurred. It is somewhat stunning to see leftists who have supported the boycott of the News of the World; have cheered advertisers as they leave, and generally would call for the dismemberment of News International in general (correctly) shedding crocodile tears over the job losses incurred here. Logically, what else was the boycott meant to achieve if not the closure of the newspaper; what else would the ending of News International’s media monopoly achieve if not the ending of literally of thousands of careers? Sure, the executives would lose their jobs too but so would thousands of others. It is pure hypocrisy and opportunism to take the former actions, support policies which would unquestionably lead to job losses and then cry foul over the consequences of those actions. Of course, these people should now be given our full support in finding new employment, as anybody who is sacked should be but to say we are sorry, to say we are sad even is to be totally and utterly inconsistent in our words and actions. Either we accept the logic and consequences of our positions or we don’t take them in the first place, it’s as simple as that.
Of course, we hope for wider social change which changes the terms of the game in how these things operate but we live in the here and now and this is where we have to be utterly consistent in what we say and advocate and accepting those consequences; it’s pure utopianism to expect somehow, magically, this not to be the case and just pig-headedly say socialism will be the answer; its not magic, its politics. So, I will not be writing any pieces saying this is an outrage because I supported the boycott; I also cheered the companies that withdrew their advertising; the logical consequence of which was this action. Is the left going to leave this as some giant elephant in the room or have the courage to honestly admit that? Of course, its also germane to point out that many will simply be rehoused on the Sunday Sun.
However, it’s also true that these jobs have been lost in vain; that News International still stands and the top executives still have their jobs. However, that is the whole problem with the left clamouring to ‘Sack Brooks’; though she certainly should be sacked. Once she is, what then? If she is sacked, which she may well yet be, what will we have achieved but one sacking? We need a democratic press and media, News International needs to be broken up, and yes there will be a price to pay for that; if we can’t accept it, we shouldn’t call for it.