Brooks Resignation: the viper is gone, now to torch the nest….
So, Rebekah Brooks has resigned, not before time either. However, this was never just about one person; it’s not even about Rupert and James Murdoch. What happened at the News of the World was not about ‘bad apples’ or even people being ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’. What happened is the direct product of the monopoly News International and News Corporation have gained in not just our, British, media but media internationally.
In that vein; we cannot be satisfied now Brooks has resigned and just call it a day. She was undoubtedly a symptom of the deep-seated malaise that afflicts the media but she is not the root cause, no matter what she did. It would be a poor gardener that chopped down the weed above ground but left the roots. It is without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that the public realise this; hence these poll findings on Left Foot Forward which shows a staggering 4 in 5 of those polled want a review of all Murdochs media outlets. Before this, other polling have shown a growing hostility to the idea that media monopolies should be left in control of everything that isn’t nailed down.
Of course, we should point out that it is not just the Murdoch empire that needs tackling. ISP monopolies, the baneful Microsoft monopoly over the PC market; all these fall under the purview of media and its provision as well as the obvious things like TV stations and Newspapers. However, his empire is the standard bearer for the rest and if it falls then the question mark will naturally start to hover over the rest.
It has been said that breaking the media monopolies only leads to ‘lots of tiny Murdochs’ but of course this is unture. Murdoch is defined by his monopoly and small-time media moguls will never be allowed to get as big as him so they will not be ‘tin-pot Murdochs’. Of course, we should raise the issue of democratic control at every level; but, and this is a big BUT, that should not stop us making what may well be called on the left, a transitional demand. Anti-monopoly legislation should now be demanded of the British government in that light. Breaking the monopoly of the moguls is a first step down the road of establishing democratic control.
Rebekah Brooks maybe gone, her career and credibility in tatters but we must not ignore the nest of vipers she came out of; if we leave that in tact we are doing a disservice to the fight for the democraticisation of the media and we are only inviting the likes of Murdoch to slither back in when the harsh gaze of public scrutiny is turned elsewhere.