There are many disturbing aspects of the phone-hacking scandal. One of the most puzzling has been the lack of interest shown by the great mass of the media. Imagine what Murdoch’s media would have made of the story if the offenders had been the BBC?
So why, when it comes to phone-hacking at Murdoch's News of the World, is everyone so quiet? Why has it been left almost entirely to the Guardian, with help from a few other media organisations such as the New York Times, to reveal the extent of the criminality?
One reason is the unwritten rule that the press do not snitch on each other. Whether this comes from proprietors having a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ (what a misnomer) or that they know it would end up as dog eat dog.
More pertinent is the probability that too many of them have used similar methods and are keeping their fingers crossed that the News of the World takes the hit. The Daily Mail has been the most silent. Under its loathsome bullying martinet of an editor (Dacre) it is not unreasonable to suggest that fearful staff may have resorted to illegal methods to keep their jobs. And staff at the Mirror, the Sun?
Another element is the lack of political interest apart from a few MPs.
“This affair is just one example of how politicians have lost the authority, the will and the moral compass to control corporate interests. They consider only the most modest proposals to bring banks to heel. They make it laughably easy for multinationals to avoid tax. They stand by as supermarkets drive out small retailers. They introduce "reforms" to education and health that allow corporations to take over the provision, if not the ownership, of our biggest public services. The corporate sector gets what it wants. Why shouldn't Murdoch? It's business as usual.
The Labour party was once the political arm of the organised working-class. All three main parties are now the political arm of the organised corporate class. (My emphasis) This is not a peculiarly British phenomenon. Almost every advanced democracy, and particularly the US, struggles to control the corporate sector. It is not just that politicians depend on its donations to finance election campaigns but also that they lack the staying power to withstand corporate pressure.” Peter Wilby Guardian 12/4/11
Other MPs are scared.
“Another fear is that Murdoch's journalists will use their formidable resources against anybody who displeases them. Chris Bryant, one of the few MPs who dared to highlight what he calls "a many-layered scandal", told the Commons last month that "a senior figure allied to Rupert Murdoch" had sent him a warning "that it would not be forgotten" ibid.
We are ruled by a political class who are at the beck and call of the corporate world. No real choice in Westminster.
Come on you Greens.