Hack Attack–The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch by Nick Davies…an Endorsement.

 

 

“When you allow global corporations to roam global markets, you make them more powerful than nation states; when you ‘roll back the state’ you reduce the power of the people in each nation; when you ‘cut back regulation’, you allow the biggest corporations to dominate and exploit their territories; when you break trade unions and tear up employment laws, you allow these corporations to ride roughshod over them. The simple’ beautiful idea that people should run their own societies disintegrates, allowing the few to rule and the many to follow.”

Nick Davies

Hack Attack

51R8AFc-UtL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

This is not a review.  It’s an endorsement of Nick Davies’ latest book, Hack Attack, because I think it’s so damned important to understand the corporate abuse of power and also the sinister underbelly of the Murdoch Empire.  It’s also  a tribute to Davies’ perseverance and integrity and an acknowledgement to his editor, Alan Rusbridger and The Guardian,  perhaps the most ethical and important newspapers in the English speaking world.

Nick Davies’ expose` of the Murdoch’s stable of Fleet Street hacks unveils a culture of blackmail, intimidation, malice, invasion of privacy and toxic falsehood.   We know it’s a nasty, selfish and crooked world at times, but when those who practise such malice, bullying and corruption have such a strangle hold on our police and our politicians we should become concerned…very concerned. Davies has written a gripping account of this David and Goliath struggle with Rupert Murdoch and his Fleet Street hacks, bullies and thugs.

The whole idea that such a band of ethicless, ruthless, immoral, sharks and barracudas  has such influence on our police, our government and our politicians is not only abhorrent, it’s dangerous.  It’s dangerous to society.  It’s dangerous to people and it’s dangerous to democracy because the more control corporations have over our police, our politicians and our media…the less control the people have to elect and access their representatives to address their concerns and represent them.  Eveything becomes focused not the needs of society but the wants of corporations.

Davies claims only a pyrrhic victory but he does for a short period of time strip the veneer from the corporate monster and expose the rot and power that threatens our democracy. He’s a brave man and this is an important account of corruption and abuse of power from a corporation that wields enormous influence not only in Britain but the USA and Australia and threatens the very principles on which our governments were established.

“All of this exposure and brief humbling of Rupert Murdoch easily seduced us into thinking we had won a great victory, that truth had caught up with power. Very soon, however, as attention faded and scandal slipped into the past, the elite simply took back their power, as if we had never challenged it—as if the tide had stayed out long enough to allow us to build castles of sand, and now we watched as waves of irresistible force returned to wash them away.”

After eight months of trial in Britain there were a few casualties and those who were to sentenced prison…but as always, the heavy hitters and moguls at the top, while temporarily exposed and embarrassed, got off scot-free.  And it didn’t take them long raise their ugly heads and continue business as usual.

The media has always held an important function in democracy and it is a sad state of affairs when that function is exploited and used simply to make money and impose power.  It is a sad state of affairs when the media lowers itself to phone tapping,  computer hacking, bullying and misinformation.  If the media is to be a watchdog on politicians, government and democracy, then perhaps there needs to be a watchdog established to ensure they don’t abuse their own powers.  The news has an obligation to report the truth without bias.  The news has a code of ethics and behaviour and  should they contravene that code they have their licence revoked.  The news should represents the public interests and not distort and fabricate to suit private interests and profits or pander to those who they wish to position in seats of government and power.

While Britain took Murdoch’s Fleet Street enterprises to court, worlds away the mogul was exercising the same biased, partisan misinformation in the USA and Australia, aiming the content at the lowest common denominator, at the gullible, the angry, the misinformed.

 

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

In the USA, Murdoch Media continues its attack on President Barrack Obama till this day for the most petty and childish of reasons.  In Australia they ran a smear campaign against the Labor Government of both Kevin Rudd and then Julia Gillard that was so vile, vitriolic and venomous it managed to influence people to vote into office the most backward and repressive right wing government in Australia’s history.

It was media slanted so heavily, so beat up and repeated so often with avalanches of misinformation that it managed to convince those less discriminatory in their news.  For those of us with a modicum of awareness and intelligence it becomes a blatant satire and parody of the equity supposedly exercised by the Fourth Estate.  Sadly, there are significant numbers who accept it as truth and are only too eager to swallow the bigotry of a network that preys on their ignorance.

“Fair and Balanced” is the Fox News slogan.  Many of us know that Fox is anything but that.  Such outrageous techniques and claims can’t help but conjure up  George Orwell ‘s ideas from his book written in 1948.

Below are front pages from Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph in Australia and the New York Post in the USA, front pages so biased, so hyperbolised, so unprofessional they’d be laughable if they didn’t actually succeed in targeting their significant audience of naifs, rednecks and gullible malcontents who continue to vote against their own interests.

 

 

images-1images

 

4872546-1x1-340x340353rudd-300x0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hack Attack did not slay the dragon, or stay the beast.  It may have temporarily embarrassed the beast…but I seriously suspect that this kind of power and arrogance is beyond any feelings of embarrassment or shame….after all, their actions prove that time and time again.  If, as the American Supreme Court ruled, Corporations are people then they are people without the decency to feel compassion or embarrassment or shame…

The effect and warning of Davies work is only ephemeral if we let it be.  We must keep it alive…and keep the pressure on.  We must continue to express our outrage at the abuse of an ethic-less media bent on invading the privacy of others, bent on making up toxic lies of others, and being duplicitous in their own morality.

Do we really want our leaders to be influenced and controlled by those with off shore accounts,  tax havens, and who are obsessed solely by profits?

We did not vote for Rupert Murdoch or James Murdoch. We did not vote for David and Charles Koch. We didn’t vote Gina Rinehart, James Hardy or the Moguls of Big Coal and Big Oil. Sure corporations have their role in our societies…but it’s not dictorial role based on their profits and self interests…in fact their interests are often narrowed down to simple bottom line of profits and to hell with morality, decency, the environment or even people….they need to be watched, regulated and kept in line.

Hack Attack is an important book.  Buy it.  Read it.  Tell your friends.

 

http://junkee.com/tracey-spicer-and-a-rational-fear-are-here-to-teach-you-how-to-tax-avoid-like-rupert-murdoch/42468

http://www.smh.com.au/business/government-senator-says-corporate-tax-avoidance-threatens-services-20140929-10nq8y.html

http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/big-business-shirks-fair-share-of-tax-load-20140928-3gtm2.html

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/24/andy-coulson-rebekah-brooks-phone-hacking-trial

https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/november/1383224400/robert-manne/why-rupert-murdoch-can-t-be-stopped

http://www.smh.com.au/business/rupert-murdochs-news-corp-confirms-880-million-tax-office-payment-20140218-32×76.html

http://www.smh.com.au/world/model-malin-sahlen-shocked-after-being-exploited-by-tabloid-sting-targeting-mp-brooks-newmark-20140930-10nusx.html

On Full Moons, Willie Wagtail and Early Mornings.

P1030689

Moonrise over the Corindi River.

When there’s a full moon, Willy sometimes sings through out the night.  He twitters and scrapes in the backyard outside our window, a sweet song that reminds me of cold clear water washing over stone.

Lately, in the early morning the butcher bird joins in.  The butch is further off, his song is clear melodious fluting…startling pure piping tones off in the distance.

This morning a wattle bird breaks the tranquilty with its rusty hinge screech…something has disturbed it.  Maybe a cat foraging through the early morning…

Willie Wagtails are one of my favourite birds.  I love their song.  I love the way they dance and spin above the ground to flush out insects.  I love their black feathers and tail and their white breasts.  I love the little white eyebrows above their gleaming black eyes.  They remind me of a little old men dressed in a tuxedos.

I hate it when I find a pile of black and white feathers on the ground and it pisses me off that people don’t keep their cats in at night.  Willies often hunt at night and flutter close to the ground flushing up insects to eat.  Like much of Australian birdlife they are exceptionally vulnerable to marauding  cats.

 Mr and Ms Willie are living in our back yard.  We’re pretty certain they’re nesting in one of the golden canes that line our back fence.   We know this because Mr and Ms Willie sing their soft little song early in the morning.  They often start just before 5:00.  They wake Shadow, and she tromps noisily around the house and bangs through the doggie door announcing that she thinks it a damned good time to get out of bed and go for a walk.  Julie and I think it’s a damned good idea to start Daylight Savings a bit earlier.

P1010427

Full moon framed by golden cane leaves.

Willie Wagtails are exceptionally active and vocal when there is a full moon.  I don’t know why.  I can only think that bug hunting is more productive on a full moon or maybe Willie is just celebrating because there’s more light.

The last few days Mr and Mrs Willie have been fluttering around one of our large terra cotta lanterns that hangs from our verandah.   We haven’t lit the lantern in a long time and every opening is  filled with spider webs.  I thought at first they were stealing the packaged insects caught in the web.  I even remarked to Julie one morning when we were sitting out on verandah having breakfast that Willie managed to get her beak all covered in sticky web.  It occurred to me a few days later that Mr and Mrs Willie probably weren’t really into eating desiccated insect husk but were collecting the sticky web to assist in building their nest.  The terra cotta lantern is totally web free now.

P1030993 - Version 2

Wattlebird nesting in wicker lantern.

We often have wattlebirds nesting in our yard.  In fact sometimes they nest in a wicker lantern that hangs from the ceiling on the veranda, but this is the first time we’ve had Willie Wagtail nest in our yard.  I’ve yet to see the nest and I don’t really want to disturb them by trying too hard and despite their early morning singing, we’re just glad they’re here.

P1010861

Willie hunting over a grassy space in the reserve.

March in August

The follow up to March in March in Coffs Harbour was once again held at the Jetty Foreshores.  The turn up was less than the previous march but I doubt that it was from lack of interest.  The posters and signs asserted that people’s disappointment and anger with the Abbott Government hadn’t diminished and neither had their commitment.

P1060486

Disappointment in Abbott Government, a pervasive theme from many people.

P1060491

Not In My Name: Issue: Slogan covering a raft of issues and broken promises that have stirred many people to reject ownership of Abbott Government’s actions.

P1060492

Issue: Inhumane treatment of asylum seekers

Many of our friends and acquaintances didn’t know about the march until we told them.  In the future many of us who are on Face Book and other social media need to make more of an effort to inform ourfriends and interested parties who may not be active with social media.

Organisers presented an impressive list of speakers on the day who addressed issues concerning  funding cuts to health and education, the Government’s lack of vision and initiative concerning pressing issues of Climate Change, Reef Protection and the Environment and our inhumane lack of compassion towards  Asylum Seekers.

P1060494

Mike Griffin, Rural Australians For Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca speaks on the issue: inhumane treatment and detention of asylum seekers. It is legal to seek asylum.

P1060477

Amanda Short, NSW Nurses and Midwives Association speaks on health. Issues: More broken promises. Government cuts to Hospitals, GP Payments and privatisation of NSW Hospital Services.

P1060487

Sarah Wood, Coffs Coast Climate Action Group speaks on environment. Issues: Environment and Climate Change. Abbott Governments failure to act on crucial environmental issues and disregard of research and science.

P1060485

Adam Curliss, NSW Teacher Federation, speaks on education. Issues: TAFE cuts, undermining of job training programs and education by Abbott Government.

P1060469

Michael Trist, NSW Primary Principal’s Association speaks on education. Issues: Broken promises, cuts to education funding and the ensuing impact on our local schools.

P1060472

Issue: Cuts to regional educational facilities and universities. More broken promises.

P1060490

Issue: Broken Promises. Abbott and Pyne abandon promise made on Gonski funding.

P1060489

Issue: Abbott cynically appoints himself as Minister for Women. Patronising and Insulting.

It was unfortunate that many speeches suffered from being drowned out by the noise of the muscle speed boats screaming at top speeds through the harbour, an irony I’m sure that wasn’t wasted on many march attendees expressing concern about the Abbott government’s lack of concern for Global Warming and Sustainable Energy Options.

P1060488

Coffs Coast Climate Action Group: Issue: Abbott Government’s total disregard for science and climate action and continued support for the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our climate change action and our future.

P1060473

Climate Change. Another important issue. Abbott puts mining and fossil fuel interests before the Australian people, the environment and our future.

P1060471

Another Broken Promise…Abbott cuts funding to ABC and SBS.

A big thanks to MarchinMarch Coffs Harbour for another successful day.  We appreciate the hard work, time and effort.  

 

Suggested Actions

Join a group.

Offer your time and support for a cause or an action group.

Make a donation to a cause or group who is working for your interests.

Join a network of associates who share your concerns; if there isn’t such a network then work with others to establish one.

Spread the word and encourage your friends to become active.

Stay informed and develop reliable sources of information.

Register to vote and offer to assist the candidate of your choice.

Suggested Links

https://www.facebook.com/MarchinMarchCoffsHarbour2014

http://www.climateinstitute.org.au

http://cana.net.au

https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/media/no-cuts-to-the-abc-or-sbs/abc-under-attack-sign-the-petition

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coffs-Coast-Against-Luke-Hartsukyer/669809566445413

 http://www.igiveagonski.com.au