Thursday, March 01, 2007


…… the whole world trembles, or, so they would like us to believe. A corporate dust-up which started in Britain last November between Sir Dickhead Bransonpickle, owner of the “Virgin” Group of media and transport outfits (the name “Virgin” being merely titular, you understand, and not indicating any bodily or spiritual integrity of the intacta kind!) and Not-Sir Rupertbiteyera$$ Morlock, owner of Newslies Corporation, The London Slimes newspaper, The Daily Smutsun, and other renowned organs of truth and justice throughout the world, rumbles on in the corporate world of Meeja.

The Clash of the Tightwads arose out of Bransonpickle’s attempt to acquire ailing Brit TV broadcaster, ITV, to add to his media interests, which include NTL, the cable operator. Morlock then sideswiped Bransonpickle by grabbing a 17.9% stake in ITV before you could say virgo intacta and effectively blocked the rival bid for ITV. Bransonpickle cried foul and called in the regulators, as he usually does when outmaneuvered, whinging that it would be bad for British democracy if Morlock, who also owns BSkyB, got more control of British media. If anyone believes that either of these two are in love with democracy, they must be too fond of idiot juice. Morlock, who uses his media Empire to intimidate governments and individual politicians by the threat of negative publicity in his vulgar sleazerags is undoubtedly the bigger threat to democracy, though.

Although Morlock might have been smirking over his rival’s discomfort, he was soon in hot water himself because of the unprecedented furore which broke out at his Fox News conglomerate in the US, which had signed up former US Footballer and Movie star, O. J. Simpson, for a TV special and book launch for Simpson’s extreme-bad-taste concoction on how he might have killed his wife “If’n he did it” so to speak, although acquitted of charges at the original trial of the case years ago. Forced to publicly apologise and scrap the whole deal at a loss of millions, while still paying Simpson’s fees, Morlock didn’t quite know how to deal with the slaves’ revolt in his empire, but, expect some nasty crucifixions soon.

In the latest round of this Dinosaur Bullfight, Virgiana Non-Intacta has scrubbed BSkyB channels off its NTL cable service in Britain claiming overcharging by the Morlock outfit. Morlock’s BSkyB television is now subject to investigation by Britain’s Office of Fair Trading in the matter of the purchase of the ITV shares.

Just one more example of the ones who scream loudest about free-market “competition” seeking to gain monopoly control at every opportunity, and exposing the lies of the free-market ideologues here, in Britain and the EU that privatisation and de-regulation lead to “more” competition. No matter how much claptrap is written and spoken about “competition”; capitalism, by its very nature, is impelled towards monopoly in every business cycle. Each bunch of shareholders wants to dominate the market and realise the greatest profit for themselves. Only the much maligned “state intervention in the economy” prevents this from going to the extreme. Ironically, it is the USA, the citadel of global capitalism, which has the tightest legislation against monopolism and cartel trading.

So, both “free market” and the alleged commitment to “competition” as a characterisation of current capitalism are propaganda myths intended to cover up the real situation. The so-called “free market” is dominated by monopolies who “compete”, not for fair distribution or consumer benefit, but, a cut-throat struggle to gain total monopoly positions for themselves, owners and shareholders. The fact that state legislation exists to curtail this struggle and limit its negative effects; asset stripping, money laundering, global scale accounting swindles, capital transfers to avoid taxation regimes which the monopolies abhor, proves that governments are aware of this innate impulse of the capitalist economy but, prefer to obscure the reality by rhetorical shibboleths about “free market” and “competition”.

Áth Cliath/Dublin, 01 Márta/March 2007.

No comments: