The Left are often scoffed at when we talk of ‘the ruling elite’ conspiring to protect their own interests. We are accused of being ‘loony conspiracy theorists’; there is no ‘us and them’, we are told; the police, politicians, corporate CEO’s, even media moguls, are all just men and women doing their best for the institutions they work for; there simply is no capitalist conspiracy.
But the escalating and seemingly never-ending revelations and developments in the News International scandal have revealed the intimate way that the ruling elite interact with and are interdependent upon each other, and how they look after each others interests – even to the point of illegality.
Despite blatant examples of governments and business setting joint agendas – like Bilderburg, The Trilateral Commission and The IMF, the Left often backs away from accusations of full-blown conspiracy, arguing that the constituent parts of the ‘ruling elite’ share a common cause in maintaining a system that serves their mutual interests. This is a sort of abstract idea of conspiracy is intuitively credible but also lacks any emotional bite.
But the current News Corp scandal illustrates that the connection is a lot more direct and down & dirty. Quite simply put – if you tickle my back, I’ll give you a highly paid job.
And so government Ministers and senior civil servants work closely with private businesses in protecting the mutual interests of the political parties, individuals and companies involved, and then the politicians and senior civil servants leave office or retire and low and behold are offered highly paid jobs with those very same private businesses. Similarly, private businessmen are rewarded for cooperating with government by Knighthoods and lucrative positions on government quangos. The Plot Against the NHS, by Stewart Player and Colin Leys gives chapter and verse on how this worked with the Dep. Of Health and the private health companies over the last 20 years under both Labour & Tory governments.
The News Corp scandal illustrates that we are not ruled by a democratic government legitimated by the votes of us as citizens and acting in our interests. No, we are ruled by a readily identifiable and wealthy elite who attended the same few schools and Universities, go to the same social events and holiday destinations, share the same values and rule the world to maintain their privileged position.
Giving the Press Complaints Commission more teeth, or stopping Murdoch taking over BSkyB or even dismantling News Corp will not solve the underlying problem of elite rule, that is a much, much bigger fight.