Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Monday, 25 July 2011

Do we really want to risk another media mogul running the country?

If there is one thing that the Murdoch affair has confirmed it is that politician's lust for power knows no bounds. The acquisition of power has been likened to a heroin rush and judging by the extent that Blair, Brown and Cameron, particularly, have been prepared to jump to Murdoch's commands - we must believe this to be true.

Although it is likely that an attempt to clean up politics will take place over the next few years, now that it has been made so clear that a media giant can have such an impact on the government of an influential nation, surely it is the height of niavite to believe that another global media mogal will not start plotting to replace Murdoch - assuming he does not recover his position - albeit by more sophisticated means.

Whereas before globalisation, the funds available to the most powerful commercial organisations where limited, now that we have many global giants to whom the funds available for bribery and corruption are so vast, even the most honest politician, policeman or official might be corrupted in increasingly material world.

In the past there has been a clear reluctance by the political class to trust the common view of the people with regard to the administration of the nation. There has been a strongly held belief that the politicians know best and it is for them to decide how the nation should progress, even if these goals are against the will of the people. However, few can argue that the common view of the people is inferior to that of a media mogul who is a foreign national and whose primary goal is the acquisition of wealth.

If it is accepted that, under the present rules and any that can be devised, it will be impossible to prevent another media baron, with immense wealth, from assuming Murdoch's role, surely the only group who can provide adequate control are the people themselves and who also have the most legitimacy.

This could be achieved through the introduction of a developing form of direct democracy that would, eventually, cover all aspects of government activity - both central and local. As first steps the House of Lords could be given the power to call a referendum on any proposed change by the government that they could not wholly support and a guarantee that any petition that gained 100,000 signature would become the subject of a referendum.

Clearly the first steps on this course would not be wholly successful, but they would ensure that the appalling state of an immensely wealthy foreign national governing the nation from the comfort of his luxury penthouse suite in New York would never reoccur. Also given that the best known nation governed by a system of direct democracy, Switzerland, is recognised as one of the best run nations - a move to direct democracy can only provide real hope for the future compared to the bleakness the current system offers.

The trivial nature of the e-petitions arrangements, yet again, demonstrates that our administrators do not want the people interfering in the self-interested preferences of the leaders of the two, alternating, tribes that run the nation.

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