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The political system is part of the problem not the solution

The somewhat contrived outrage by politicians of all parties over the hacking of phones by the News of the World should not blind us to the permanently changed relationship between Parliament and corporations that goes well beyond Murdoch’s News Corp.

Those who talk of a “triumph for democracy” and the “will of the people” as expressed through the House of Commons following Murdoch’s withdrawal of his bid for the rest of BskyB’s shares, are fooling themselves as well as the electorate.

New Labour became infatuated with Murdoch precisely because his was a global corporation, exercising media power on both sides of the Atlantic. He was symbolic of market-driven globalisation that Blair and Brown embraced before they took control of their party in the mid-1990s.

They sought and won Murdoch’s support at the 1997 general election because New Labour actually believed in his free-booting style of capitalism that symbolised the period. Built on debt, Murdoch’s empire was to be admired, notwithstanding the destruction of trade unions at his British papers.

New Labour, according to the author and journalist Peter Oborne (whose book The Triumph of the Political Class foreshadowed what has been revealed), went on to develop a “corrupt, complicit, and conspiratorial system of government” that in essence matched the way the corporations functioned.

During its heyday, Murdoch’s malign influence was matched by a range of other corporate “interests” equally favoured by New Labour:

The fact that this relationship turned sour when Murdoch switched back to the Tories in 2009 coincided with the collapse of the whole period of corporate-driven globalisation championed by New Labour.

And, as we well know, when the banks went belly-up, prime minister Brown rushed to their support and used taxpayers’ money alongside unlimited state guarantees to prop up a financial system that was no longer sustainable. Parliamentary sovereignty had come to express no more than the power of the banks.

None of the major parties could or would challenge this effective merger between the parliamentary state and corporate power. As a result, the political establishment lied about the spending cuts that inevitably followed last year’s general election campaign. The Coalition that emerged has no democratic mandate for the onslaught on living standards that has taken place over the last year but instead takes its marching orders from financial markets.

The shock and horror at the underhand, criminal methods used by the Murdoch press is an attempt to get people to view Parliament in a better light, as an institution that will stand up to powerful interests. However, it is window dressing because global corporate power is very much alive in the hearts and minds of ministers, opposition leaders and MPs.

As the Real Democracy Now movement in Spain established, the existing political system remains very much part of the problem and not the solution. A deconstruction of the capitalist parliamentary state and its recreation along truly democratic lines, around a system of people’s assemblies, is an alternative way forward.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor
15 July 2011

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Jonathan says:

That this is now a struggle carried out by various forms of capital, and their various political power bases which must include their expression through the press, and the actors 'looking for the truth' will end like Pilot is reported: 'what is truth' when it draws them in. Prescott, for example, comes from a quite obvious base, that of the Labour aristocracy. But the continued, it ain’t me boss, I had my phone hacked too, will wear thin before the gossamer is dry. As will each PR's well researched references to 'terrorism', 'defence against crime', etc., the raising of the tense state of siege when such issues when conspiracy is mentioned, to the Stasi, and on, as if the NAZI party (and as a one party state then we can see the part as identical to the whole) did not have more in-fighting than the most intransigent of dysfunctional families. The goal, the needs of big-business, was never lost sight of; is all wearing a bit thin, it was not me it was my evil twin.

Now they – the mirror on the wall – are beginning to refer to 'collusion' between the newspapers and the metropolitan police. As if what The Guardian knew the rest didn't: the leak is only a matter as to the 'great unwashed'. Standards of what can be said is now changed forever. A minor chink in their open press, i.e. it may now be referred to as not so open; a previously closely guarded secret. The 'contrived' nature of the 'outrage' is calling upon a type of theatre never seen before, a performance where lives, and livings, depend on it.

The various capitals multifaceted nature involves, and the need to quiet the working and middle classes define the papers and media outlets; to mislead and lead by the nose. The book referred to is needed, but more, the type of outlet that would bring the essence of the issue to the mind, continually to the fore – but then the cynics would be proved wrong, as action would come to confrontation with gathering speed. Continually to the fore, and the list given demonstrates the need for a particularly shaped subcommittee – and the nature of and qualities or those put upon it – of any assembly that must be created: no faith in individual approaches to the matters before us. And the need of such as those who worked on the above to throw behind the new layers (some tonight in prisons discussing those that put them there with others there – an interesting mess they are all in) continually coming to the fore. Then, most definitely, the arena to put out to all those who need it, the result, not in months, or years, but in weeks. The crisis changes capital as it evolves, dissolves them, as it implodes them all. And I would maintain that Global Capital now needs a different standard bearer. England, the most protestant of countries, appear to pundits to be amazed that anything can occur on a Sunday, not disconnected from the start of the epoch being driven by a certain form of capital not unconnected with 'the protestant work ethic', nor that this driven world is a banking millisecond from an algorithm. That Rebekah Brooks is still under arrest says more as to the various conspiracy theories, more to debriefing than cross questioning, more as to the submission of the rump of parliament than the power of the law – the withering of the withers. To mention the Stasi continually as some throw away actually tells us more as to what they know than what they get paid to tell us. Some do submit as above, some don't, they fall for it, don't follow the script properly. Personally I strongly disagree with the comment 'to see parliament in a better light', they are all in shock, at what they have unleashed on and in themselves, as to the divisions it has laid bare, on the fact the masque has not just slipped but has fallen and cracked upon the ground – the nature of its construction seen with even the old logical methods. 'The shock and horror' was at the response of the police to quit natural questioning by, what is, a bar of a Law Court, or even more basic, questioning they were trained in to uncover evidence only known by those you question. That is why they don't know what next, some would want it to go away – it won't and to take it is to grasp further the crisis at the heart of power itself. Brooks is only now on police bail, over twelve hours! One can be sure she is was not in an ACPO cell, nor subject to their other paid for perks that funds undercover police.

'I have, this afternoon, informed the Palace, the Home Secretary, and the Mayor' – rather defines their corporate state. Days of squirming and twisting rather defines the challenge to their 'freedom of the press'. For days I have been inundated with twisting comments from old the old hacks who can't get a handle on it, that alone tells a tale, neither feed, nor prepared. No doubt they will find a way again, no doubt, but not because this just happens to fit into our preconceived ideas, fixed or otherwise.  


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