By Kola Animashaun

Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change”-Frank Lloyd Wright

The billionaire of the recently- rested  News of  the  World, Rupert  Murdoch, has been known for years, but not as  much as  he  is  now  known. In   recent   time, his fame or notoriety has gone round the world. Murdoch’s overweening political influence has long been recognised, from well before when the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, flew to Australia in 1995 to pay homage at his corporate court. It is said that those who knew him have the fear that those who crossed him would be given the full tabloid treatment over their personal misdemeanors, real or imagined.

But Murdoch is a case apart, not only because of his commanding position in print and satellite TV, he  played  a  crucial part in cementing Margaret Thatcher’s political power and then shaping a whole era of New Labour/Tory neoliberal consensus that delivered enfeebled unions, privatisation and the Iraq war.

Instead Murdoch who, should by now be living out the rest his life in ease and in comfort cannot do so as a result of the hacking implosion. He has made money in publishing and he owns some of the world’s top 200 newspapers including  Times, Sun  and  the then News of  the  World. He also has  owns Wall Street Journal, these are not by  all  means all he own. He owns some in Australia where he was born as well as in Canada and so on. And,  he has influential friends all over the world and Rupert is  a  citizen of at least three continents.

By his own admission, he employed 53,000 people all over the   world.

On Tuesday, in front of the select committee, he let it be  known that he had been invited to No. 10 by the former British PM, Gordon  Brown, many times and he had always  gone  in through the back door  to avoid the press! He was also invited by the incumbent Prime Minister, David  Cameron to  have a cup of tea as  a  ‘thank you’  within  days of  the  general  election  last year.

On his way back from Lagos, David Cameron declared it was essential to get the whole business into perspective, echoing Murdoch’s insistence that his competitors had got up “this hysteria”. The British prime minister rebuked the opposition party for “chasing conspiracy theories” and claimed it was really Brown who had been in the pocket of the global media billionaire.

What is clear is, Murdoch is not very welcomed. The   News of  the  World  that  he stated constitute only  one per cent of  his holdings  has been  his  undoing. And the hacking impropriety was  the  cause of the  demise  of  News of  the  World, until  two weeks ago, was the most circulated Sunday newspaper throughout the world. It sells or it sold -7.5 million daily. It  thrives or throve- on celebrities and scandals. It could have stopped on that until it stepped where angels dreaded to tread.

Of  course, it  did a  number  of  other things- like  paying  for information  and  crossed  the  boundary of   decency. Politicians,  rulers and  ordinary  people dreaded  it  and  they  all  now  have  called  its   bluff. The phone hacking scandal finally tore into the heart of the British establishment.

Murdoch is now 80 years and he usually bluff his way through.  But, this time he could not. So,  when the dam burst, it finds some policemen and journalists holding the baby.

The metropolitan commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson and the assistant Commissioner, John Yates, have had to resign their commission; Stephenson was linked to former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis in reports which said the police chief accepted a five-week stay earlier this year at a luxury health spa where Wallis was a PR consultant. Sir  Stephenson  said it was reasonable hospitality but could understand how it can be perceived  by the  general population. It is OK if  it was reasonable hospitality and here  in the UK  it is a  given that a  public servant should  declare  such hospitality  as  long  as  it form part business, networking and improving  the relationship between  one  company  and another. This went beyond reasonable  and borders on  grand bribery so, it can be  perceived by reasonable people that  the gift was given  to  manipulate  the  person ’s judgment by financial or similar means.

In IBB’s regime,  the  then Minister of Petroleum, Professor Tam  David-West drank tea and  received a gold watch and IBB gave  him  a dressing  down!..

The News of the World chiefs such as Andy Coulson and others are in  hot  water . The  chief  executive  officer, Rebekkah  Brooks,  who  had  been  editor  of  News of  the World   have  resigned. The news came hours after  the police arrested Mrs Brooks, –  on suspicion of phone-hacking and bribing police.

John Yates, second-in-command at the force, stepped down over his part in appointing former NOTW deputy editor Neil Wallis as a PR advisor to the capital’s police force.

But new accusations have surfaced that Yates also obtained a civilian police job for Wallis’ daughter.

RupertMurdoch  had  been contrite, he has  wronged many people, especially those who  have been  affected  by  his  paper’s  hackings. He has apologised to them and has paid compensation.

All  of  them apologised   to  all   concerned   for  the   hacking abuses  that  was  carried  by   rouge  employees  of   News  of  the  World.  They,  without  exemption,  indicated  they  had  been   misled  and  they  promised  that the  abuses  will  not  happen  again!

*I am currently in London and so all reactions to my Voice of Reason column be sent to 08083689552 or my mailbox [email protected]

Thanks – Kola. +447579654447

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