HACKGATE, FUKUSHIMA, & DRAGHI: Are the old media catching on to dysfunctional neoliberal capitalism…..at last?

murdbugtitleI was talking on Skype this morning to an old Fleet Street friend about rumours of further Newscorp recordings that might damn the Dirty Digger further. She was one of those four years ago who dismissed the blogosphere’s (and to be fair, the Guardian’s) terrier-like certainty that it was all true and worse as “liberal conspiracy obsession syndrome”, but even this doubting (albeit nice) person now thinks Wriggly Rupert is damned.

The revelatory confirmation today from Exaro (easily the most successful old to new media breakaway thus far) that a second secret recording reveals Newscorp senior management to have been lying for Australia about just how endemic corruption there was/is – and how expensive it could still be – could yet seal Murdoch’s fate.

CEO Tom Mockridge damns himself as a wannabe accessory to justice perversion by saying during the sessions that “we should never have been so compliant with the police”. Yet there are still journalists in the room saying that to hand over evidence of illegal privacy invasions “was a betrayal”. As I sometimes remark, “These people are ill”.

Likely to be very ill indeed are all those Japanese citizens within striking distance of the Fukushima plant. After all the denialist hype about how there was no danger from a nuclear accident I still judge will go down in history as a near-diabolical cover-up, I have been fascinated to read the scales falling from Establishment news bureau Reuters’ eyes today. Some extracts might serve to make the point:

‘Tetsuya Hayashi, 41, says he was recruited for a job monitoring the radiation exposure of workers leaving the plant in the summer of 2012. Instead, when he turned up for work, he was handed off through a web of contractors and assigned, to his surprise, to one of Fukushima’s hottest radiation zones….He was told he would have to wear an oxygen tank and a double-layer protective suit. Even then, his handlers told him, the radiation would be so high it could burn through his annual exposure limit in just under an hour….When Hayashi took his grievances to a firm on the next rung up the ladder of Fukushima contractors, he says he was fired….Hayashi found a second job at Fukushima, this time building a concrete base for tanks to hold spent fuel rods. His new employer skimmed almost a third of his wages – about $1,500 a month – and paid him the rest in cash in brown paper envelopes….In reviewing Fukushima working conditions, Reuters interviewed more than 80 workers, employers and officials involved in the unprecedented nuclear clean-up. A common complaint: the project’s dependence on a sprawling and little scrutinized network of subcontractors – many of them inexperienced with nuclear work and some of them, police say, have ties to organized crime…’

You see, I don’t like heavy-handed, ignorant bureaucratic regulation either. But when featherweights like Dan Hannan say the only solution is to stop all regulation, I want to expose him in string vest and Y-fronts for ten minutes at the Fukushima epicentre: you know, just long enough to give him a nice suntan, and a sense of humility.

Humble is the last word I would ever use to describe Goldman Sachs graduate Mario Draghi, but an excellent piece at Zero Hedge today does finally vindicate all those of us who have been saying for months that the flight of investment capital from the eurozone is nothing short of Apocalyptic.The European Central Bank reported that money supply growth (M3) in the euro area decelerated further in September, dropping to an annual rate of 2.1% – well below the ECB’s 4.5% target: the total amount of credit to corporates plunged by 4.9% year on year in Italy, 7% in Portugal, and an alarming 19.9% in Spain. Now we can see why the figures relating to ClubMed were studiously avoided in Draghis “analysis” of the situation last week.

Yesterday, increasingly confused but still fundamentally sane Daily Telegraph columnist-cum-guru Ambrose Pritchard-Evans finally spotted this in what was something of a return to form for him. AEP at last acknowledged that ‘Greece continues to be a catastrophe. The alleged stabilisation will prove to be a false dawn. The economy will contract by a further 2.9pc in 2014, and 1.4pc in 2015, pushing unemployment to 32.4pc, and the debt to 201pc of GDP’. He still hasn’t accepted my path analysis exclusive of yesterday, but give the lad time: I’m sure he’ll come round.

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I see glimmers of hope in all this. It has been my experience in life that – just when you think a certain collection of Black Hats are unassailable – their hubris goes just that bit too far, and it turns out to have been not their victory, but rather a descent into the nadir.

I am beginning to think that Gove’s rape of education is finally becoming clear, and Hunt’s cancerous injections into the NHS veins are now so flagrant, folks are beginning to notice. I hope so. In Churchill’s words, we must “keep on buggering on”, in the hope that this is true.

Earlier at The Slog: more delightful drivel at The Guardian