RUPERT & THE BARCLAYS: some media owners try virtue signalling, and some can’t be bothered.

me1511172 Both Newscorp and the Telegraph Group are polluters of the planet and its cultures. Murdoch claims to be rescuing our oceans in order to be thought fit to take over Sky. But the Barclays already own the Telegraph titles lock, stock and smoking gun, so they do what they like anyway. The Slog reveals a Tale of Two Shitties.


I don’t know how you feel about a UK national news channel running promotions and PR for its own brand alongside the news. Sky do it all the time, but unlike most other channels, Sky News includes its brand promotions as part of the news. At times, promotions become the news…and at other times, news “stories” are featured with the intention of referring back to the PR.

This is especially true of its sports coverage, but at the moment it is most blatantly done in relation to the station’s work on behalf of its plastic-as-an-oceanic-pollutant campaign. Dear old Rupert may have done a deal with Lucifer to live forever, but he’s the man to watch if you want to rescue the Oceans of the world. Around the globe, Sky News is earning plaudits for its dramatically titled Ocean Rescue campaign.

Sadly he’s not doing an awful lot to help matters on terra firma.

In the US alone – just for the Sunday newspapers – half a million trees are felled per year.

More trees are felled so people can read the Newscorp output than almost any other media organisation on Planet Earth: despite the huge switch to online that has occurred this century, Murdoch is more luddite than most. The sheer size and weight of the Sunday Times makes it the top polluter, with a CO² footprint 13 times that of the Guardian. Even if readers recycle it via landfill, that process produces the greenhouse gas methane in large quantities.

26% of all landfill derives from newspaper recycling; but if that is after the fact, the paper mills that supply Newscorp’s voracious appetite contribute to air, river and land pollution before a single word of dubious reportage is created. The environmental impact generated by the pulping processes consists of sulphur compounds and nitrogen oxides; and during pulp bleaching, various chlorinated organic compounds and nutrients are discharged to the available rivers.

Nor does using recycled paper get Papa Rupert off the hook: the de-inking process during paper recycling is also a source of emissions due to chemicals released in the effluent. And once produced, it will of course be re-inked. Newspaper ink these days is made mostly of soy, but also contains some petroleum based volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in addition to dyes, solvents, and other materials. Every time a newspaper is recycled, the chemicals in it get stronger because one can’t get them all out. And then you have to factor in the added chemicals used to remove the ink.

The truth is that ecological “concerns” have never intervened between the Murdoch squid and the amassing of money and power. Sky News in particular, for example, partners with Emirates Airlines as a sponsor of its programming.

Although air travel is a relatively small industrial sector, it allegedly has a huge impact on the climate system, accounting for somewhere between 4-9% of the total climate change impact of human activity. Since 1990, CO2 emissions from international aviation have increased 83%.

And climate change isn’t the only consideration when partnering: Abu Dhabi’s role in the Yemen war, and its alleged crimes against humanity, also leave a less than unctuous taste in the mouth.

Newscorp doesn’t give a flying f**k about the oceans or any other part of the ecology spectrum. And it won’t do to remind me that methane, CO2 and all the rest of it is open to conjecture: I’m fully aware of that, being something of a carbon footprint sceptic myself.

But that really isn’t the point here. The point, put simply, is: virtue signalling in this case is aimed at persuading people that Murdoch is a fit and proper person to complete a full takeover of Sky. Which is nonsense.

In the UK context, Roop and his depraved son James conspired to illegally hack the mobile phones of tens of thousands of UK citizens. They and Rebekah Brooks in turn conspired to corrupt the Cameron Cabinet – and the Metropolitan police….and the Mayor then in charge of that Force, Boris Johnson. Brooks somehow arranged for the DPP to then charge her solely with those offences she had already sanitised via the destruction of hundreds of thousands of emails.


Given the brazen behaviour of the Bonkers Barclay Twins in charge of the Telegraph Group, one wonders why Murdoch went to all the trouble of creating Ocean Rescue. For these days, one can represent the very quintessence of evil and still remain in charge of a major national newspaper group.

In the very same Times owned by Rupert Merdeshlock, this snippet appeared yesterday:

‘The value of Shop Direct’s bonds plunged yesterday after the debt market took a dim view of a £25 million “dividend payment” to the online retailer’s billionaire owners, the Barclay brothers. In events that one debt trader described as “a spectacle that ranged from inept to scandalous”, the retailer behind and Littlewoods spooked the bond market after it could not properly explain why £25 million had been paid to a holding company controlled by Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay’

What on Earth can it all mean? The FT reached a similar conclusion about skulduggery, but was at pains to point out that the bung is, allegedly “legal”. But come Rule of Law or High Water, the less than satisfactory “explanation” of the pools dividend will now make it much harder for Shop Direct to issue any more debt: a consideration which, one concludes, is not of great interest to the Channel Islanders.

Somehow, the Leveson “Inquiry” managed to censure the blogosphere, but neither Newscorp nor the Barclaygraph group….despite the fact that, when asked to appear before Leveson, Son of Barclay told it to f**k off.  So obviously, Roop, Fred and Dave are entirely fit to blur the line between journalism and marketing, while going about their daily business of self-enrichment at the expense of everyone else.

I’m glad we’ve cleared that one up.

Onwards and downwards….