Monday, July 11, 2011

A bad week for media tycoons

It's extraordinary that after decades of hijacking the democratic process by blackmail, bullying and bribery, Murdoch and Berlusconi are both on the brink of losing everything.

What does this mean, if anything?

It could be just a coincidence, but that seems far-fetched. More likely the crisis has opened up Pandora's boxes all over the place, by emboldening critics and undermining established systems of power and influence. We can only hope.

Berlusconi has been severely weakened by the sex scandal 'Rubygate', and now faces the impact of a bribery sentence that will cost me hundreds of millions of euros. More importantly, probably, the markets have now decided that Italy is the next eurozone pinata they can beat. How long can a weak and discredited government last under the pressure of the bond markets? Italy, let's remember, has the third largest sovereign debt in the world, and is far less credible than the other two (the US and Japan).

As for Murdoch, well, who expected that? He might yet recover, but he's also made a lot of enemies along the way and if they have any sense, they will try to finish him off before he can get back up. Full marks for Ed Miliband who has gone out on a limb and, so far, has come out winning.