When I heard on this morning’s BBC 6Music News that Rupert Murdoch was heading for the sun, I did wonder why they thought I would care about the holiday plans of a billionaire media mogul. This was but a fleeting thought, as I soon realised that I should have been thinking of the Sun with a capital “S”.
It has been alleged that various current and ex-employees of this less than august (July?) organ of the fourth estate have been bribing public officials. This is, of course, very naughty – a fact that has certainly been rammed home to me.
You may recall the first attempt by my employers to inculcate some basic ethics in the author, and his irritation therewith. Well, as previously noted, once you have given in to bullies or blackmailers you are never free of their grip. As a result, I was eventually (when final demand emails began arriving) forced to take their anti-bribery “training”. It is good to know that my employers continue to think of me as a sociopath with the intellectual capacity of the none-too-bright, but much-loved family pet.
As before, I thought it hard to imagine anyone would believe that bribing a public official (either directly or indirectly) was a good idea when viewed from the legal perspective – but I was still required to work my way through a mass of case studies highlighting the bleeding obvious and then tests to see whether I had managed to take this precious information on-board – which, miraculously I had (in common with most bacteria taking the same test). The majority of these case studies seemed to involve the corporate yacht – which I didn’t realise we had, and so I am now look forward to my maiden voyage! (As long as you aren’t a public official, I’ll see if can wangle any of my readers an invite as my +n when my turn comes round.) As with serial killers, who need a new kill ever sooner after each murder, I am already being bullied to take the next stage of this ethics “degree”. At this rate of acceleration, by the end of the year my entire job will be taking ethics training.
I can only assume that News International lacks this obsession with its employees’ ethics – which may explain both their profitability and current legal troubles. Then again, would ethics training have made much difference? I’m sure that people working in Wapping have much the same idea of right and wrong as the rest of us.
Being a man of a somewhat cynical bent, I suspect that when the ants have taken over the earth (long after the human race has died out) their archeologists will discover that we saw the coming apocalypse, but that our response was to arrange for some serious box ticking, as protection against future legal troubles, coupled with a truly monumental series of meetings to discuss potential action. These meetings will, of course, achieve nothing useful as making a decision could (a) leave you liable to later reproach (obviously, doing nothing would leave no-one able to sue), (b) put the meeting attendees out of a job and (c) inflame the ire of the apocalypse-deniers who had seized on a couple of typos in the screeds of papers written on the impending disaster. As a result, all our paperwork will be beyond reproach, but as a species we will have done nothing useful to avert our doom. Have I wandered into the realm of heavy-handed satire? And so soon after denying I was Ben Elton… Disappointing, Fish. Very disappointing.