||Issue No. 202||10 November 2003|
Governing the Corporates
Interview: Union for the Dispossessed
Unions: Joel's Law
National Focus: Spring Carnival
Bad Boss: Fina and Fiends
Industrial: The Price of War
Economics: Who's Got What
History: Containing Discontent
Review: An Honourable Wally
Poetry: The Colours of Discontent
The Paris Hilton of the business world, James Murdoch, has been chosen to head the UK sister operation of the rather appropriately named News Limited because he possesses all the skills that they were looking for.
Rupert Murdoch needed someone who possessed the intellectual stamina of a cheerleader, as well as the critical acumen of a fence post. That's why he chose James Murdoch to run BSkyB, the British pay TV operation that gives depth and meaning to the word crap.
It's nice to know that young James was selected entirely on merit and not because he is the boss's son.
Of course nepotism is a wonderful thing, and James is to be congratulated for making the most of this happy accident of birth. He continues in the fine tradition that gave us the Divine Right Of Kings and the sort of inbreeding that made the Hapsburgs such a unique institution.
Nepotism is an outstanding success when it comes to leadership succession, as is evidenced by the current US President and our very own Foreign Minister, Lord Downer of Baghdad.
Recently we have discovered that if our business institutions are to get the finest they must pay top dollar. It now appears that if they are to get some nepotistic travesty of an appointment they are to pay top dollar as well.
With a six-figure salary to keep him warm it looks as if our Tool Of The Week has been left with the lucrative electronic arm of the News Empire. BSkyB is, of course, open to a spot of fabrication if it looks good on the box. This was evident during their Gulf War 'coverage', when BSkyB's reporters were so far embedded it can't have been healthy.
James, of course, is ideally suited to promote the dumbing down of the media so embraced by his dear old dad. If anyone is in a position to dumb something down it's James. He manages to achieve the dumbing down of any situation merely by walking into the room.
This shining example of the meritocracy is no doubt qualified to take up his new post with BSkyB given that he failed university. James has assured the selection panel at BSkyB that he will get a degree. One can only assume it will be off the back of a Corn Flakes packet given the examples from his previous forays into academia.
With brother Lachlan showing that business acumen was obviously a dominant genetic trait after his forays into Super League and One.Tel, James must now come into favouritism to run the News empire when Rupert does something he should have done years ago and drops off the twig.
While James' inside run might be all right by his old man, it should be a different story when our Tool Of The Week faces the BskyB AGM in a few weeks time. The investors that control nearly two-thirds of the operation may not take too kindly to the younger Murdoch being given a free lunch by his dad.
In the meantime James Murdoch has made the prescription for success in the corporate world clear. If you want to get on just make sure daddy runs the company.
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