WHEN Shakespeare had his character Marcellus observe in the play Hamlet that ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ he had in mind the fact that a dead fish rots from the head down and so with societies – the rot becomes most apparent at the very top.
Today that rottenness in the state of British capitalism is stinking to high heaven as corruption on a grand scale – encompassing everything from phone hacking, bribery and corruption of the police and now the existence and cover up of sexual scandals at the highest levels – emerges with every day that passes.
Last week saw the derisory jail sentence of 18 months handed out to Andy Coulson, former editor of Murdoch’s flagship News of the World who went on to become right hand man to Cameron, despite everyone knowing of his illegal phone tapping empire at that paper.
What emerged at this trial was that earlier investigations by the police into phone hacking allegations had concluded that it was the work of a lone ‘rogue’ reporter.
Two of these investigations were run by the then Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner, Andy Hayman, who went on to become a columnist for Murdoch’s papers.
This close relationship between News International didn’t stop at providing lucrative work for retired high level cops.
Before the trial, Rebekah Brooks, former editor of NoW, who was acquitted of phone hacking charges, told a parliamentary committee, ‘We have paid the police for information in the past’.
This open admission of corruption, given under parliamentary privilege, has so far not been investigated.
The relationship between News International and the police was really cemented during the print workers strike of 1986-87 when, in the words of a former News International editor Andrew Neil ‘when we were fighting the print unions, our lives became dependent on the police.’
This relationship was not all one way, the Murdoch press became indispensible in the fight by the Tories under Thatcher to try and destroy the trade unions not just at Wapping but at the earlier miners strike.
This class aspect of the whole hacking trial was explicitly recognised by Brooks, when her lawyers at the start of the trial tried, unsuccessfully, to move that no trade union member should sit on the jury.
This week, the whole crisis at the heart of the British capitalist state has erupted over allegations of child abuse, including the charge that a ‘powerful elite’ of paedophiles operated, an elite which, according to a former child protection manager, Peter McKelvie, includes at least 20 prominent figures including former MPs and government ministers and which had been operating for ‘decades’.
A whole raft of evidence is now emerging that these allegations were well known for decades – the late MP Cyril Smith was a notorious paedophile who was investigated on at least three occasions by police who found enough evidence to charge him, but mysteriously he was never brought to court.
The widespread belief that there was a conspiracy to cover up and protect predators like Smith and Savile, is naturally being denied, but the truth is the whole of the capitalist state is one giant conspiracy against the working class.
The overriding need for the ruling class is to protect the state at all costs and maintain the fiction of that it is some neutral body, run by the most high minded and moral individuals for the benefit of the whole of society.
The fact that we are now seeing the reality, that it is corrupt from head to tail, working exclusively to maintain a ruling class that believes it is above the law – that laws exist only for the ‘little people’ and are there solely to protect capitalism from the working class – is a symptom of the decay of capitalism itself.
The fish may not be quite dead but it is certainly stinking, the time has come to put it out of its misery by smashing the capitalist state through the socialist revolution.