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July 05, 2011


Chris Bertram

Usually they claim the credit when things go right and dodge the blame when things go wrong,as Rebekah Brooks is trying in this case.


I totally agree with the previous comment. I wonder what Rebekah would be saying if things were different.


Is there any evidence that News International management is particularly hands-off? Anecdotally it seems to be quite the opposite.


Of course, there's a hypocrisy in Brooks' position of trying to take the credit when things go right and duck the blame when they go wrong.
But isn't there the opposite inconsistency among her lefty critics. I mean, if you hold her responsible for things going wrong then shouldn't you also give credit to bosses when things go right. And this leads to the standard defence of inequality: "This just shows how difficult a job management is, which is why they must be paid so much."

Chris E

Why is that necessarily hypocrisy? There may be many reasons why it is easier to affect things negatively than positively.

There are even studies that purport to show just this effect.

Charles Wheeler

"In this context, I can believe Rebekah Brooks’ claim not to have known about Glen Mulcaire’s criminal behaviour."

Is it conceivable that an 'Editor' could have read these stories and not once wondered 'how do we know this?'. If so, it takes 'remote control' management to the outer limits.


"Is it conceivable that an 'Editor' could have read these stories and not once wondered 'how do we know this?'"

I wonder if the same couldn't be said of colleagues in the business - or, indeed, any moderately attentive reader ...

Churm Rincewind

Actually, Rebekah Brooks does not claim today that she didn't know about "Glen Mulcaire's criminal behaviour". In her strangely ambiguous email to staff, she merely denies that she "knew...or sanctioned these appalling allegations" - a statement that reads (to me, at least) as carefully non-specific.

Paul Ralley

Are brands really a zero sum game? Many people get a security from a brand that means wants could otherwise go unfulfilled. For example, I can get second hand books from amazon (with some trust), that otherwise I perhaps would not buy.

When is your book going to come out in paperback by the way?


Well if leading the tory party and gutter newspapers( news is an elastic term for tits, bums, and salacious gossip and Libel ) requires you to employ criminals and oafs then a style of management that allows you to deny responsibility for the crimes, lies and bad policy is a good idea. Cameron and co are like a gangster who lives on extortion in a big mansion, you don't want to admit you know about the legs being broken do you?


I agree completely, working for a big multinational, most of the senior execs I come into contact with on a regular basis (not because I'm important but because I actually understand of some stuff that periodically crosses their scattergun brains) basically offer generic "insight" into the running of the business at a very high level. This is convenient because by not doing "details" they can be as contrarian and inconsistent as they like, it's somebody else's job to reconcile mutually exclusive nuggets of "genius" they hand down. It's not that they're stupid, they're highly intelligent, well educated and operate with ruthless efficiency within the confines of the bureaucracy, they just don't have much of an insight into how things actually work because that's not what they do.


"I mean, if you hold her responsible for things going wrong then shouldn't you also give credit to bosses when things go right."

What's going right here? Are there leftist critics who don't think bosses can increase the surplus value extracted from workers? To a socialist, both the decreasing costs and the ethical failure are part of the same dysfunctional relationship, surely.


Is "lying across a spectrum" a deliberate double-entendre?

Midlands Mike

you could say that part of the work of the manager is precisely to ensure that the firm does not hire oafs or criminals.


yes Alex Kershaw has the concept of "working towards the Fhurer" to explain how the german people cooperated (in the main) towards the final solution.

Matthew Steeples

Is it really right to pile all the blame on RB? I think this goes much higher and she's just being used as a convenient scapegoat. Read more in my piece at http://dasteepsspeaks.blogspot.com/2011/07/news-is-screwed.html


I am not sure whether you kid yourself you know something about management theory or are just dumb. R Brooks is responsible for the share price. That means she would not have any oversight of staff doing functions of producing a paper unless the share price was impacted. Between her and the printing press are middle managers who will be calling the shots. Organisations that size will delegate material decisions as close to the action as it can. The issue here seems to be internal audit which looks after both the financial and reputational wellbeing of the company.

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