What's wrong with these O’Briens? Yes, Sarah O'Brien was the evil spirit at Downton Abbey, a TV series that was a huge success in the UK. Mrs O'Brien hated with a passion, but never stopped showing her employer the face of a loyal employee.
She has an equivalent in Australia: Susie O'Brien, who works at Melbourne’s mighty, but nasty tabloid newspaper, the Herald Sun, where she stated something that only republicans take for granted: Monarchy is no longer relevant. This comes as no surprise, since republicans must repeat this sentence ten times in the morning, when by getting up they realize they made no progress.
As a journalist for a Murdoch newspaper the mantra must be mumbled by arriving at the work desk.
Isn’t it a little bit risky to write: “Privilege should not be a birthright, it should be a reward for hard work and sacrifice.“ After all, Susie O’Brien, your employer, Rupert Murdoch, is about to hand down his billions to his children, who had the privilege to be born into the magnate’s family. Only recently an American bank accused Murdoch of nepotism:
New York-based Amalgamated Bank, which owns more than 1 million News Corp shares and manages $US12 billion in funds for institutional investors, alleges Mr Murdoch's proposal to use £415 million ($A673 million) of News Corp cash to buy daughter Elisabeth's TV production company, Shine, breaks the law.
"Murdoch's admitted purpose in entering into the transaction is to bring Elisabeth back to the family business, Amalgamated says in a 46-page claim lodged in a Delaware court.
The investor backlash appears designed to put Mr Murdoch's tenure and plans for family succession squarely into the minds of institutional investors and corporate governance advisers just days after Mr Murdoch's 80th birthday.
It alleges the decision to buy Shine and hand Elisabeth a seat on the News Corp board "on a silver platter" is Mr Murdoch's "latest move in his quest to shore up the News Corp-Murdoch family dynasty".
"Throughout his tenure, Murdoch has treated News Corp like a wholly owned family candy store," Amalgamated says, imposing "rampant nepotism" and allowing senior executives to "embroil News Corp in apparently illegal behaviour". (The Age, 18th March 2011)
The Monarchy is no longer relevant? It certainly rules in the Murdoch empire and the O'Briens of this world would never dare to criticise their masters (in public). There are more similarities between the fictional character of Sarah O'Brien and the real Susie O'Brien than the journalist could love.