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Previous Item   Thursday, 14th July 2011  Next Item SOUND  VISION WORD



Rising to a WillyFred so keen-to-play that he pissed on my leg.

Morning reading…

A call from the Minx, continuing to film for Children In Need. We discussed the Conservative MP Louise Mensch who, on BBCtv2 last night, mentioned being threatened by the Daily Mail. T was herself threatened by a UK national paper; and her ‘phone hacked (this she knew from various circumstances).

Something in is the air, and something has changed in the wider culture along the lines of: Power Possessors, and persons in responsibility, who have abused their positions and the trust placed in them, are at last being held accountable; this, primarily in the court of public opinion and the bright light of the common-persons’ day. Widely-established practices, known and understood among Power Possessors and the elite but not publicly acknowledged, are now being revealed for what they were: Standard Operating Procedure – wink wink, nudge nudge. Forget public claims of sound business practices and ethical codes of conduct: look at the actualité; in my/our own experience, eg Mr. SG Alder’s EG, and the Universal Music Group.

Why have abusive practices not been much acknowledged or subject to close scrutiny? Perhaps a knowing, unspoken collusion within The Club Of Power Possessors has limited and/or constrained public discussion. The threat of libel in the UK is a powerful deterrent, especially by those with dirty linen that don’t want their nightsheets publicly laundered (but was two-edged for Chancers At The National Level Messrs. Aitken (JA CV) and Archer. Both tripped over the Sword of Justice).

A new(ish) instrument for Rough Music
Unanswered questions about Rough Music
Rough Music
Rough Music Reconsidered...

… is the online world. Once the Musicke plays online, it goes pretty much global and never quite goes away.

The tipping point, in this new Era Of Accountability, was the revelation (although perhaps known by the Met for some years) that the cellphone of a murdered schoolgirl was hacked by the NOTW...

Bishop says Milly Dowler phone hacking allegations are tragic
Karen Peake Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 13:29 (BST)
Speaking in the House of Lords, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said…
there were “serious underlying ethical issues” that must be addressed “as a matter of urgency”

Until that Point, a wide consensus of opinion (particularly among hacks of the tabloid variety) was that celebrities were fair game: not private people, so without any personal rights at all. Fair game for any form of treatment! And then, it changed. Gradual transitions take place suddenly.

Headlines for today…

Ireland report says church abuse still persists
Report says church abuse still persists
The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, long after it issued
guidelines meant to protect children, and the Vatican tacitly encouraged the coverup by ignoring the guidelines, according to a scathing report issued Wednesday by the Irish government.

Irish church knew abuse ’endemic’
Wednesday, 20 May 2009 18:46 UK
Irish church knew abuse ’endemic’
An inquiry into child abuse at Catholic institutions in Ireland has found church leaders knew that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys’ institutions.

On the NewsCorp eruptions…

Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks must give evidence
… Clegg also said that it "cannot be right" that a number of journalists and people working in the News of the World office lost their jobs as a result of the phone hacking scandal while "people higher up the food chain took no responsibility or accountability for what happened"

Murdoch’s Mess
This failure to unearth the alleged journalistic malfeasance within News Corp. may have stemmed in part from official laziness and corruption, but it also reflected an effective stall-and-obfuscate strategy employed by the company, according to Peter Clarke, the former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. News International blocked early police inquiries by its “complete lack of cooperation” and “lies”…
The refusal of Murdoch and his executives to apologize or engage earlier in a complete and open investigation was not a momentary tactical mistake. According to Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff… it was a practiced corporate strategy. It’s “part of the News Corp. ethos,” says Wolff. “If you are attacked from the outside, you defend. It’s always us-vs.-them. We’re right, you’re wrong.”
When Rebekah Brooks was asked in 2003 by a parliamentary committee whether her paper at the time, the Sun, had ever bribed the police, Brooks responded yes. Later she said she couldn’t recall any specific instances of bribery.

My emphases indicate aspects of behavior / attitudes that particularly remind me of dealings with Mr. Sam Alder’s EG.
What was is that the Bishop of Manchester is quoted as saying above?... “serious underlying ethical issues” that must be addressed “as a matter of urgency”… Well, now twenty years later…

Visitors to this Diary might recall the occasional mention of (now honorary Dr. SG Alder) as only one example of how abuse, repeatedly denied, the responsibility for it consistently evaded, does not go away. A question was asked me this week of Mr. Alder, in reference to accountability for his clearly abusive actions towards a managed artist/s – how did he get away with it? Part of the answer is in a chapter, already outlined in 1995, with fifteen related and interconnected responses. That chapter begins with this quote, from Beau’s Creperie, Canterbury, on March 1st. 1995…

By denying impropriety or wrongdoing, where this has clearly occurred and is known as such to offending and offended parties, puts the offending party outside the circle of healing. In the long term, this is a self-inflicted punishment of appalling severity. It is, in reality, a death-sentence.

Continuing in the chapter, from the Pembridge Court Hotel, London on Monday 1st. July, 1996…

Recent discussion in The Times regarding Christian and humanist morality has parallel current debate in the business columns of various papers regarding formal regulation (rather than self-regulation) to ensure honesty and transparency in business. Morality and ethical behaviour is not imposed from the outside, neither can it be. Without choice, there is no decision. Without decision, we are denied the capacity to exercise the will.

If our professional regulatory bodies and charitable organisations are to win our confidence and respect, it would seem necessary first that its members look to their conscience and consider to what degree their behaviour reflects their aspirations, and even more to reflect the declared aims for their standards of behaviour.

Hypocrisy is not illegal, but where high standards of personal and professional behaviour are claimed but demonstrably fail to be met, the charge of misrepresentation may reasonably be made.

The first rule of gentility, that is, to be a gentleman in the English understanding of the word, is that one accepts full responsibility for one’s own action and behaviour. That is, no one else is involved in dealing with repercussions of the gentleman’s conduct where it might have seemed to be lacking.

The conflict of interest and juxtaposition of interests which may have a knock-on effect (like Lloyds’ and the collapse of a property company) need not necessarily be harmful to the artist. This depends upon the manager’s personal qualities. Where the manager was a gentleman, that is, a man of their word who met their own responsibilities, paid their own tab, were renowned for their probity and sound business practices, was an honest God-fearing family man, the artists’ position would be safe. Dedicated artist accounts, regular and prompt accounting and transparency in business dealings would be part of their sound business practice.

The chapter-file has several quotable-quotes:

It is by doing just acts that the just man is produced...

By their fruits so shall ye know them.
Matthew 7:16

Only today are artists without a social philosophy which integrates support from above with that from below.
Anthony Rooley.

Philosophy works to render the implicit explicit...
David J. Elliot Philosophy and Music Education (p.7).
[RF comment on the above: Similarly, by observing and considering the explicit the implicit, i.e. the philosophy which gives rise to the behaviour, is revealed. The resultant action, conduct or behaviour demonstrates the underlying beliefs and value system which gave rise to the behaviour.]

Several quotes from Nicholas Tavuchis in Mea Culpa…

The sacrament of penance (`reconciliation’) includes contrition, confession, satisfaction and absolution (p.135).

In Western societies, the powerful and privileged may delegate their agents or lawyers to (apologise) for them. This practice effectively reduces apology to the status of a legal formality or public relations performances (p.144, note 5).   

In the attempt to counter imputations of generic immorality and stigmatized membership status, save face, and avoid self-incrimination, the accused, now subject to public censure and entreaties, may resort to a number of defensive strategies. Some of these include remaining silent, denying the allegations, challenging the validity of facts or interpretations, impugning the motives or authority of third parties, attempting to withdraw the matter from public discussion, or defending the action in question as accountable (p.53).

 (Richard Nixon never apologised). First, he never acknowledged what it was that he was sorry about. Second, what Nixon said he regretted ... had nothing to do with what was troubling and angering people: a betrayal of trust and the arrogant abuse of power (p.56).
[RF comment: Mr. Alder wrote to me: “We’re sorry for what happened”. But he never said what happened.]

`Hubris’ is a term applied to any kind of behaviour in which one treats other people just as one pleases with an arrogant confidence that one will escape paying any penalty for violating their rights and disobeying any laws or moral rule accepted by society, whether or not such a law or rule is regarded as resting ultimately on divine sanctions (p.145).

… apology cannot come about and do its work under conditions where the primary function of speech is defensive or purely instrumental and where legalities take precedence over moral imperatives (p.62).

Several quotes from Howard S. Becker Art Worlds…

When artists support themselves from non-art sources, the distribution system has minimal influence; when they work directly for a patron, it is maximised (p.94).

...dealers do not always pay what they owe (p.117).

Like all contracts, artists’ contracts with distributors rest on a basis of customary practice, which often nullifies the advantages they seem to provide (p.170).

Artists, for their part, refer to the inequality of power existing between the contractors... (p.117 citing Raymond Moulin 1967).

One major difference between now and 1990-91, or 1995-96, is the net’s take-off and easy proliferation of digital material.

In 1991 I received a ‘phone call from a former EG artist who had been slipped a dossier on Mr. Alder’s property interests, the contents of which they read to me down the ‘phone as I hastily wrote notes (which are a continuing presence in my EG paper-archive). The dossier detailed how much was owed to various parties by the Old Chelsea Property Company’s collapsing affairs, including the development of Carlyle House, Danvers Street, off the King’s Road, Chelsea.

On other occasions, I was slipped folders in brown envelopes that originated from characters whose sense of decency, morality and ethical behavior was sufficiently outraged by Mr. SG Alder that they blew a quiet whistle. To this day, I don’t know who all my informants were/are. Also today, my extensive paper-archives are continuing in-process being scanned.

Mr. Shut-Up-And-Play-Yer-Guitar asks: But what’s the point of banging on about Mr. SG Alder and the EG culture that developed under his regime? It’s not as important as institutional child abuse! Or the hacking of a murdered girl’s phone!

I cannot put my grievances on a par with those awful abuses. But, many people were hurt by Endless Grief; and nearly all of them are unable to say a word because they are their advisers are legally gagged by Mr. Alder. My Wife is one of them. Toyah was bankrupted as a direct result of non-payment of her income by Mr. SG Alder.

How to leave a manager who doesn’t pay you your income? Sign a settlement agreement so he lets you leave your management contract and in return he keeps all the money he didn’t pay you that caused you to leave. Oh – but perhaps you’ll get the VAT on the unpaid income, if you negotiate hard enough. My estimate is that income unpaid by EG was c. £330,000. None of this can be discussed with my Wife today, because of the gagging clause in her EG settlement contract. But I was present at meetings of Toyah’s new legal and managerial team in 1991 that were dealing with the Goodbye Sammy! Settlement.

Is Endless Grief going away? Is Dr. SG Alder no longer accountable for the actions of SG Alder Esq. 21 years ago? From the inexorable Vroooming forward-motion I…


In Mr. Sam Alder’s own hand from his office at 63a, King’s Road on 7th. June 1990…

I enclose a further draw down on the pension fund (ie RF pension fund) which I signed as your attorney… I am now very worried about your (building) project and financial state – there is just not enough income to cover your borrowings… I don’t say that I am worried too often, so can we speak on this a.s.a.p.?

My emphases. Acting nominally on my behalf, my business manager extends my borrowing because there is just not enough income, because my record royalties from Mr. Alder’s record company had not been paid to me for (at that time) two 6-month periods, because they were diverted into Mr. Alder’s own income-stream via his structure of interlocking companies. So, although Mr. Alder was worried about my income stream, he wasn’t worried enough to pay a year’s record royalties. Perhaps more accurately, Mr. Alder might have written: There is not enough income to cover my borrowings, and I’m worried. Let’s not speak about it.

Probably, the end of Messrs. Alder and Fenwick’s attempt to re-start their careers as Main Men in the music industry was signaled by this…

Mr. Alder’s response to Music Week was a threat of a libel action. I was myself involved in providing documents to Music Week, one result of which was no further action by Mr. Alder. The quote attributed to him, for withdrawing from action against MW, by a well-positioned person within the EG Office, was we have to work with the industry. More on the above, perhaps and scroll down.

In the words of Steven Fisher, EG’s solicitor writing to Virgin on
October 25th. 1991: The totally erroneous impression has therefore been given that my clients left their management and recording artists (not only Robert Fripp) bereft of payment which of course implies a gross dereliction of duty or even criminality on the part of my clients. I am unqualified to rule on criminality. But gross dereliction of duty – yep! that’s rings the bell. Mr. Fisher’s form of words is impressively concise and accurate. There is no legal liability that today falls on Dr. SG Alder, as part of the hands free, walk away settlement contract eventually signed in September 1997. But there is no resolution. For that, accountability and owning up are necessary. The moral and ethical compass, that characterized Mr. Alder’s duty of care to his artists, pointed south.

Mr. Sam Alder is quoted: This is a case which should never have happened. Robert has wasted a lot of money. This is the authentic voice of Mr. Alder, and smacks a little too much of arrogance for my taste.

In the first part, Mr. Alder is correct: he should have paid my royalties promptly, not channeled them to his own use, not employed a power of attorney in my affairs to increase my borrowing to cover the forced and undeclared loan to him. Then, most probably, the case would never have happened (although the lies told by Mr. Alder, to advise me to assign my copyrights to EG on 22nd. February 1976 at Sherborne House, may have triggered an action).

For the second part, how and why does Mr. Alder presume to decide what is best for me, on my use of (my own) money? Without this waste of money, I doubt Mr. Alder would have agreed to anything much at all, without reciprocity. The copyrights would not have been returned, none of the present reworking and re-releases by Steven Wilson and the Team would have been possible. So, Endless Grief was not the best use of either my time or money, but it was necessary action in the fallen world of seeking accountability for abusive practices by a Power Possessor, willfully driving a conflict of interest in his favour.

So, why keep going at this? Why do I continue to comment on EG? There are several answers to this. Today I present one: Because I am just about the only person who can.

All right! Here’s a second: Because I hold Mr. Alder accountable for his actions.

There is a leitmotif currently at work in the wider world: Accountability. Those who hold/held positions of authority and responsibility over others are being asked to own-up to their actions. Then, the decisions and motivations that gave rise to them may be revealed and examined; light shone on dark places; lessons learnt from past and present mistakes; clearly-articulated and widely-available codes of Good/Best Practice are acted on, that action and behavior achieves a just fit. Lip service and hypocrisy - enough! It’s Own Up time! All to serve the larger aim of Right Action, eg ethical action.

And an apology would be sweet, too.

Many Power Positions now being questioned were developed over time and became entrenched in institutional form:

abuse in Jersey childcare…
Jersey: Haut de la Garenne children’s home abuse scandal ends with one last conviction

in exoteric theocratic bodies…
US Catholic Church study blames 1960s permissiveness for rise in sexual abuse
Catholic sex abuse cases

financial and corporate abuse…
Classic Financial and Corporate Scandals
List of corporate scandals

in NewsCorp…
Murdoch’s media empire besieged by allegations

in Middle East politics…
Arab Spring timeline

in the Mother of Parliaments…
Complete MP’s expenses guide

U.S. law requires that broadcast licensees be of “good character”. Good, too, to know that our school governors are fit and proper persons to influence and orient the lives of the new generation, hope for our sorry world. Dr. SG Alder no longer has a role in Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, of which he was a founding member in 1976 and for which Good Works, during the early 1980s at least, he anticipated a knighthood. Perhaps his current Good Works in education as General Secretary of the Independent Schools Council, Chairman of the Board of Governors, King William’s (IOM), Governor of Lancing College, may result in a public honour. I’m sure this hasn’t crossed Dr. Alder’s mind.

And so, Heaven and Earth, with even a few subterranean chambers, hold hands within the same space.

Yesterday in the news: a judgment was reversed from 17 years ago where two RAF helicopter pilots were found responsible for a crash…

Government apologises for blaming RAF helicopter pilots for Chinook crash that killed 29
Last night the men’s families, who have battled for 17 years against the original judgment, said justice had finally been done....

Where there is a sense of injustice, an affront to common decency, the matter does not quietly go away: it continues until responsibility is accepted and the consequences addressed. In the larger story of Endless Grief, there is also redemption, forgivingness and friendship regained. But for that, owning up and making amends are part of the healing process.

More accountability in the news…
Funds freed to pay Madoff victims
A Manhattan judge has released as much as $2.3 billion recovered in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme to pay hundreds of his victims between $22,000 and nearly $64 million by the end of September. Judge Burton Lifland signed an order that allows trustee Irving Picard to begin paying off the claims of about 1,214 investors who lost their savings in Madoff’s fraud.

19.03 The afternoon practicing.



On the Guestbook...

RE: Art & Democracy:: Posted by BiusKoch on July 13, 2011
…Sorry that I am a non believer. The music by any artist is not a dogma to me.

Hooray! Spare me The True Believer in any field of endeavour.

More practicing, and a rabbit who needs some adoration. The Minx is home late tonight.

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