DISPATCHES, BANKING SCANDALS, ABRAMS AND THE GODHEAD GAME

John Snow’s report on banking corruption on Dispatches last night made chilling viewing. It underpins ideas in the thriller The Godhead Game that World Markets have become a super casino, especially since the financial ‘Big Bang’, where players get in and out quick, and the business of banking has become much about whoever can get their snout in the trough. 75% of those polled said they do not trust banks. Well, if that ‘culture’ actually has the capacity to implicate everyone, in a world out of step, then a story about the Mayan ‘end of the world’ this year, and part satire, also proposes a way that World Markets themselves might be beaten! To get a copy Click here

As we have said before though, what happened with the publisher Abrams in 2008 was not unrelated to various kinds of collapse, while there were extraordinary synchronicities in other ways. When David Clement-Davies talked to editor Tara Break about interconnections though, after personal and professional betrayal, her Hew, Screw and Glue put at the heart of a firm, and the mounting financial crisis too, her only comment, or awareness of a world beyond herself and her ‘rights’, was “I don’t have any shares.” No shares in anything it seems though, including Publisher’s and author’s work and careers – exes, friends or otherwise. But when unwanted whistleblowers appear in the banking sector, at least they can fight back and are compensated.

Harold Rove’s removal as Publisher and Vice President at Abrams, although he most certainly tried to do the right thing, is proof of the scandal there, that coalesced around the ambition and long alliance of Tara Break and Sarah Van More. Yet David Clement-Davies has received neither apology, nor compensation for such enormous harm. Not only is he owed a great deal, with five novels so damaged, so much time and work abused,but when truth dies at a major US publishing firm, creating conditions of arguable criminal conspiracy, then the rot has gone everywhere.

Abrams publish hugely successful books like The Diary of A Whimpy Kid series, but perhaps it follows that the only real principle they supported was the power and rights of their editors over their own contracted authors,and the value not of the meanings inside their books and stories, but of sales and clinking cash tills. It was ultimately overseen by a man with his own agenda too, Mike Jacobson, and as suggested in a recent blog, by extension one of the heads of an entire publishing family, Herve de la Martiniere. From the actions of Macmillan UK and Penguin US too over eBook rights, meanwhile Sarah Van More breaching essential privacies to Sharyn Novembre at Penguin US, but mouthing on so arrogantly and hypocritically about silence, from an author who could not walk away, David has also seen how some big publishers treat authors as pure commodity, unless they are big enough to set an agenda, and ride roughshod over their rights and, crucially in this case, vital healthy working conditions. In such a world, the visions in valuable stories die too, and real free speech with it. No artist under contract and trying to write meaningful literature, can be expected to function under dishonest, threatening and harmful conditions, or, to quote a rather extreme analogy, used by the Nobel playwright Joshua Sobel, “no theatre in a graveyard!”

DCD

Phoenix Ark Press

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Filed under America and the UK, Books, Publishing, The Phoenix Story

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