Friday, July 13, 2007

Conrad Black - is schadenfraude appropriate?

There was a fascinating interview with Tom Bower just now on Channel Four news. He is the author of several biographies, including that of Mohamed Al-Fayed (a fascinating read) and Conrad Black. He gave a fascinating summary of Black's downfall.

He pointed out that Black has not been found guilty on some of the charges against him. The directors of Hollinger have taken the rap for failing to supervise Black's excesses sufficiently. However, Bowers described this as a "95%" disaster for Black. Throughout the trial it was very doubtful whether Black would be found guilty on several of the charges. But he has been found guilty of charges of fraud and obstruction of justice. He was convicted of three counts and cleared of a further six. And he has launched an appeal.

It seems the thing which may well have done for Black was the CCTV pictures of him removing papers from Hollinger and loading them into the back of his Roller.

Bowers summarised Black as the "architect of his own downfall...greedy...vindictive...a millionaire living like a billionaire."

Schadenfraude is a very unedifying emotion, I know. So I will now go off and throw cold water over myself. But I can't help feeling a little of that forbidden "S" word, particularly bearing in mind all those rather repellent articles described as "journalism" which Barbara Amiel, Black's wife, had published in the Telegraph while Black was its proprietor.


  1. And I've a feeling Conrad Black gave some money to the Tories in the past. Naturally they'll be handing that back.

  2. Nice to have founf the blog - while searching for articles on Zimbabwe

  3. Thank you and welcome Dr Nazli