Thursday, August 14, 2008

"...Yes, Mummy...I Know Mummy...But I....Yes, Mummy....I Just Think That....Yes, You're Right, Mummy, You're Absolutely Right..."

You can be one of the richest, most powerful media men in the world, but you still have to shut up and listen when your mother has something to say.

Last month, Rupert Murdoch's mum, Elisabeth, was interviewed by Andrew Denton. The whole interview is worth watching, if you haven't seen it already. She really is an extraordinary old woman, with a fantastic attitude towards life, death, wealth and keeping your children in line. The interview also supplies some remarkable insights into Rupert himself :

ANDREW DENTON: With your own did you draw the line? What was the line for you?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well they were they would say I exercised a lot of loving discipline. I was never indulgent with them because my husband was inclined to be a bit indulgent so I had to swing the other way...I think they'd all....grew up to...appreciate my attitude...about material things, you know? I think it's a very materialistic age and....children have far too many things.

ANDREW DENTON: What is the benefit of a life with less as opposed to more material things?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: I think you're more appreciative. I think you only appreciate the highs when you've known the lows, don't you think?

ANDREW DENTON: Your own family is a family associated with wealth. What are the advantages of wealth and what are the dangers of it?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well I think the advantages of wealth is...that you have an opportunity to do so much good....wealth can be very misused but generally speaking it's a tremendous tool in here in helping community. People say to me sometimes, "You must be very proud of Rupert" and I know what they mean. They think he's made a lot of money and I say, "I am very proud of him because he's a good father and a good son." And that's what I'm proud of. Not so proud of his wealth.


ANDREW DENTON: No matter how old you are and how old your son is, he's still your son isn't he?


ANDREW DENTON: How do you address an adult child if you feel they're going the wrong way?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well Rupert and I don't always agree but we respect each other's attitude, I express my views very strongly and....Rupert listens to them. Sometimes takes my advice but on the whole you just have to I think...maintain your views without insisting that somebody else accepts them.


DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: I think some of the values are quite wrong. I think that ah the worship of money for one thing is quite quite wrong. Money doesn't bring happiness. It's your attitude of mind that helps you to enjoy life.

ANDREW DENTON: Do you have a sense of what happens after you die?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: ....I think we leave something but we nothing happens to us personally.

ANDREW DENTON: Would you like there to be an afterlife?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: No. It'd be very uncomfortable I think. [laugh]...
there'd be might be all sorts of people one didn't want to see again. [laugh]

ANDREW DENTON: You're going to be 100 in February. Are you excited?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: No. I realise my time must be running out but I'm not going to waste a minute of it and I hope to live till I'm 105 at least. [laugh]

ANDREW DENTON: And why 105?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well cause that's a fair a fair run. I might be even be able to live a bit longer. I hope so. In fact I'd like to live forever. [laugh]

Note : I have cleaned up the transcript a bit from the version that appears on Denton's Enough Rope website, solely to make it read cleaner.