One of the most important people in the whole Watergate scandal is often over-looked, and even barely remembered today. But Martha Mitchell was one of the first, and most prominent whistle blowers of the whole Nixon scandal.
Sure, we all remember Deep Throat (now publicly named as Mark Felt), but we know little about the role the wife of John Mitchell played. He was Nixon’s Attorney General, and head of CREEP. Martha often listened in on her husband’s phone calls, and heard first hand him planning the response to the break in.
Dismissed as delusional by an uninterested press corp, she posed such a danger to the conspirators that she claims she was kidnapped, drugged, and beaten to keep her silent.
And now she has an effect named after. The Martha Mitchell Effect is when a person is labelled as deluded, even when telling the truth. When what she should be being remembered for is speaking up as soon as she found out about the conspiracy.
In the 1990s, Norway realised that its windfall from the discovery and exploitation of North Sea Oil would eventually come to an end. Where the UK had used this new revenue to fund massive Thatcherite tax cuts, Norway realised that it had to protect this money for future generations. With audacious foresight, the country began investing all of the oil revenue into assets abroad.
The sovereign wealth fund is now worth over a trillion dollars.
It owns 1.3% of every listed company in the world, and is ethically managed, sometimes even voting against large companies such as Apple on corporate governance issues.
It is worth $192,000 per person in Norway.
And the Government allows itself to use 4% of the fund in its own budget.
The fund is growing so big that this number might need to be revised downwards.
No doubt there are valid counter-arguments to this approach, and that the way the UK did it was sensible too, but I can’t help feeling it’s another way we pissed everything up the wall (see also Right To Buy).