Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just seen some rough clips on BBC News. Dimbleby on stunning form. First question about the BNP's adoption of Churchill. Griffin concludes his case for Churchill's natural home being in the BNP with a snide dig at Jack Straw, talking about his own father's WW2 service versus Straw's father being a conchie. Dimbleby - nobody's idea of a Trot - straight in: "What relevance does that have on the question?" (doubtless thinking "If you want to play that game, matey, my father was one of the first Allied personnel into Belsen after the liberation"). Griffin restates the slur. Dimbleby restates the question. Clip cuts off. Later, Griffin responds to suggestions that he said "Thank you, Auntie" with a statement that he doesn't regard the BBC as Auntie, but instead as part of "nasty, ultra-leftist establishment" that is the enemy of Englishness. The response is pure tumbleweed. If the clips are representative, Griffin gets hung out to dry in the fairest possible manner. The British way, if you like.


Apres la Guerre said...

"My Dad's bigger than Jack Straw's Dad."

So politics has finally sunk to this.

Simon said...

It was interesting for a number of reasons, not least to watch Griffin laughing at totally the wrong moments and looking very uneasy throughout.

I agree with the decision to put him on, after all while we don't have the same constitutional free speech as the Americans we do generally go along those lines. And there's nothing better than giving people the chance to shoot themselves in the foot. Which I think he did.

As someone on the radio said this morning when asked if the costs of extra security and police were worth it, better to pay that now than pay the full price of letting them into power.

Westengland said...

Perhaps ( following your comment on Adam McQueen's blog) you might like to remind the blogosphere of the late Tony "Magpie" Bastable's links with the far-right, something that eluded his obituarists in the national press.

"Here's a model of a gas chamber I made earlier"

LF Barfe said...

Hello Westengland. I had heard the rumours about Bastable, but wondered if they weren't mischief. Have you got any more information? Incidentally, Norris McWhirter's biography of his brother is on the shelf behind me. Maybe I should revisit it.

Westengland said...

Tony Bastable was outed as a far-righter in the early 1970s (I had heard that this was why he left "Magpie").

I remember reading an item in "Time Out" c. 1973-1974 about an anti-immigrant etc. film he was involved in as ?producer,?presenter and/or ?financier (it included a photograph of him).

As Tony Elliott was principally responsible for breaking the BBC/ITV listings duopoly and "TO's" early years containted a lot of very good writing on broadcasting (largely forgotten about these days), I assume you may have contacts who can help you find out more about this.

I'm not that interested in the revelation that a TV presenter had extreme views- I've been listening to the BBC World Service marking twenty years since the beginning of the end of the Communist totalitarian regimes and have yet to hear anything from their media apologists from before1989 - but what I find interesting is that none of the obituaries for Bastable mention that part of his life reflected in the above film (and where's a copy to be found now?).

I don't mean to be rude but I do find that you and your colleagues in your branch of TV and Radio History seem to be unaware of an awful lot of the past of broadcasting in Britain.

It would help if more printed archives were available on line of course - to start with: complete runs of
"Radio Times", "TV Times" and all the other ITV listing magazines most people have never heard of (Yeah, right - well I had to end on a hollow laugh,
didn't I?).

Robin Carmody said...

Indeed it would, though I do have some representation, most of it digitised, of all the regional listings magazines except Ulster's TV Post, something I'd never have dreamt of ten years ago.

chris_scales said...

The digitised TV Times magazine is available online here (though only to those in academic institutions):