HOW PRIVATE EYE COVERED THE DEATH OF THATCHER BY PUBLISHING ‘HOW THE BBC CAUGHT THE MOOD OF THE NATION.’
As regular readers of YKTD will know we’re not exactly fans of Private Eye and the current edition only confirms our belief that Hislop and chums are just a bunch of overgrown public schoolboys pulling faces at the headmaster. Their brand of satire is about as threatening to the establishment as an Alan Titchmarsh documentary because the writers are themselves part and parcel of the landed gentry, professional satirist set. From Richard Ingram to Craig Brown, the average Eye hack is Eton/Oxford/Soho old school tie through and through.
So, it’s no surprise really that in amongst the various lampoons and skits surrounding the media’s reaction to Thatcher’s death (the Eye not being part of the media themselves ofcourse) ‘How The BBC Caught The Mood Of The Nation’ perhaps best sums up the elite’s sophist agenda. Some may say the BBC can’t win; the lefties accuse it of being right wing and the right wingers accuse it of being a hotbed of lefty subversion. All I know is if the BBC really is ran by lefties and have a political agenda then they have failed miserably and perhaps all the pro-royal, ‘Isn’t Britain Great?’ revisionism, biased reporting and outright military/economic/political propaganda they spew must be part of some terribly clever, subtle plot.
No, those who continually accuse the BBC of left leanings do so to terrify the bosses into obedience. They set up a false argument that they can rally around to disguise the true nature of the beast. If you say something time and time again, relentlessly, then it becomes self-propagating. Apart from the odd play in the 70s and 80s, the BBC has always been totally and utterly compliant to the status quo agenda.
The Eye, like the Spectator and The New Statesman, The Mail and The Telegraph and The Sun and the Express, and The Times and The Guardian and The Mirror and The Observer and The Independent and Sky and ITV all follow the same narrative. They are middle class and upper class people with middle class and upper class prejudices and even when they attempt to give voice to alternative viewpoints they only do so within their prescribed ‘story.’ The are called ‘the media’ because they ‘mediate.’
They attempt to ‘explain’ complex issues that we little people can understand. Their reductionist approach seeks personality over politics, soundbites over substance. They boil away all the unpalatable ingredients to serve up bland stodge. From benefit changes to Bahrain, from single mothers to Syria, from North Korea to 911, a simple, black and white story of goodies v baddies must be presented to the poor, stupid viewer.
So, despite the BBC’s relentless pro-Thatcher coverage, the Eye chooses to accuse ‘aunty’ of interviewing only Thatcher critics. Here they are :
Gerry Adams (IRA terrorist)
Ken Livingstone (Loony Lefty)
Anne Scargill (Potty union boss, Arthur’s ex-wife)
‘Lord’ Neil Kinnock (Ermine robed ‘socialist’)
Ms de Kirchner (Argentina’s President)
Will Hutton (self-styled intellectual)
James Prior (wet)
Geoffrey Howe (wetter)
Douglas Hurd (piss soaked through)
Cheryl Spart (‘hilariously’ right on daughter of the Eye’s resident loony lefty stereotype, Dave)
As each one denounces The Dear Leader, the writer ends his piece thus…
‘millions of viewers switch over at this point with a huge sigh of relief to Broadchurch on ITV.’
The last line is the giveaway as Broadchurch is broadcast on a Monday evening, presumably the same night the author penned their piece, the same day as Thatcher’s death was announced. Didn’t take him/her (it’ll be a ‘him’ though as the Eye cabal is an old boys network) long to come to this conclusion then. Now, Maggie’s death was hardly a surprise so ofcourse every broadcaster and paper had their eulogies ready to go months, even years ago.
As soon as I heard the news, I rang my mate Dave and we immediately set off for the former dockers’ pub, The Casa in Liverpool city centre, where we raised a glass to The Iron Hypocrite. As we did so, we shook our heads as the BBC’s chief political correspondent, Nick Robinson delivered his personal obituary followed by many other pro-Thatcher revisionists. The narrative quickly became established – ‘whatever you think of Mrs Thatcher, there’s no doubt she changed Britain – whether you think that was for good or bad, there was no denying that SHE had changed the country.’
Now, Thatcher did not personally change anything. She was the leader of a party with a huge majority for most of its time in power. She was being manipulated by the faceless men who always get naïve or egotistical leaders to do their dirty work. She had a cabinet and a party machine, she had a supine media, she had very rich benefactors, she had contacts for contracts. She only became symbolic because she chose to identify herself with her government’s agenda, she promoted her own cult above that of collective responsibility.
Later that afternoon, The Casa and other Liverpool pubs filled with hundreds of people spontaneously celebrating the death of a woman they regarded as a loathsome, dictatorial, despised symbol of ‘class war.’ Yes, Dave Spart writers, some of us still believe in ‘class war’ because in Thatcher we had a class enemy. If you believed the BBC’s selective, propagandist news coverage, anyone celebrating Thatcher’s demise was a twisted extremist, a cruel gloater, a despicable old lady hater.
Yet those I saw dancing, singing, chanting and setting off fireworks weren’t the stereotypical ‘anarchists’ and ‘clueless kids’ as depicted by the media but ordinary people who felt both energised and vindicated at outlasting the woman if not the party that attempted to destroy them and their city. From Toxteth to Militant, from Heysel to Hillsborough, from the postal workers to the dockers, from the scallys to the ravers, from the heroin addicts to the single mothers, from the afro-Caribbean to the Irish republican, from the unemployed to the gangsters, from the eco campaigner to the poll tax protestor. However people survived the past 35 years in Liverpool (and elsewhere), none of them were in any doubt that they had the entire establishment arraigned against them.
In Thatcher particularly they also had a wild eyed, self-styled messiah of an anti-ideology named, with typical humility, after herself. Her name became an ‘ism’ as meaningless and vague as ‘monetarism.’ It was she who identified ‘the enemy within’ and spoke the language of civil war, using the security services, the military, the police, the judges, the civil service and particularly her friends and paymasters in the media to demonise and punish those who she regarded as enemies to be crushed.
Why then should the people who she tried to destroy show respect and compassion for a person who not only failed to show any respect or compassion for them but also deliberately smeared their reputation with the most disgusting, heinous accusations?
If the BBC or even Private Eye wanted any proof of the ‘mood of the nation’ then perhaps instead of sticking to Westminster, Grantham and the BBC’s own studios, they should’ve actually spoke to those people celebrating without the need to criticise their actions or seek to portray them as a sick minority. There is no ‘mood of the nation’ because there is no ‘nation’ only people living on the same stretch of skin, breathing the same air. The ‘nation’ and the ‘Great British Public’ is a fiction that allows the propagandists to spew their diet of biased, unrepresentative, unbalanced, partisan reporting under the guise of the ‘public interest’ and ‘reflecting popular opinion.’
Yet who asks me? Who ever asks you? Who decides what the public mood is? People who email or ring the BBC? Friends, neighbours, colleagues and associates of BBC and media professionals? The vested interests of the press barons who continue to set the news agenda despite Leveson and despite their waning influence and power.
I feel no need to apologise for having my photo taken under Nick Robinson’s baldy, Tory head raising a pint of Guinness as my mate gives his clenched fist salute in a pub surrounded by memorobilia of past socialist victories and defeats. ‘NO PASARAN!’ The class war is still being fought every day, whether we know it or not, whether we call it as such or not, whether the BBC and the media deny it or not. If the sound of hundreds of people smiling and laughing as they chant ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Dead, Dead, Dead!’ repulses you, then you obviously didn’t suffer under her malign yoke and so, YOUR opinion and YOUR morality mean FUCK ALL! Get that, Private Eye?