Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Pots and kettles: belated February 2009 edition

Peter Mandelson was recently quoted as "supporting" the idea of a "people's bank" to be run as part of the Post Office.  Funnily enough, we once had such a thing, started by the Wilson government on a widely-used European model, and privatised at the end of the Thatcher administration.  Now I'm not quite sure who was the ideological leader of the smear campaign against those who supported the renationalisation of what had been Girobank (which by the time NuLab came to power was owned by Alliance & Leicester, but retained its own name and was still a separate business within A&L) as "conservatives who did not understand that the world had changed", but I could have sworn that someone called Mandelson was every bit as much its architect as Keith Joseph had been for Thatcherism.  Funny the things.

The Daily Mail, and others of its ilk, have recently been up in arms about what they claim to have been an organised campaign to remove Carol Thatcher from The One Show, led by people who would never have watched the show and inspired by remarks which were not actually broadcast.  Funnily enough, the Mail was recently behind a successful organised campaign to remove a very popular broadcaster, made up almost entirely of people who would never have listened to his show, for something which, while undoubtedly crass and childish, was what his audience were used to and which therefore attracted precisely two complaints when it actually went out.  Having delightedly set the precedent of the BBC instantly following organised demands for certain broadcasters' removal, the Mail cannot complain when it (allegedly) merely does the same thing, only this time following a campaign led by people with different political views who read different newspapers and find different things offensive, any more than it could complain when its calls for the destruction of trade union power in broadcasting led, indirectly, to a substantial reduction in programming that its readership found acceptable.

The only possible response to the Thatcher affair is "now at least you bastards know how Russell Brand fans feel".  Since his enforced departure, Brand - originally placed on Saturday nights to keep hip-hop-hating Moyles fans in the BBC fold when Westwood was on - has had more in common with Westwood than not, in a way he did not have before.  You will note that, where he used to be, we now have Johnnie Walker with a (yawn) recreation of offshore radio, which is precisely where the institutionalised humbug and double standards of the modern Right have their roots.  This is precisely what was intended.

No comments:

Post a Comment