The Skimmer

The Beeb’s anti-Thatcherism

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What is it with the BBC and Margaret Thatcher? Britain's leading public-service broadcaster never seems to miss an opportunity to do her down, especially in its dramatic depictions, which regularly demean and disparage her and her record. Not content with having a library full of anti-Thatcher footage, the excellent First Post Daily website reports that the Beeb is producing another two dramatic tilts at her.

The first is called simply "Margaret". According to First Post Daily "it portrays Lady T, who is now 82, as a humourless obsessive."

The second film, called "Mrs Thatcher, The Long Walk to Finchley", deals with her early life. According to First Post Daily "the director, Tony Saint, has already had to drop one scene, in which the young Margaret used the F-word. And it looks like further changes are being made - the drama had been due to air on BBC4 in February, but has been delayed until June."

 "They really are clueless," one BBC insider is quoted as saying. "This was 1950s Britain. People didn't walk around talking like Gordon Ramsay."

The BBC failed to recognise the rise and significance of Thatcher in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has borne a grudge ever since; its leading lights grew to detest her and all her works as the 1980s progressed. Now the BBC seems equally determined to fail to appreciate the Lady's enduring legacy, preferring instead to handover its airwaves to a long line of left-wing luvvies whose default position is an unthinking and predictable anti-Thatcherism.

The only broadly positive dramatic depiction of Thatcher on the BBC was Ian Curteis's "The Falklands Play". BBC bosses tried to bury it for over 15 years in what amounted to an act of anti-Thatcher censorship. Eventually it was shamed in to making it but it was given a pittance of a budget and snuck out on the low audience BBC4 so that nobody would see it. Hardly recompense for the anti-Thatcher dramas regularly scheduled for the BBC's big-audience networks.