:: Monday, January 26, 2004 ::

Dumbing Down our History

I thought that Channel 4's 2 hour special commemorating the 20th anniversary of the miners strike, Strike - When Britain Went to War was very disappointing. The material was clearly there for an interesting and revealing documentary. Instead Channel 4 dumbed it down, turning it into something more like 'I Remember 1984' or 'top ten industrial disputes'. There were some who had something interesting to say such as Ann Scargill, the former head of the Metropolitan Police and others. So why fill it up with Alexei Sayle's inane recollections about Wham or John O'Farrell's pointless nonsense (featuring several factual inaccuracies). Was there any point in playing Phil Collins over shots of miners at soup kitchens or returning to work. No. It trivialised and demeaned what was one of the key events in Britain’s post-war history.

Hopefully the BBC's effort will make some amends, if I can bear to watch it. It is easy to forget the significance of the struggle in 1984-85. We had the creation of an unofficial national police force, the occupation of entire villages by police (and, it is said, troops). We had the extensive use of the intelligence services used in an industrial dispute. We had the relentless barrage from the media. All for the purposes of destroying effective trade unionism in this country.

:: Alister | 2:59 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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