11 Ocak 2011 Salı

BBC, Cencorship and Thatcher


Cencorship on the media there is not only in the underdeveloped countries, there is in the developed countries by the governments. Governments’ political attitudes shape the coverage of cencorship or publications practise a self-cencor because of political pressure. BBC is known as the most trustful publication all around the world, so the question is, has the BBC exposed to the cencorship by the government or could the BBC’s objective attitude affect on the governments? When thought the BBC is one of the most important world publications, if and only a tough government could use the pressure and the cencor on the BBC, so of course I incline to the Iron Lady period of England. For making a comparison, the first necessity is identifying the BBC, Margaret Thatcher and the long period of the Thatcher Government -1979/1990-

Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher is the first and last female prime-minister of England untill today, and the most powerful name for politics of Britania, also for the world politics doubtless, such that she was called as the Iron Lady by Gorbachev the last leader of the Soviet Union, and Thatcher internalized this nickname, gladly. She were loved and hated, but thatcherism still affects England so powerful as economicly, that the Labor Party accepted the irrevocable situation for English political and economical life. Such that the BBC critisize her economical directions even today. In a news, BBC compared Tayyip Erdoğan is the Prime Minister of Turkey and Thatcher, as being against to Labours and illiberalism.( Son Dakika: 2010 )1

Thatcher became Conservative member of parliament for Finchley in north London in 1959, serving as its MP until 1992. Heath became prime minister in 1970 and Thatcher was appointed secretary for education. In the 1979 general election, the Conservatives came to power and Thatcher became prime minister. An advocate of privatisation of state-owned industries and utilities, reform of the trade unions, the lowering of taxes and reduced social expenditure across the board, Thatcher's policies succeeded in reducing inflation, but unemployment dramatically increased. Victory in the Falklands War in 1982 and a divided opposition helped Thatcher win a landslide victory in the 1983 general election. In the 1987 general election, Thatcher won an unprecedented third term in office. But controversial policies, including the poll tax and her opposition to any closer integration with Europe, produced divisions within the Conservative Party which led to a leadership challenge. In November 1990, she agreed to resign and was succeeded as party leader and prime minister by John Major. ( Historic Figures: BBC )2

In October 1984, when the strike was still underway, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) attempted to murder Margaret Thatcher and many of her cabinet by bombing her hotel in Brighton during the Conservative Party annual conference. Although she survived unhurt, some of her closest colleagues were among the injured and dead and the room next to hers was severely damaged. No twentieth-century British Prime Minister ever came closer to assassination.

British policy in Northern Ireland had been a standing source of conflict for every Prime Minister since 1969, but Margaret Thatcher aroused the IRA's special hatred for her refusal to meet their political demands, notably during the 1980-81 prison hunger strikes.

Her policy throughout was implacably hostile to terrorism, republican or loyalist, although she matched that stance by negotiating the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 with the Republic of Ireland. The Agreement was an attempt to improve security cooperation between Britain and Ireland and to give some recognition to the political outlook of Catholics in Northern Ireland, an initiative which won warm endorsement from the Reagan administration and the US Congress. (Biography)3

Thatcher is remembered with her sentence “there is no such a thing as society” and she complained that in her oto-biography is the Downing Street Years: “My sentence that “there is no such a thing as society” is texted to burl, so i was under attack for a long time by people, but they never transfered the continue of my words. I had continued my words thus and so: “…you know, there is no such thing as society. there are individual men and women, and there are families, and no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first.” (Thatcher, 1994: 421)4


The British Broadcasting Corporation was a small radio publication who called the British Broadcasting Company, Ltd. In 1927 British Broadcasting Corporation bought the little company, then the BBC started its publishing life under protection of the Kingdom. “It had a staff of four, and was financed by a Post Office licence fee of 10 shillings, payable by anyone owning a receiver, and supplemented by royalties on radio sales. The BBC Television Service arrived on 2 November 1936 - but was suspended at the outbreak of war in 1939. Peacetime saw the resumption of the television service and a reorganisation of radio - which now boasted the Home Service, the Light Programme and from 1946, the Third Programme featured music, drama and the arts. The Empire Service continued as the External Service, now receiving "grant-in-aid" from the government, a situation which continues today with the World Service. The Falklands War saw reporter Brian Hanrahan tell audiences: "I counted them all out and I counted them all back in," as he watched Harrier jump jets return to their aircraft carrier after a raid. But Margaret Thatcher's government complained the BBC's reports were biased towards the Argentine point of view. The 1984 miners' strike saw similar complaints of bias - this time from the left. Further clashes with politicians took place throughout the 1980s. The 1990s saw further change, as new director-general John Birt reorganised much of the BBC's internal workings, amid tremendous controversy. ( A Short History of the BBC: 2002 )5 In the BBC sources about their history, there is no much information, nevertheless we can see a tension between Thatcher Government and the BBC, even they gave just a little knowledge. In 1985, a real tension was lived between the BBC and Margaret Thatcher, because the BBC was shooting a documentary about Ireland Republican Army and they did some interviews with Martin McGuinness the leader of the IRA. The documentary is about the real lives of the important characters, and the BBC wanted to show that are humans just like us, even we called them as terrorists, so they would show McGuinness with his babies and wife. Margaret Thatcher and her tory government got really angry.


The name of the film is At the Edge of the Union, so “the film was banned by the BBC’s Board of Governors after political pressure from the Thatcher government during the summer of 1985. The ban led to a nationwide strike by the BBC and ITV emplyees and culminated with the revelation that the British security service, MI5, had been secretly approving the hiring and firing of BBC staff for years. ( Leigh and Lashmar: 1985 )6 Of course it is a big question needs to discuss, is it right to show the people who threat to the international or national security, do the media help them unawarely? BBC, as the publication under protection of the United Kingdom, has got a answer, North Ireland is the country which depended on the Kingdom, so BBC has to stay objective and has to show the cases as well as. BBC can not finish the film for long years, but in 2007 they used the interviews with Martin McGuinness and they made some new interviews with him, then BBC published At the Edge of the Union after all pressure of Margaret Thatcher.


1) Ankara Haber Ajansı: 23 Mart 2010 < http://www.sondakika.com/haber-bbc-den-tekel-eylemi-yorumu-erdogan-humeyni-den/>

2) BBC: Historic Figures: Margaret Thatcher ,< http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/thatcher_margaret.shtml>

3) Margaret Thatcher Foundation: Biography –Prime Minister Second Term- < http://www.margaretthatcher.org/essential/biography.asp>

4) Thatcher, Margaret. Demir Leydi’nin Anıları çev: Gülden Şen. İstanbul, 1994: Gençlik Yayınları

5) BBC News: A short history of the BBC 19 April 2002

6) Viera, John David. Terrorism at the BBC: The IRA on British Television, Journal of Film and Video [electronic resource] Vol. 40. No: 4 (Fall 1988) p:28 University of Illinois Press

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