Friday, 5 August 2016

Late Night's TV: The 80s With Dominic Sandbrook : Thatcher Apologists at the BBC

I usually enjoy the cultural documentaries of Dominic Sandbrook (although I have to concur with Alexei Sayle who, when discussing Sandbrook's '70s series, complained that his findings for the decade must have come from his mother seeing as he was only born in '74!) So I looked forward to his new one The 80s which started last night.

However I was really rattled by Sandbrook's statement that Margaret Thatcher was not to blame for the industrial decline and the hardships endured in the 1980s. 

Sandbrook went on to elaborate on this baffling claim in the Radio Times

I'm not sure why Sandbrook would give such a blatantly false and stupid opinion. The cynic in me argues it's a deliberately controversial statement designed to get people talking. By posting about it here, I guess his job has been done.

But what if it isn't attention-seeking, what if it is something more insidious such as an example of the clear BBC bias against the Tory Party (both new and old, it would appear) Either way, this apologist revisionist stance is as offensive as the claims by Michael Gove that the notion of 'lions led by donkeys' in the First World War was nothing but left-wing propaganda. 

Then again, maybe the right attitude to take is indeed Alexei Sayle's all along; after all, what could a 10 year old middle class boy in 1984 know about the very real and painful effects of Thatcherite policies on our countries industries?


  1. I know you have a "no disagreement" policy on the comments, but I have a different reading of the article - and it's very similar to something I blogged just after her death. Could you imagine a Conservative government fronted by, say, Keith Joseph would have been any different? The Thatcher government was very careful not to disadvantage so many people as to risk not being re-elected. Divide and conquer is a cheap tactic, but one that clearly worked. The recession, especially in heavy industry, was international - it's the Conservative reaction to it that leaves bitter memories.

    1. No, I absolutely agree that its a reaction by a Tory government that we must be blame, no matter who was at the head. But to ignore the way she/they insidiously and deliberately brought about the destruction of the coal industry in this country as Sandbrook does with his 'industry was over anyway' type comment is at best naive and at worst a whitewash.