Paul Walter blogs about the brief return of Radio Caroline, which was also discussed on the Today programme today.
One thing that seems to have been forgotten about the pirate radio controversy in the 60s is that the Minister in charge of shutting them down was one Anthony Wedgewood Benn. These days, both Benn and Caroline are categorised under the same heading of “cuddly national treasure”. Still, it is a shame that the Today programme didn’t interview him about it. That of course would mean getting Tony Benn to defend government policy and remind us that, contrary to careful brand management, he was once part of the establishment. Nevertheless, it is a shame that the BBC, which was chomping at the bit at the time to get Caroline banned, now portrays it as a nice harmless thing. If that is the case, why is the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act 1967 still in force? Isn’t the BBC failing in its duty to educate and inform, in favour of kitsch nostalgia?
On an only partially related note, the last time I went to the cinema, they showed a ridiculous new FACT advert before the film warning us of the evils of piracy. It ended with “Love film. Hate piracy.” I wonder how Johnny Depp feels about that?
Re Benn, spot on. The man never lets the facts get in the way of a good sound bite. His record in Government is a million miles from his rhetoric which is based on half-baked ideas with no grounding in reality.