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Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Ingham’

PR Premiärminister Margaret Thatchers favoriter på TV lär ha varit de politiska satirserierna ”Yes, Minister” och ”Yes, Prime Minister”.

Thatcher spelade t.o.m. sig själv i en specialskriven sketch (se ovan) när Jonathan Lynn och Antony Jay, skaparna av BBC:s populära TV-serier, skulle tilldelas ett pris av National Viewers and Listeners Association.

Varför var Thatcher så angelägen om att framföra sketchen? Det var bra PR helt enkelt.

Lynn skrev om händelsen på CNN:s hemsida där han också passar på att förklara varför just politiker är så förtjusta i TV-serierna.

The first time I met Margaret Thatcher, she was already a fan of mine, or so she said. With my co-writer Antony Jay, I had created and written the first seven episodes of ”Yes, Minister,” a BBC TV comedy series about the British government.

[…]

Referring to our show, Mrs. Thatcher was quoted, ”Its closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power has given me hours of pure joy.”

[…]

”Yes, Minister” became known as Mrs. Thatcher’s favorite TV show, and this worried me because the program was carefully neutral from a political point of view. I started telling people that Tony Benn, the leader of what was known as ”the loony left,” liked it a lot, too.

My queasy feeling, as one politician after another queued up to praise us, vanished as I realized why: Politicians love to watch anything about themselves on TV, and they are only interested in politics. Also, because our program showed how the Civil Service really runs Britain — our version of checks and balances and the separation of powers — we had unintentionally given politicians an alibi. The public understood for the first time that if politicians didn’t keep their promises, it might be because they were obstructed by the Civil Service.

[…]

A scarcely believable message arrived at the BBC from Number 10, saying that Mrs. T would present the award, that she had written a sketch and wished to perform it with our actors Paul and Nigel. It transpired that the scarcely believable message was not, in fact, to be believed: The sketch was written by her press secretary, Bernard Ingham.

I learned recently that she rehearsed the sketch with Ingham and her private secretary no fewer than 23 times.

Why were they not running the country instead, you might ask? Answer: She was losing popularity and, though not very amusing herself, she knew the power of humor. She was co-opting the show to make people like her more.

Ingham wasn’t a comedy writer, but as a publicist, he knew his stuff.

Läs mer: “Javisst, herr minister” av statsvetaren Mikael Sundström vid Lunds universitet.

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new-statesman1HISTORIA: Det engelska nyhetsmagasinet New Statesman – som står Labour politiskt nära – har ägnat senaste numret åt Margaret Thatchers år som premiärminister.

Även om detta temanummer lite pompöst kallas för ”the final verdict” är det en intressant samling artiklar som man har sammanställt. Både anhängare och motståndare till Thatcher kommer till tals.

En av de mer underhållande är sir Bernard Inghams I was Attila the Hen’s Yorkshire Rasputin. Ingham – ”chef press secretary” åt Thatcher mellan 1979-90 – beskriver ett av de många akademiska seminarier på temat Thatcher som han fått stå ut med;

At the preceding seminar, the university assembled a fine bunch of academic weirdos with the most imaginatively prejudiced ideas about the old girl, as well as what seemed to be half her former cabinet.

Edward Pearce arbetade som ”parliamentary sketch-writer” för bl.a. The Daily Telegraph och New Statesman mellan 1979 0ch 2002. Hans The view from the Press Gallery beskriver hur Thatchers personlighet sakta men säkert utvecklades under åren;

Her image (…) had started softly (…) Towards the end, she had got on so many nerves; and by then she didn’t know how to get off them.

Michael Heseltine – som sågs av många som den självklara utmanaren till premiärministerposten – beskriver en av Thatchers många paradoxer;

[T]he paradox, as he points out, is that ”policies of the Thatcher government were the most comprehensively pro-European of any government. [They] transferred more sovereignty to Europe than any other before or since. The rhetoric and the realities never matched.”

Martin Jacques, kolumnist för New Statesman, skriver om det politiska arv som Thatcher lämnade efter sig och som Tony Blair tog över när han blev premiärminister 1997;

The ”new” in New Labour was skin-deep, essentially it marked Labour’s conversion to Thatcherism.

Detta är bara några exempel på de många artiklar som fyller detta temanummer (dessutom finns alla tillgängliga på nätet).

Eftersom det är 30 år sedan Thatcher valdes till premiärminister kommer mycket i brittisk media i år att handla om denna period i landets historia.

Den som vill bilda sig en uppfattning om Margaret Thatcher som premiärminister och som människa har ett utmärkt tillfälle i och med detta temanummer.

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