Saturday 22 March 2014

The Secret Diary of Tony Benn

Matthew Parris re-enters the fray over the late Tony Benn over at the Spectator and (even though the presenter of Radio 4's Great Lives) makes a point about the BBC that seems true enough to me.

Here's an extract:
I have sailed into a storm over the late Tony Benn. A column I wrote for the Times the day after his death laid into his legend, and readers’ subsequent comments (though many of them supportive) underline how familiar we British are with the idea that the (recently) dead should not be criticised.
The BBC, meanwhile, has gone crazy for Mr Benn, apparently feeling no duty to achieve the balance of bouquets with brickbats that it made such elaborate efforts to contrive when Margaret Thatcher died; and even clearing the airwaves to rebroadcast favourites from his Secret Diary of Adrian Mole-style diaries: a grisly example of self-absorption without self-examination.
In an intimate diary it is to be hoped that awkward self-criticism and uncomfortable self-knowledge of the kind the diarist has previously shrunk from admitting in public will emerge in the small-hours silence of the confessional; but in Mr Benn’s case the widely promoted modesty of the public man is cast aside in the confessional, where immodesty is displayed in all its horror.

1 comment:

  1. Parris is correct-from his Times piece last week to this new one on Benns diaries.
    Let`s hope he gets "Great Lives" re-commissioned....I reckon he has had word that it won`t be, given his going off-piste two weeks running!
    The diaries DO however give us bits on the likes of Mo Mowlem and the Milliband boys that show us how transient, bitchy, venal and corrupt Labour is-was, and always will be too.
    Benn will turn out to be as much an irrelevance as Alan Clark-but if it means we can heave at Blair and his "Our Mo" crap from the last 90s, then fair enough.
    Jesus and Our Mo...has a ring to it , doncha think?


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