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Thursday 29 January 2015

Mail BBC Churchill Outrage Fail

The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre cannot allow any opportunity to kick the hated BBC to be wasted, however mean spirited and trivial. So it was that the Dacre doggies were watching when The Great Pax Jeremiah presented a documentary recalling the state funeral given to Winshton, after the great man died at the age of 90 half a century ago.
What's so f***ing wrong with using Churchill's memory to kick the BBC, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay

Everyone who knew Churchill was keenly aware that his death would soon be upon them: the preparations had begun back in 1958. St Paul’s was booked, the armed forces readied, the barge for the journey along the Thames was put on stand-by, broadcasters were duly rehearsed. Even British Rail was prepared: the locomotive bearing the name Winston Churchill was kept in reserve for the coming occasion.

The sticking point was what many viewers thought was a spontaneous tribute by London’s dock workers: we saw the cranes ranged along the South Bank - now no more than a memory - lower their jibs in tribute as the barge bearing Churchill’s coffin passed. It was, in reality, anything but: those dockers had to be paid extra to stay at their posts beyond Saturday lunchtime, when they would normally have finished for the day.

This horribly inconvenient news, relayed by one former dock worker who also said he didn’t like Churchill, was too much for the Mail, but sufficient for an attack to be launched on the Beeb: “Anger as BBC pours scorn on tribute to Churchill: Viewers' shock after docker claims operators were PAID to lower their cranes in Thames tribute”. Yes, the BBC was “pouring scorn” by giving viewers factual information.

Never mind that Paxman had included gushing tributes from Winshton’s family, those who worked with him, members of the armed forces who carried the coffin, staff at St Paul’s, the owner of the Thames barge that carried the coffin from Tower Pier to Festival Pier, a villager who witnessed the final interring, and even the former railwayman who was fireman for that last journey from Waterloo station: none of that counted.

Instead, every last whining comment from across the Web has been trawled to make it look as if the hated BBC dropped this awful deed on an unsuspecting public. But here a problem enters: there was sufficient information already available for TV guides printed several days beforehand to mention the dockers having to be paid to attend on Saturday afternoon and lower the crane jibs.

For instance, the Guardian’s TV guide, included with last Saturday’s paper, tells “No one who saw it would forget the dock cranes … lowering their jibs in silent respect as Winston Churchill’s funeral barge sailed past. Except it wasn’t a spontaneous gesture; the dockers … had to be bribed to do so”. All of which means the Mail knew what was coming, and so the outrage is utterly phoney. It’s just another lame excuse to kick the Corporation.

Still, it’s easier to do than proper investigative journalism, so that’s all right, then.


Andrew Barker said...

There was also a substantial article in the Radio Times published last week about this story, along with the cover picture showing Churchill giving the v sign the opposite way to his usual.

Also, the BBC is hardly failing his memory by broadcasting his funeral service in full tomorrow on the BBC Parliament channel.

SteveB said...

You can see why the Mail is a bit worried by the concept of people spreading factual information. Whatever next, perhaps someone pointing out their links to Hitler........

Arnold said...

The Daiiy Mail hacks who covered the funeral refused to be paid, did they?