By Patricia Holland
Patricia Holland bargains a desirable examine of the ways that alterations to public providers, and shifts within the notion of 'the public' lower than Margaret Thatcher's 3 Conservative governments, have been mediated by way of radio and tv within the Nineteen Eighties.
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Extra info for Broadcasting and the NHS in the Thatcherite 1980s: The Challenge to Public Service
The content of broadcasting would entail a moral and cultural commitment. Central control is desirable for practical reasons, but it is also ‘essential ethically, in order that one general policy may be maintained throughout the country and definite standards promulgated’ (Memorandum to Crawford Committee 1925). 2 The BBC’s status was underpinned by its funding by ‘the public’ themselves. Rather than government-controlled general taxation, its funds came directly from its users in the form of a licence fee, which would sustain not only the Corporation’s radio and later television output, 2 The quotation is from a Times Literary Supplement review of Reith’s book, Broadcast Over Britain 15 January 1925.
As much of the other output embraced 34 Broadcasting and the NHS in the Thatcherite 1980s what he calls ‘the liberal/progressive ticket’ there would be balance in the overall schedule. The series seems to have become a well-protected territory where the usual rules of impartiality did not apply. Its intellectualism gave a licence to the presenters, together with the valued qualities of ‘professionalism’ and ‘calibre’. ‘It had always been understood that, because presenters were chosen for their quality of intellect he or she was allowed a degree of involvement not permitted elsewhere,’ stated a programme review board in 1976 (28 July 1976).
Founded in 1955, the IEA set out to convert intellectuals and opinion formers. To this end, it published numerous pamphlets promoting monetarism, economic liberalism and the ‘free market’. These argued that a government should not aim to achieve full employment, but should ensure that the only money circulating in the economy was generated by the economy itself. Government spending would lead to state control which was akin to ‘socialism’: the road to serfdom! Although these ideas were considered eccentric at a time when the political consensus was to generate employment within nationalised industries and to build a welfare state, the Institute made converts among influential journalists and academics.
Broadcasting and the NHS in the Thatcherite 1980s: The Challenge to Public Service by Patricia Holland