Ding dong! It’s hypocrisy calling!

Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead failed to make the number one spot in the music charts on Sunday, taking the sting ever so slightly from the censorship row surrounding it.

The BBC, caught not for the first time in a no-win situation, announced last week that it would not be playing the song adopted by Lady Thatcher protesters in its 51-second entirety.

Instead, it came up with a fudge that entailed running in place of the song a news item explaining why the odd little 74-year-old tune (which reached number two) was in the music charts.

The news report ended up being 40 seconds longer than the song itself, which surely undid  any intention of reducing its impact.

Commercial radio stations also chose to run a news report combining clips of the song.

My view is that efforts to promote the song by critics of Lady Thatcher were puerile, inappropriate and bound to cause offence to a great number of people, not least the former prime minister’s family.

Nevertheless, the song should have been played in full.

The difficulty as ever in cases like this is that people disagree over what is or is not offensive.

If a broadcaster, or any other publisher, caves in to pressure from one side of an argument they leave themselves open to accusations of bias from another.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this controversy, though, has been the way that pro-Thatcher newspapers such as the Daily Mail have campaigned to have the Ding Dong song banned.

I have said before on this blog that newspapers should have every right to be partisan.

But for the Mail to call for censorship on one hand while arguing against press regulation on the other is quite simply hypocritical.


About John Wilson

Editor of Hereford Times, Ludlow Advertiser, Stroud News and Journal, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard and Gloucestershire Gazette series. Journalist for more than 30 years.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s