For other types of media
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#284569
Any memories of ubiquitous professional complainer Mary Whitehouse?

I understood that the BBC refused to even respond to her in the 60s and generally gave her letters to Johnny Speight to write into Alf Garnett monologues.

I remember her more as anregular guest on Channel 4's Right to Reply. Jeremy Isaac played her like a fiddle knowing full a Whitehouse rant is would boost any flagging ratings. The Daily Mail has played the same role at Channel 4 press department for the past few decades.

My own memory of her was of a rather silly nice old lady but watching a documentary about her a few years back she came across as a nasty repellent character with heavy political agnda who voice even seemed to mimic Enoch Powell.
By Lord Brett
Membership Days Posts
#284589
Yes, she was a religious extremist who was involved in the first Christian movment against the 60's Permissive Society, the Nationwide Festival of Light. They were paritcularly anti Gay, and the Gay Liberation Front would wind them up something rotten at Festival of Light meetings, turning up dressed as nuns and letting loose mice.

Also, she was responsible for the prosecution and subsequent closure of Gay News magazine for Blasphemous Libel (editor Denis Lemon came very close to being jailed).

I never had any time for the old cow, but for a possibly more balanced view it's worth reading this piece from The Spectator by Mary Kenny.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehous ... hitehouse/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Lord Brett on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
By The Weeping Angel
Membership Days Posts
#284593
She would also have a regular go at Doctor Who as well. Interestingly when it came to Til Death she never complained about the racist language or reactionary views of Alf Garnett but his swearing
 
By Daley Mayle
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#284595
She was right about the degeneration of TV. In comparison with the 1960s some of the stuff on today's TV could only be bought from seedy shops in the backstreets. There's now extreme violence, sado-masochism and industrial quality bad language. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on one's point of view.
By Lord Brett
Membership Days Posts
#284607
Daley Mayle wrote:She was right about the degeneration of TV. In comparison with the 1960s some of the stuff on today's TV could only be bought from seedy shops in the backstreets. There's now extreme violence, sado-masochism and industrial quality bad language. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on one's point of view.
The question of whether Whitehouse had any lasting influence is an intersting one. This is from Mary Kenny's article:
Yet despite her over-statement and misjudged targets Mary Whitehouse was a significant figure. Some of her battles were justified, even prophetic. Today her attacks on ‘kiddie porn’
would be widely supported. In the late 1970s paedophilia was regarded by some as a valid ‘sexual orientation’, while the Paedophile Information Exchange was associated with the National Council for Civil Liberties. Piquantly, Natalie Walter, daughter of the anarchist and atheist Nicholas Walter, a fierce enemy of Mrs Whitehouse, has recently written Living Dolls, a denunciation of the sexualisation of young girls.

Mary Whitehouse’s views on pornography and rape have also been endorsed by feminists. When I encountered her again in the early 1980s, at a Cambridge Union debate where she inveighed against the degradation of women by pornography, a group in the audience raised their clenched fists and shouted ‘Right on, Mary.’
I don't really understand the reference to Natalie Walter - is she trying to say that Nicholas Walter was in favour of the sexualisation of young girls and his daughter isn't? That aside, the an interesting debate is to be had about what influence Whitehouse ultimately had.
Some of Whitehouse's views (like those on sexualisation of the very young) have become mainstream while others are either abhorrent to most (her homophobia) or have clearly had absolutely no effect (violence on TV).
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#284624
Daley Mayle wrote:She was right about the degeneration of TV. In comparison with the 1960s some of the stuff on today's TV could only be bought from seedy shops in the backstreets. There's now extreme violence, sado-masochism and industrial quality bad language. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on one's point of view.
I don't think degeneration of TV is something even her favourite targets, like Ken Loach, Johnny Speight, Tony Garnett etc. would disagree with.
But by her yardstick the Soparnos and Big Brother, containing the F word, would both be cut from the same cloth. Big Brother with no swearing but populated by blacked up singing minstrals however would be qualitiy entertainment.

She thought she had a kindred spirit in Thatcher but unfortunately for Whitehouse, Thatcher understood the free market a little better and knew that a working class with more mobility and disposable income would fancy a taste of the 'permissive' pleasures the ' Roy Jenkins supporitng metropolitan elites' and the Rolling Stones enjoyed in the 60s and the Tory arisocracy had always enjoyed.
 
By MisterMuncher
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#284864
youngian wrote:
I don't think degeneration of TV is something even her favourite targets, like Ken Loach, Johnny Speight, Tony Garnett etc. would disagree with.
But by her yardstick the Soparnos and Big Brother, containing the F word, would both be cut from the same cloth. Big Brother with no swearing but populated by blacked up singing minstrals however would be qualitiy entertainment.

This, in spades. Whitehouse's approach to decency and correctness was akin to one of those hyperactive swear filters that won't let you type "Scunthorpe". She had no truck with ideas like "context" or "adult audiences". It was a blanket approach, lines that couldn't be crossed. A fixed notion that her aesthetic preferences were moral imperatives, as seen today in the manifold gibberings of Hitchens, P. or Truss, L.

I don't know if I'd be so sure that TV has degenerated. I think there's much more good stuff out there, it's just in amongst larger quantities of shite. I wouldn't say it was even objectively worse shite, merely more varied.
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
#285257
Bare in mind Mary Whitehouse's main targets were the growing number of talented radical filmmakers looking at the country's dirty underbelly. Up the Junction, Cathy Come Home, the Wednesday Play were to be pillored for bad language of course. Even ITV companies like Thames and Granada made challenging drama and documentary in the 60s and 70s.

Now that any socially and politically concious TV drama is history you can say Whitehouse had a partial victory.

It is hard work to point out this out to the 'BBC is lefty bias' brigade who are deluded that British TV was once a golden age of cosy family entertainment.
By Inquisitor
Membership Days
#285673
Tubby Isaacs wrote:The Telegraph's Ed West likes her because he thinks the "liberal elite" hated her.

Obviously, history has found the liberal elite in the sixties were the ones talking rubbish, and Whitehouse's views are now mainstream.
I wouldn't say that all of her views are mainstream, but much of what she campaigned against appears to be in the spotlight once again.
By shyamz
Membership Days Posts
#285676
Lord Brett wrote:
Daley Mayle wrote:
Piquantly, Natalie Walter, daughter of the anarchist and atheist Nicholas Walter, a fierce enemy of Mrs Whitehouse, has recently written Living Dolls, a denunciation of the sexualisation of young girls.
I don't really understand the reference to Natalie Walter - is she trying to say that Nicholas Walter was in favour of the sexualisation of young girls and his daughter isn't?
I find that odd as well, the fact that a woman who wrote a book about the sexualisation of young girls had a father who was a well known sixties anarchist and atheist is coincidence rather than "piquant". Perhaps it's a sneer at his atheism, or a dig at his anarchist past (implying that his type were focused on selfish concerns and not bothered about real issues).
By CerealDave
Membership Days
#308552
"When the nation knew you'd had children
It came as such a surprise
We really didn't know you'd had it in you
How you did it we can only surmise..."

[youtube]YvviInCUW8o[/youtube]
The Tories, Generally

Imagine living in a world where IDS, Howard and […]

Yes, a quick read of Evelyn Waugh backs that up.[…]

Brexit Fuckwit Thread

Christ, Jenkyns is dim.

Boris Johnson

Old Tories loved the church because of its char[…]