On the BBC, programmes on activism and industrial action not to be missed

Perhaps in response to the predicted summer of rage, we are in the midst of great stuff on the BBC some of which are available for download for the next week or so:

The Miners’ Strike on BBC4 – a seriously high quality documentary about the 1984 miners’ strike mixing original footage, reconstructions and on-location interviews with police, government officials, striking miners and the still-pariah minority of working miners, and their wives. Solid gold (or should I say solid coal), although flinchingly violent and extremely emotional. You can’t watch this one again – try UKNova.

Tonight is another episode of the BBC4 series on the miners’ strike, Coal House At War, followed by All Our Working Lives: Cutting Coal and – perhaps the one I’m most interested in – My Strike, whose synopsis reads:

“Documentary looking at how going on strike became almost a rite of passage in earlier times, as the likes of Lord Tebbit, Greg Dyke, Peter Snow, Eddie Shah and Anne Scargill recall just what their strike meant to them.”

Call Yourself a Feminist – BBC Radio 4, first of a series beginning with a look back at the ’50s and ’60s with Sally Alexander, Sonia Fuentes, Elaine Showalter and others. Including the famous ‘bra burning’ reference which convinced the world looking back that there had been some kind of conflagration – there hadn’t. Betty Friedan:

The BBC is brilliant isn’t it. I’m going to make sure that when the bastards come for it, I’m ready.

4 thoughts on “On the BBC, programmes on activism and industrial action not to be missed

  1. I wasn’t taking notice of these strikes at the time, but yeah, turns out Tebbit had a dreadful time. First he got cross with the bosses then he got cross with the union. Awful awful. Most people on My Strike seemed to feel abused by their union. Ann Scargill was one exception – she said at the end – can’t remember her exact words but she’s sitting there very straight and dignified with her beautiful Barnsley-ish (who knows – no Wikipedia entry for Ann. But oh my god I’m fucking good – on his entry it says she worked in Barnsley Co-op) accent (‘yawnians’) – anyway she says something like “They were working class. Striking was all they had. How else were they going to get anybody to take notice of them?”

  2. I don’t think this world is a remotely safe place for kids which is the main reason I don’t have any. The other reason might be that none of the women down my dad’s side of the family did for 3 generations – I’m unusual in actually having a relationship. But anyway the product of all this viewing and listening for me was a little reverie which came and went all day about a global strike on child-bearing – of men and women – until our elected representatives fix poverty, war, the environment, waste and energy. I imagined a fight at the contraceptive factories as the governments tried to prevent work at them, and all kind of ramifications from that which culminated in a global revolution. Also an alternative scenario where after two years everything in the world was fixed.

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