29 July 2016

Revolutionaries at the BBC

Bush House in London
Paul Kriwaczek’s book In Search of Zarathustra, about the prophet Zoroaster, refers to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and to the role of the BBC’s World Service in the machinations which led up to it.

This is his description of the goings-on at Bush House, where the World Service was then located.
In the early 1970s, Bush House, the headquarters of the BBC External Services in London’s Strand, was a very unusual place. Developed, designed and decorated by Americans and dedicated to the ‘friendship of the English-speaking peoples’, its imposing pillared portico sheltered dozens of groups of intelligent, articulate, often politically motivated expatriates and refugees from positively non-English-speaking peoples, who sat before the microphones of the BBC, representing to the world in dozens of languages the face of British post-colonial even-handedness and fair play.

At the same time, and in the same serious spirit, many plotted and planned among themselves the confusion, if not the outright overthrow, of their governments. It was said that no other building on earth housed as large a number of would-be — and actual — revolutionaries and insurrectionists at the same time. Meeting in the canteen, and debating and arguing for hour upon hour, day after day, they often seemed to be balanced just on the edge of action. Eventually plucking up the courage to jump after many false starts, they mostly came to a sad end. *
The extract may be taken to illustrate how the BBC (at least parts of it) has for many decades been promoting socialism as the preferred ideology.

* In Search of Zarathustra, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2002, p.9

I appeal for financial and moral support in improving my position.
I need people to provide moral support both for fund-raising, and as temporary or possibly long-term workers. Those interested should read my post on interns.