Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Thatcher’

5 Examples of Hollywood’s Influence on Politics

Published June 30th 2016

Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, said Paul Begala (probably). Washington is the entertainment capital of the world, said Jack Valenti. Washington’s influence on Hollywood, the state’s influence on popular culture, is the primary topic of this site. But what about Hollywood’s influence on politics, the influence of popular culture on the state? After all, if mass culture can shape the perceptions of people like us, the general public, then why shouldn’t it shape the perceptions of politicians and the establishment?

ClandesTime 075 – The Secret World of Tom Clancy Part II: The Government Connections

Published April 4th 2016

Tom Clancy’s books are known for their technical accuracy, their political realism and their curious ability to foreshadow future events. In this episode we explore his government connections – to the FBI, CIA, Pentagon and the White House. We examine whether these connections are what enabled Clancy to write such prophetic fiction, and the impact of that on his readers. We also look at the influence of Clancy’s work on the government, from an elaborate inside joke within the CIA to the reading habits of Ronald Reagan. We round off looking at two possible Clancy copycats, both American men who flew planes into buildings (one before 9/11 and one after).

Disinfowars 13 – Institutional Secrecy

Published August 6th 2015

Following on from last week’s show I look at how the intelligence services who were causing mayhem in Northern Ireland were protected by a culture of institutional secrecy in the British government. Via a little-known government file that was declassified in 2009 I tell the story of government policy on avowing the existence of the security services. This episode focuses in on the late 1970s when a major shift in that policy – admitting MI6’s existence after 30 years of denial – was contemplated by the Prime Minister. The tale of how this shift was averted involves the Cabinet Secretary Sir John Hunt and a woman who would herself soon be Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. By reconstructing the timeline of events I offer a different view of how this potentially major shift in policy was diverted, which resulted in the existence of MI6 not being officially admitted until 1994.

Thatcher, the Army boots and Yes, Minister

Published January 2nd 2015

The latest batch of documents released by the UK National Archives includes a file on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s visit to Northern Ireland in December 1982. Buried within the documents is an exchange about the quality of Army overboots provided to the Bessbrook barracks in County Armagh. Thatcher’s handwritten notes on this letter, aside from expressing her rage at the letter being very late and evasive, describe it as ‘a bureaucratic gem’ and than she will ‘show this to Anthony Jay’, the co-writer of the popular BBC sitcom Yes, Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister.

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