Posts Tagged ‘Special Branch’

Top Secret File on Government Censorship of Panorama

Published March 16th 2017

In the summer of 1980 the BBC’s flagship documentary series Panorama was developing a TV special about British intelligence. This was the first film of its kind, and perhaps unsurprisingly Thatcher’s government was not happy about it. Downing Street put pressure on the film-makers via BBC Director-General Ian Threthowan, and an MI5 lawyer previewed the film and provided detailed feedback on what to remove.

ClandesTime 102 – Was Richard Whiteley a Spy?

Published March 12th 2017

Richard Whiteley is best known for presenting the popular afternoon quiz show Countdown, and Ricky Tomlinson is best known for starring in the popular sitcom The Royle Family. Back in the 1970s things were very different. This week we examine Tomlinson’s recent allegation that Whiteley was a ‘member’ of the security services, due to his role presenting an 1973 documentary that influenced the trial of the Shrewsbury 24 – including Tomlinson. This trial, and this documentary, were the British establishment’s revenge against Tomlinson and other leaders of the 1972 Building Workers Strike. Amidst an ongoing cover-up I examine the plausibility of Tomlinson’s allegation that Whiteley was a spy, and the unconvincing denial of the allegation by Whiteley’s former partner.

The Secret State Involvement in Kingsman

Published December 28th 2015

Kingsman is perhaps the most intriguing film of the year – on the face of it a cartoonish action comedy set in the world of gentlemen spies, but underneath it is an ultra-violent, racist, eugenicist film of dubious sexual virtue. No government agencies were listed in the credits for the film but at least two were involved in the movie. This confluence of quasi-deniable government involvement in an entertainment production and comedy being used as a trojan horse for darker real-world themes is a recurring phenomenon. However, Kingsman takes this further than perhaps any other recent movie.

The Pentagon and the World’s Biggest Film Franchises

Published December 6th 2015

The world’s biggest films now regularly take over a billion dollars in revenue, and the world’s biggest film franchises are multi-billion dollar businesses. What has never been reported before is that 6 of the top 10 (and 14 of the top 25) highest-grossing film franchises have been supported by government agencies, particularly the Department of Defense’s Entertainment Liaison Offices.

ClandesTime 064 – Kingsman

Published November 27th 2015

Today I am joined by good friend Adam of Themes & Memes to discuss the movie Kingsman. This is an action comedy set in the world of gentleman spies but beneath that exterior there is ultra-violence, a range of elitist, eugenicist philosophies, a rather sickening approach to sex, love and relationships and a whole lot more. So much, in fact, that even in this in-depth conversation we failed to cover it all. We also take a look at the state sponsorship of the film including the result of a FOIA request that I put in with the Metropolitan Police.

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