The Broadcasting voice restrictions

BBC

On this day 30 years ago the British Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, issued a notice under clause 13 of the BBC Licence and Agreement to the BBC and under section 29) of the Broadcasting Act 1981 to the Independent Broadcasting Authority prohibiting the broadcast of direct statements by representatives or supporters of eleven Irish political and military organisations. The ban prevented the UK news media from broadcasting the voices, though not the words, of ten Irish republican and Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups, these included  IRA, INLA, UVF and UDA as well as Sinn Féin.(bizarrely enough it did not include Ian Paisley’s DUP).the thatch and hurd

The Government’s notice on Northern Ireland broadcasting restrictions came into force on 19 October 1988 after an escalation in paramilitary violence over the preceding summer months.

Home Secretary Hurd, told the Commons that the ban was being instituted because ‘the terrorists themselves draw support and sustenance from access to radio and television .the time had come to deny this easy platform to those who used it to propagate terrorism. Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, said it would “deny terrorists the oxygen of publicity”.

The ban did not have the desired effect and any one with a common sense would have been able to guess that.

It did create a few ironies though.

The ban sparked the creativity  of broadcast organisations and actors were hired to do voice overs. Actors became so skilled in lip-syncing sound clips for news bulletins that viewers barely noticed the dubbing.Some actors could earn up to £120 per session.

Stephen Rea, who was among the actors to voice Gerry Adams in interviews, later told the Irish Times he tried to speak the lines “as clearly and neutrally as possible, Stephen Rea’s wife though had been an IRA volunteer at the time.

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The restrictions also applied to non news or current affair TV Shows.In December 1988 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Tom King, ordered Channel 4 to cancel an episode of the US drama series Lou Grant that featured the story of a fictional IRA gunrunner, even though it had aired previously.

Restrictions were temporarily  lifted during the 1992 general election, facilitating  a political debate between the SDLP leader John Hume and the  Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams  to be heard during the election campaign, but the ban resumed once the polls were closed.

Adams and Hume

The Republic of Ireland had its own similar legislation that banned anyone with links to paramilitary groups from the airwaves, but repealed this in January 1994. The British government followed suit on 16 September 1994, two weeks after the first IRA ceasefire had been declared.

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Sources

BBC

RTE

Guardian

 

 

 

 

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May the Force be with you

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No movie buff could ignore this day’May the 4th’ or better known as “May the 4th be with you”. The day that is now widely accepted as Star Wars day.

But why is that:

The original movie “Star Wars -A New hope” opened on May 25th 1977.

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It would forever change the way movies were made, and left a footprint so deep in the culture that sometimes “culture” feels synonymous with “Star Wars.”

So why not have he 25th of May as “Star Wars” day. For a time it actually was the 25th.

The phrase ‘May the 4th be with you’ originates from something from a galaxy far far away from Star Wars. It actually comes from British politics.

The reference was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.Britain’s Conservative Party celebrated the election of British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, by taking out a full-page ad in the London Evening News. The ad read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This was for Thatcher’s inauguration date as Prime Minister: May 4, 1979. In only two years, Star Wars‘ Jedi catchphrase was recognizable and influential enough even to be used in the soap opera that is British politics.

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The date was chosen for the pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you” as “May the Fourth be with you”. Even though the holiday was not actually created or declared by Lucas film, many Star Wars fans across the world have chosen to celebrate the holiday. It has since been embraced by Lucas film as an annual celebration of Star Wars.

I will not go into whether May the 5th or May the 6th should be known as Revenge of the fifth/sixth as a pun on ‘Revenge of the Sith’ that would bring me to close to the dark side. To be honest this is not the Sith fan you are looking for.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

CBR

Starwars.com