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.

rea

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

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The song the Nazis loved, but then hated it.

edeleweiss

They say that music soothes the savage beast. quite often this is true, but it can also have an equal opposite effect and sometimes it can be both.

The song ‘Adolf Hitler’s Lieblingsblume ist die Schlichte Edelweiss'(Adolf Hitlers favorite flower is the simple Edelweiss) ,composed in 1933 by Otto Rathke, with lyrics by Emil Gustav Adolf Stadthagen and made popular by the German Opera Tenor Harry Steier, was one of Germany’s favourite songs.

However by 1939 it ended up on the list of songs which were banned in the third reich. It suddenly was branded degenerate music along with music from Jewish composers and Jazz music.

list

The reason why it fell out of favor was because it was seen as kitsch and it was also perceived as a satire on Hitler. It took them 6 years to figure that out.

Below is  a part of the English translation.

“High on steep cliff walls blooms a rare kind of flower,
to which the Kanzler quietly turns his thoughts.
A queen of the Alps this is his heart’s joy.
Adolf Hitlers favorite flower is the simple Edelweiss.

Take this song through all the districts,
plant it forth from mouth to mouth,
take a piece of the German soul around the whole world.
Plant it in hearts for the leader to praise and cherish.
Adolf Hitlers favorite flower is the simple Edelweiss”

Both composer and performer had died in 1936.

Now here is the real irony of this song, although it was banned by the Nazis, Some Neo Nazis are now endorsing it, another indication that aside from having some mental issues, they also know nothing about the history of the man they so adore.

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