I’ve listened to the BBC since Tommy Handley’s ITMA (IT’s THAT MAN AGAIN), “JUST WILLIAM”, DICK BARTON –(Special Agent). Radio Eireann didn’t come on in the morning before about 1950 (AD – not 7.30 PM). A long newspaper strike caused it to come on at 8.00 AM for the NEWS and commercially sponsored programmes and at 9.00 AM Bulletin kept it on until 9.30. It came on again at 1.00 PM for the news plus sponsored programmes until it went off at 2.30 pm.until 5.00 PM.
One sponsored programme, for DONNELLY’S SKINLESS SAUSAGES were nearly seventy years ahead of their time, for Vegans could have consumed them with a good conscience .Another sponsored programme featured space-travellers from our planet dodging the detritus of vehicles left from travellers from Venus, described, I kid you not, as “Venereal Wrecks.” I wonder what jokerNwrote the script. It would not have passed Auntie BBC in that buttoned up age.
Any how there was much to enjoy on both the BBC and Radio Eireann in those days.
As the 1940s gave way to the 1950s I got to note the tones of BBC announcers when “terrorists”, who seemed to spring up wherever John Bull planted his jackboots, killed British servicemen. I particularly noted the pained “This hurts me more than it hurts you” tones of a Victorian flogger of children as shouldering The White Man’s Burden, the British regularly hanged Kikuyu by the score at Thompson’s Falls in Kenya, in one of Britain’s countless bloody “Emergencies.”
I may be mistaken but I imagine the Dambusters’ March being played when the RAF was bombing Alezandria during the attack on Egypt. I was never such a Dumb B..tard as to sympathise with the carriers of the White Man’s Burden. I prayed for the “terrorists” and wished they had been equipped with Thompson Guns and spared the drop at Thompson Falls and similar sites in the Empire.
I always winced when the BBC spoke of “EIRE”. They didn’t speak of “La France” or “Deutschland” when broadcasting in English. Why the exception when it came to Ireland?
Irish representatives at the UN sit at desks marked IRELAND. It’s not a new title so we shouldn’t have to ask, like Muhammad Ali – what’s our name? Though the temptation to hit BBC people is always there.
Now, God Help us and Save us!, we have to listen to talk of “a Border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.” I don’t know what a “BackStop” or “Back-Stop” is and I doubt most people in Britain or “Northern Ireland” or “Ireland” do, I believe the expression comes from baseball, an American game whose rules I don’t know. I know “getting to first base” is an expression often used to denote some stage of wooing, but which stage I don’t know. It sounds fun. But a a Back Stop suggests a suppository.
For the BBC commentators I would suggest suppositories as recommended by Corporal Jones, with the hope they don’t like ‘em up ‘em.