LDV readers say: BBC not justified in banning Carol Thatcher

by Stephen Tall on February 11, 2009

Last week, in the wake of the whipped-up hysteria surrounding Carol Thatcher being banned by the BBC from The One Show for using the term ‘golliwog’, LDV asked our readers if you thought the corporation was justified in its actions.

Here’s how you voted:

Yes, the BBC was justified – 44% (116 votes)
No, the BBC wasn’t justified – 52% (139)
Don’t know – 4% (11)
Total Votes: 266. Poll ran: 5th-10th February 2009

So, a bare majority of you think the BBC over-reacted to Carol Thatcher’s use of racially-loaded language.

The poll was picked-up by the Telegraph’s James Kirkup, who used it as a hook to make a wider argument:

Ever since the party’s creation, the Liberal Democrats have had an ambigious attitude to liberty, embodying what philosophers call the positive vs negative liberty debate.

In essence, a sizeable chunk of Lib Dems (especially the ex SDP lot) aren’t too keen on the idea of letting people spend, speak and generally live as they wish, believing instead that the benign state should help them reach their full potentiall, usually by taxing them and stopping them doing the things they enjoy.

The other strand of Lib Demmery tends more to the idea of liberty as freedom from interference and constraint: do what you like as long as you don’t harm others, in essence. … Anyway, [this poll’s] the latest straw in the wind, which suggests that JS Mill is still beating TH Green, so to speak.

All interesting stuff, though of course Lib Dem Voice polls are open to any and all of our readers, no matter what their political allegiance. By the way, do have a browse through the Telegraph reader comments, which are quite charmingly dotty.

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No comments

I wish I’d seen the survey. I certainly think that she should have been censured, crated up and shipped off to an uninhabited island somewhere remote as she is an idiotic, insufferable oaf.

Couldn’t care less about her comments, which have clearly been twisted out of all recognition by commentators far and near.

by wit and wisdom on February 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm. Reply #

Sorry do disappoint Mr Kirkup, but I am both ex-SDP and think the BBC was wrong to sack Carol Thatcher.

How much does Kirkup get paid to write this drivel?

by Sesenco on February 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm. Reply #

Sorry to disappoint Mr Kirkup, but I am both ex-SDP and think the BBC was wrong to sack Carol Thatcher.

It’s the sort of thing that commentators love as it makes life easier for them. The SDP/Liberal difference vanished a long time ago. Firstly, most Lib Dem members joined post-merger anyway. Secondly, I would hardly say that Paul Holmes and Mark Oaten (both ex-SDP) are on the same wing of the party.

by Anders on February 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm. Reply #

I found the question slightly off-track as I thought her sacking was more to do with her refusal to apologise for any offense rather than for her utterance of the term.

A better comparison is Boris Johnson who made a public show of his contrition and gained (ahem) ‘brownie points’ for demonstrating the power of repentance.

Bad communication and misunderstandings are natural and common, but it is how we react to events which show our true character.

by Oranjepan on February 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm. Reply #

It’s a Janet and John analysis and the Liberal/SDP split has long since vanished, but the negative/positive liberty issue does reflect a genuine tension within the party.

by Costigan Quist on February 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm. Reply #

hopefully a dynamic, creative tension which keeps us relevant and on our toes.

by Oranjepan on February 11, 2009 at 7:03 pm. Reply #

Maybe the polls should only be open to the members only section of the site.

by David from Ealing on February 11, 2009 at 11:33 pm. Reply #

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