Some people are a bit surprised at a BBC decision not to allow a statue of George Orwell (Should that not be Eric Blair?) because ‘he’s too left wing’ these are the people who generally thing the BBC themselves are too ‘left wing’.
When the George Orwell Memorial Trust proposed a statue of the writer for outside the BBC’s new headquarters it expected an enthusiastic response.
However, not everyone appeared enamoured of the plan.
According to Baroness Bakewell, who is backing the campaign, Mark Thompson, the Corporation’s outgoing director general, said the statue could not be erected on BBC premises because Orwell was “too Left-wing”.
Orwell worked as a BBC journalist, producing radio programmes at Broadcasting House during the Second World War before leaving to publish Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Mr Thompson’s remark will surprise critics of the BBC, who have long accused the corporation of liberal bias.
The clue is actually in the article itself as to why the BBC is not exactly enamoured of Orwell in the shape of Animal Farm and 1984, both showing the excesses of left wing thinking that the BBC and others believe in and have slavishly followed despite all the evidence that socialism itself is not a fair or indeed a civilised political system.
Orwell himself fought in Spain for the republican side and became as he saw it a revolutionary socialist, though subsequent exposure to real socialism as practised by the left and the cult of Stalin lead to his disillusionment with the movement culminating in the publication of Animal Farm in 1945. Yes Orwell remained of the left as such in that he believed in a fair, just and free society even though most of the left when in power ended up with societies of anything but and Orwell knew this. Which is why he became ever more critical and despondent of the so called orthodox left who slavishly defended the excesses of those like Stalin and the other communist block leaders despite mounting evidence of their monstrous crimes committed in their name by the states they ruled.
No, I suspect that the BBC do not want a statue of Orwell outside their premises not because he was too left wing, but because he was a critic of those to whom left wing meant power at any price.
“So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”
Well said George.