Friday, 2 September 2011

More Marmite required

In 1983 I was 22 years old. I had been politically active since I was a teenager but one event of that year inspired me to more political activity and it inspires me still. You may remember the news programme called Nationwide and one particular interview with Margaret Thatcher. If you don't remember Nationwide you will remember Mrs Thatcher, the Marmite of politics as you either loved her or hated her.

This was one of a series of interviews which allowed members of the public ask their questions to famous people. They were in another studio and their faces were on a screen in the background. Mrs Thatcher was asked about the Belgrano and how it could have been "a danger to our shipping" when it was outside the exclusion zone and heading in the opposite direction. You know, the thing you do if you don't want to be shot at. All Margaret did was to repeat her "danger to our shipping" phrase but had no substance to back this up. We were too stupid as members of the public to understand where the danger was coming from.

I suppose the Belgrano could have turned round and become aggressive and so could have been a danger, but I don't know of any Hollywood film that lets the good guys act like this. There is room for agreement with Maggie as long as you want to be one of the bad guys and if you are the bad guys then it isn't worth winning the war.

At the time of the interview I remember raising my arms in exasperation at the television. Maybe we need more Marmite to get more people concerned about politics.

Change the world


  1. And in some cases your taste buds change..and what you couldn't stomach such a long time ago doesn't seem so bad after all.

  2. And sometimes food that you could just about stomach later may make you sick.