political commentator * author * publisher * bookseller * radio presenter * blogger * Conservative candidate * former lobbyist * Jack Russell owner * West Ham United fanatic * Email iain AT iaindale DOT com
Sunday, May 31, 2009
If You Could Make a TV Documentary...
If you were offered the chance to make a TV documentary, either as a polemic or a piece of newsy reporting, what subject would you choose and why?
You, Iain, you.
I would make a documentary trying to decide who was the greatest Prime Minister, it would be abit like the Greatest Briton.
The abject failure of socialism wherever it's been tried.
How about this for a documentary title -
My idea is quite brilliant. That's all I will say...
The politicisation of the British media.
I would like a documentary on how ministers, past and present, are regarded by insiders for competence, personality traits and what they are like to work for.
I suspect most voters, including those interested in politics, have little clue.
I would want to produce something that hasn't been done before. The first thing that springs to mind is a serious, extensive critique of the BBC.
The way the media fail to report political stories from the perspective of how the policy choices would affect people, rather than following which ever convenient "editorial" or "spin" line they feel is most newsworthy, so dumbing down and demeaning politics.
The failure of centrist, personality politics; and the sham that the state can fix anything.
A proper debate on Flat Tax and a reform of the welfare state. I would propose a basic payment to every UK citizen in lieu of dole, pension, child benefits, etc. (Obviously the amount depends upon age, circumstances etc.) and everybody gets taxed the same amount (33%?) on any money they earn, however they earn / receive it. All fair and equitable and everybody gets treated the same.
The amorality of Tony Blair and his destruction of Britain.
& why the hell can't I log into this site?
Britain's eurosceptic public and europhile politicians/leaders.
The utter idiocy of the current model of globalisation.
People who have changed the world that no one has heard of
a documentary on the shocking levels of waste and largesse at the BBC, including full exposure of salaries and expenses.
I would like to see one made about 'The Plan' and its proposal to give the UK a direct democracy.
I'd be checking up on the long term results and effects of weight-loss diets.
In several decades I've yet to meet one person who has managed to lose more than 10kg (which is a normal weight variation anyway) and keep it off for good.
It can't be that the entire world is a bunch of munching wimps without willpower?
How about a programme called "I'm a Prime Minister - get me out of here!"
On a serious note, it would be of interest to put suitable candidates into a mock up of No 10 and give them realistic & morally tricky scenarios to solve. Allow him a team (cabinet) of choice, and then some "civil servants" who will control the flow of information in and out of No 10.
Run the show for 6 weeks, with 6 candidates, and then we could all vote for the one we want as the real PM.
A cross between the mass entertainment reality show, and a serious attempt to educate a wider audience on political realities away from all the sound bites.
Well you did ask.
How about 'Removal Men' a fascinating look at how Alasdair Darling gets himself ready for his annual lift to a new property.
This one is serious, it is the poisoning of the planet and its atmosphere.
Have to be about the pros and cons of elected mayors and how a robust system of scrutiny is essential for a form of governance that is centred on one individual - I'd use Newham as an example of how it shouldn't be done.
The religio-political reverberations of the execution of His Grace on 21st March 1556.
I would do one of the abject inability of the establishment to grasp the problem with Islamists in their midst.
I'd like to do a remake of an early example of 'reality' television I was involved in 25 years ago, namely the World in Action programme ('Claptrap') in which we coached a novice at public speaking to win a standing ovation at the SDP conference in 1894 - except that it would be even better to coach three speakers, one for each of the main party conferences.
"What really happened to Madeleine McCann?"
Because all the evidence points to death in the apartment.
You may wish to ask why the British Prime Minister has interfered with the Portuguese investigation on more than one occasion as well.
My choice would be: how Britain is losing its entrepreneurial spirit because the state interferes too much in people's lives and believes the state can solve all the problems, instead of leaving much more to the private sector.
Blimey! Some very angry/bitter people - yet we're within spitting distance of a new administration that just might reverse some of the annoyances of living here.
I'd have something much more positive - how about a 'phoenix from the ashes' documentary on those guys trying to get a new Woolies off the ground.
Dr David Kelly's death.
The contradictory evidence, the panic from Bliar, the outrageously narrow scoped Hutton report washing whiter than white. Concluding with a copy of all evidence being handed to The Hague war crimes commission.
I'd obviously hope to do a follow up piece called "Bliar on trial for war crimes and murder"
I would document the rise and fal of New Labour, which died when Tony Blair was stabbed in the back, and was replaced by the far left once Blair had secured a 3rd term for his party, with a smug Brown taking the reins while wiping his dagger clean of blood and hiding it under a treasury cushion.
And it would also document Labour's last days past the next general election, how the unelected Brown and his far left loonies brought Old Labour in through an obfuscated back door and completely turned people against one another via views on over-populated immigration, near bankrupting the country during the recession by borrowing and raising public debt to record levels, promoted discrimination against men in the so-called 'Equalities Bill' and then the expenses scandal erupted which was piano wire in disguise, but in cold justice form, rather than purely malicious.
And we still have yet more to come... stay tuned, kiddies.
Britain's got expenses.
Lance the Boyle before it drives you mad.
"My choice would be: how Britain is losing its entrepreneurial spirit because the state interferes too much in people's lives and believes the state can solve all the problems, instead of leaving much more to the private sector."
I would have gone for the failure of British industrial and economic policy, but it comes to the same thing.
The making of an English Parliament,( not British)
Depends how much time you are given.
A 'shortie' would be:
An hour or more:
The BBC - An Exposure
An investigation of the lies that took us to war in Iraq.
Nothing to do with politics. I'd love to do a documentary on the fluidity of sexuality, people who have gone from gay to straight (and vice-versa), set against an inquiry into the evidence for biological causation.
The incredible demise of this government, the tragic story of Gordon Brown and the likely long term damage the New Labour years have caused our country. It is partly a dig at Labour, but decisions this government have made and their fall from grace have been truly astonishing. They may be the subject of essays in the future.
An investigation into the reality of boxing and the attendant criminality and serious health issues.
I'd start with a title 'Are there limits to growth?'
Have a quick review of the book, then an in depth look at some of the interesting alternatives, bio-diesel from fungus, nano tech, developments in green farming.
As I'm curious to know if my optimism about the future is justified.
P.S, Who is Ray?
New Labour's hidden Communitarian agenda.
Not a documentary, but a great idea...
A series called Prime Minister for a Day, in which Living National Treasures (Joanna Lumley, Tim Berners-Lee etc), accompanied by a Civil Service advisers (Lord Butler?)set out their ideas on what they would do if they were put in charge for a day.
Definitely of the moment?
I would like a stab at uncovering why the majority of the Fourth Estate in this Country misled the British people by insisting for 10+ years that Gordon Brown was a good Chancellor of the Exchequer and why to this very day they continue giving this Government an easy ride. This last point personified by Gordon Brown's appearance today on the Andrew (I love Labour) Marr show.
I'd make an affectionate, feel-good piece on Britain's boat gypsies, in the style of Chris Terrill.
In backwaters, creeks and hidden places all around Britain's coast is a growing community of boat dwellers, living on everything from volkboats with leaky deckheads to sixty foot gin palaces. Frequently instinctively libertarian, often highly articulate and always thoroughly individualistic but with one thing in common - they loathe the intrusive State.
I've met a lot of 'em and like them a lot.
I'd do one about the Seven Years War, the world's first truly global conflict.
Or one about the long-running, catastrophic dynastic struggle between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the 12th Century.
Or one about the social revolution in England caused by the Black Death.
The BBC and its funding by licence which is a tax. In this technological age, why do we need a publicly-funded BBC given the choices
of channlels one can have.
Mine would be "They do things differently there" - a comparison of different aspects of life in some of the major European countries with our home grown efforts at healthcare, education, policing, criminal justice, skills training, etc. Enough for a series, I suspect, but so few people in Britain have any experience of living and working abroad and tend to accept what our politicians and the Murdoch media tell them. I remember recently seeing some poor old boy in Doncaster being pathetically grateful for his treatment on the NHS. He only had to wait a few months for his operation, was housed in a multi-occupancy ward and fed pigswill. Most of our European neighbours would find that shocking.
Of course in some regards, we might emerge quite well, but I suspect that a good many Brits would be shocked to see how they have been palmed off with second-rate schools and hospitals at massive expense, all the while being told by both Tory and Labour governments that we live in the best of all possible worlds.
On how the BBC managed to 'brain-wash' most of the population to believe the entirely fictitious story that G. Brown was a brilliant Chancellor.
I'd like to make one based on the book by Eamonn Butler, "The Rotten State of Britain".
It would detail why we are in this mess. If nothing else, it would be a warning to those who voted Labour, never to do it again!
I would do an investigation into that incident on the M25 last week which stopped you from getting to Sky News to do the newspaper reviews. There might have been an apology from "A. Cow" in the thread about it, but I think something more sinister was going on...
would like ot do something to highlight exactly how great our youngsters are.
Young people get a bad press, so highlighting how good the best are would provide a necessary balance.
I suspect it would great TV if it was done well too.
I've had an idea for some time, pitched it to the BBC etc. but, for some reason, they never replied - it's called 'The Strange Absence of Meerkats in Maidenhead'
Nature documentaries without sex and violence for the Viewer and Listeners Association.
It has to be a whistle-blowing expose of the global warming scam. The paucity of reliable science, the political and financial contamination of scientific process. The threats, the bullying, the well-organised and intensive lobbying, and the huge sums of tax-money behind this. The subsequent acquiescence of governments. The historical context (cf similarities with the nazi environmental movement in the years before WW2, similarities with religious fundamentalist movements - mankind's chasing of Utopian dreams etc).
Furthermore - the social consequences of the Global Warming movement - the undermining of confidence in a 'usable' future. The indoctrination of our school children - which as well as terrorising them, again strips them of any idea of an open, positive future in which to flourish. The scrutiny of the Global Warming movement and its direct negative effects on the world's markets - with attention paid to a loss of industrial and technological confidence and collapse in trade - with particular attention paid to the motor industry. It's effects on stopping meaningful trade development with the third-world (particularly Africa), forcing those countries back into poverty and a dependence upon 'aid'.
The refusal of scientists who support the AGW theory to enter into serious debate with those scientific experts who hold an informed scepticism. A look at Al Gore's frequent, well-documented, fleeing of any arena where the issue could be discussed and analysed intelligently.
Much more - in fact, this documentary would likely have to be a 6-part series. But think of the international confidence that would return when this monster is finally laid to rest in the history books - under the chapter "the decade of endarkenment - the quasi-religious sabotaging of science".
The ID card scheme. A proper in-depth look at how they are going to work (and how they won't work) and how they could be misused in the future (e.g. turned into a licence to visit a bar, with the drinking "privilege" stored on the card and revoked for "inappropriate" behaviour).
The deconstruction of the British Constitution by the NuLab project
A follow up to "the Great Global Warming Con"... because it needs to be done, NOW
I would dearly love to make a documentary about the destructive evil of drugs which has and continues to destroy hundreds of thousands of lives in particular Heroin or Brown as it is known on the streets, once hooked on this substance all is lost.
Included in the documentary i would like a full investigation as to how tens of thousands of todays heroin addicts and other class A drug users came to be addicted to these substances of certain death.
I have personal experiance of this not by taking any drugs but some old friends sadly some not with us anymore due to Heroin overdoses... how did they get addicted? they were in at her Majesties pleasure and to get through the time served most inmates used to smoke weed , rightly or wrongly whatever view its what a lot of prisoners have done since time, anyway because of the effect it had on the inmates in the calming effect it was largely and widely accepted and the screws turned a blind eye. then a certain MP in her wordly wisdom when she was Home Secetary or some other Minister of Prison or something like that decided against all expert advice, to not under no circumstances bring in the drug testing in prisons it will cause mayhem , why... Weed remains in ones system for weeks , but class A can be washed out in 24 hours with enough water , so all the Class C weed puffers turned to heroin and crack and the like and became addicts, in fact tens of thousands became addicts and thousands actualy died because of this due to drug abuse, and all to score a cheap political point and a jump up the political greasy pole.
Oh , one more important thing , i would like Anne Widdecombe to front this documentary.
You will be a brave man Ian to let this one go! See some MPs who come over all righteous are not so righteous as they seem are they, and they have very selective memories, i wonder what it must feel like to contribute to the deaths of thousands of young people and know that thousands of family members have seen there lives uttery destroyed, and they wonder why they are all detested so much
645 Little Piggies Went A Troughing or The Guido Fawkes DIY Prosecute An MP Guide.
1) How about the Human condition. What makes us tick. How much our emotions play in guiding every decision we make in our life, especially fear. That we only use our logic to justify our decisions. The more we understand the human animal the more tolerant we will become.
2) Following on from Michael Palin's "Poles Apart" but about the differing (or not so differing) life's of pole dancers around the globe. :-)
3) About how resentful the welfare system can be. Many are "Trapped in the system by the system!" A docemantary that highlights on a daily basis the ineptness of the many tedious procedures that welfare reciepients have to endure. The crazy rules that stop those who want to work or re-educate from doing so.
Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubanks.
the last three property crashes. 73',90',2008 and the effect on the political landscape.
I would make a series of documentaries on why the BBC has decided that the 1980s is pooh pooh, and its habit of moving famous and popular trends of the 1980s into the 1970s in its documentaries and dramas (for instance, the snazzy red 1982 Trimphone called "The Phoenixphone" turned up in Life On Mars - set in 1973 - and the Thatcher drama Margaret - in a scenes supposedly set in 1975).
I find this rewriting of history fascinating - and have done ever since "I Love The 1970s" ripped most of the fads out of 1967-1983, whilst claiming to be a year-by-year rundown of 1970s pop culture.
My documentary would be called: "The BBC's 1970s: Taking Over The World - Beginning With The 1960s And 1980s."
Ian,We need to start attacking more ukip hard.There our enemies taking off our members and donations.There not our friendly little brothers or cousins.They cost us over 30 seats in 2005 by taking 2/3 percent in marginals and there going to hurt us this time and stop our momentum for 2010.Thats why we need to come out swinging against them.Closet Ukippers need not apply.
Hmmm...something on the lines of: Cultural Marxism -- how it's infested every aspect of our lives: the BBC, multiculturism, political correctness, human resources-speak and 'diversity co-ordinartors', New Labour, Old Labour, soft Toryism, local councils, the universities and teaching unions. There was a documentary in the US called "Indoctrinate U" that showed us what happens in the universities here; it only touched on a small aspect of the philosophy. It would be like a right-wing Michael Moore film.
"A history of risk"- exploring the foundations of, and understandings about, probability, a ubiquitous mathematical construct with no agreed interpretation. The consequences for a society which combines innumeracy with malfunctioning risk manipulations: health scares, the lottery casualties, gambling addicts, the credit crunch, health and safety. The overlap between risk and human psychology. Ok it would have an audience of one!
a documentary on why it is right that the CWT can donate £250,000 to Labour just when Post Office privatisation is being considered and no one in the MSM thinks it is significant enough to mention
I'm torn between two great mysteries of political life.
Either the David Kelly affair on which the Hutton enquiry was an affront to our intelligence or the Brown Budgets 1997-2007 which were instrumental in the obsfucation of the UK fiscal and monetary policy for a decade.
How our once confident culture has become frightened, anxious, unsure of itself and rotten with relativism of all kinds - how our public life and culture have slowly been colonized by the enfeebling language of psychotherapy and how a once stoic, humourous and civilised people have, to a significant extent, become shallow, boorish, sentimental, hysterical and selfish.
The Right to Bear Arms. Included in two of the most important constitional documents in history (the British and American Bills of Rights) but now overlooked on this side of the pond. It's one of those programmes the BBC would never make.
How Heath & 600+ MP`s committed Treason & Sediton 1971-1972.
And how they were eventually severely punished!
NEETS the scourge of our age.
The effects of the smoking ban on the British pub.
A book by Will Hutton called The State We're In. Written 10 plus years ago. Revisit it, whats changed. What gov't policies have helped. What promised policies failed. What's still needed.
How about a documentary how Labour Ministers were promoted so far out of their depth eg Estelle Morris so good that she resigned but was sent to the Lords anyway or Jacqui Smith now facing a defamation action for banning a fairly innocuous US "shock jock".
A fictionalised account of how it plays out in open court:
The Defendant: "I was told that he was engaging in unacceptable behaviour by making comments that might provoke others to serious criminal acts and foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence."
Morland J: What did he do or say?
JS:"I don't know"
Morland J: "So you acted on hearsay and gossip?"
JS "Er we are doing the right thing, helping hard working families, er non working families, to get back into being working families, rather than the do nothing Tories .....Do you know who I am"
Morland J "No so f@@k off" (This is not Guido's blog)
Morland J: "I had that Neil Hamilton before me once I didn't believe him then ...I do now"
I like Prime Minister for a Day, but mine would be called 'If it works for the Swiss, why the feck can't it work for us?' an exploration of democracy in Switzerland which challenges the assumption that we're all too thick to make something similar work here.
What isn't there to love about a political system in which party leaders take turns at being 'president' on a rota basis?
Commemorate the 60th anniversary of the publication of "1984" (The day after the EU election results come out) and how much of it has come, and is coming, true.
Quangos and all the money they waste. Who is appointed to them and their links with other organisations/political parties.
Ive got 2!
1. Why people vote like sheep or because they think its a class issue not a policy choice.
2. A news programme that is treated like a board meeting with a recurring agenda. Same Order of Buisness until the story is resolved, hosted by a chairman and a board of repoters to investigate the story.
Follow the life of a £ once taxed. How it goes from the pocket of the individual into the grasp of government and what happens as it twists and turns its way through the system.
Where does it go, how does it get there and who/how those decisions are made.
I'd follow the shadow cabinet on the month leading to the general election. See how they campaign, prepare for the handover of power that sort of thing. Incidently I have worked in Television as an editor and cameraman on a few fly on the wall docs. So if any producer ou there is interested, I am available!
a documentary on the shocking levels of waste and largesse at the BBC, including full exposure of salaries and expenses.
May 31, 2009 4:59 PM
this is a good idea.
would like to do something to highlight exactly how great our youngsters are.
May 31, 2009 7:09 PM
pass the sickbag.
don't care as long as its not about parliamentary expenses
How about "The disappearance of objective journalism and the rise of op-ed articles combined with owner driven reporting bias" ?
England Reformation to Restoration and what it can teach us today about rebuilding Britain.
Get rid of an interfering Europe
Encourage enterprise and self-help
How to create an integrated, patriotic society
Don't let the fascists destroy parliament
Don't let the PC puritains run amock - they can emigrate if they want to persecute people!
Don't run up Government debt
Education a la Erasmus and Thomas Moore's Utopia for responsible citizenship.
Great ideas to learn from, and the English History so many are ignorant of!!
Those hard working people on low incomes and the way that the tax system works against them. Too proud to simply give up and claim benefits they're doing 2,3 ,4 jobs to make ends meet yet pay proportionately more in tax than any other sector.They have lives based on need not want.
That's what I'd like to see.
The way Brown and his ilk have royally screwed these hard-up, hard working people and the way great gobbets of their poor wages go to pay for the profligacy of the middle class, well-off, public service social engineers.
There are more of them than you think and it's something the political class need to consider and then hang their heads in shame.
I'd just re-broadcast Milton Friedman's "Free To Choose"
I'd make it about the left wing bias at the BBC.
How to oil Megan Fox"In Forty half-hour programs, Constantly Furious shows you how to apply oil to actress Megan Fox correctly.
Filmed in a variety of exotic locations. Which, ironically, is exactly where the oil is applied to Ms. Fox.
Fraudulent Work permits / Intra-company Transfers and the destruction of the lives of highly skilled British people.
I'd do a documentary on the wonderful world of lesbian porn
How people could be encouraged to vote.
I would pick up on the moral capitalism speech of David Cameron and subsequently put forward the notion that communitarian conservatism is the right wing third way between One-Nation conservatism and Thatcherism.
A simplification of Tory ideology and precisely nobody would watch it, but it would interest me as the documentary maker and that is all that counts!!!
And the winner is???
Hmm, contrary to some peoples belief I wouldn't choose the theme "Why Is Peter Hitchens an Asshole?" I would be torn between..
* analysing the single mother stats in Britain as that term conjures up a particular, and negative image (when single mother could mean widowed or divorced/abandoned) and compare the benefits bill with MP's expenses for example.
* consider crime stats after a street hired private security (old fashioned policing) and contrast todays methods with those of the 50's (there's a good few government films about the subject) and include our perception of feeling safe to crime stats.
The dire economic and social effects of the smoking ban. 4,000 pubs closed, 40,000 unemployed, 23% of all staff in pubs have been fired.
Constantly furious, do you need an apprentice on that?
I would make a documentary about public swimming pools and the way they've been closed down all over the country. The Govt's Free Swimming offer is all too often the offer of a 'free swim' in a closed pool.
The lidos and open air pools of Britain are particularly at risk, because so often developers want to use the site for car parks, retail units or housing.
I've spent the last seven years campaigning to try and save Broomhill Pool in Ipswich, but Ipswich Borough Council are now contemplating putting holiday homes there, despite the fact that this is a Grade II Listed building.
I would like to see proper funding for all our public pools, integrated into the fight against obesity, diabetes etc.
The draconian Libel laws in this country and how they are stifling free speech around the world.
A study of the Welfare State. How it was turned from a safety net into a hammock. How it dis-incentivises people from work. How it creates whole estates full of people whose only "work" is criminality. How it encourages breeding by those most unfit to be reproduced.
How to get a Parliament without political parties, if we as a nation wanted to. The steps to get there, and what it would be like with only independents. Would it be any better etc...
Hey, Peter at May 31, 2009 7:13 PM - would you care to collaborate on writi8ng a script ?
Am intrigued as to why you are thinking about it though, Iain!
As for me, possibly a series on postwar Prime Ministers or the English Civil War, or one on the House of Lords
How about how New Labour, from 97 - 07, managed to pump in an additional half a trillion pounds (not total, additional) into the NHS and only reduced waiting list numbers from 1,000,000 to 800,000: source, President of the Royal College of Physicians on BBC Hardtalk. A national outrage. We need to know how this happened.
Labour's quiet but effective building of the police state.
The explanations of booms and busts associated with the Austrian school of economics.
Radio 4 recently had a short piece by Hugh Hendry supposedly about why Schumpeter is better than Keynes. Unfortunately it hardly touched on economics at all; it was instead about Schumpeter's personality.
We need a good documentary about the harm caused by central banks, the harm caused by inflation, how the government disguises their dilution of the currency, how dilution transfers wealth from the poor to the well-connected, the problems of the historical gold standards, and what a proper currency would look like.
Hayek's ideas in "The Denationalisation of Money" and "Choice in Currency" would be a good place to start.
I would do a doc on corrupt Britain to show how the elite use social networks to operate a close shop and glass ceiling on public appointments.
We know that a considerable number of MPs are bent, lets look at the camp followers and cohorts.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University
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