antique_vintage_german_bronze_devil_letter_opener_knife_dagger_desk_piece_satan_1_thumb2_lgwIn an era where the opinion-forming classes have decided that concepts such as right and wrong are far too simplistic and ‘binary’, it may take more than average courage to stand up for what you think is right; but it is that courage that Christians are supposed to manifest, and it may be by such a profession that we are to be known as His.

Francis Phillips commented earlier that Mary Whitehouse was a courageous and prophetic woman; yet then, as now, she was mocked by the commentariat.  The pompous buffoon man who ran the BBC back then, Hugh Carleton Greene, deployed that ultimate British weapon, snobbery. Mrs Whitehouse was ‘ghastly’ and ‘suburban’. Now, despite the fact that most of the folk who paid Greene’s salary probably lived in the suburbs, he, and politicians like the late, lamentable Roy Jenkins, despised suburban values. It was the mid sixties, and they wanted to ‘reflect modern values’, which of course were no such thing, they were the distorted adolescent musings of a bunch of rebellious pubic schoolboys – rebels without a clue.  But they were ‘cool’, they were ‘smart’, and the media gave such people pride of place – Épater la bourgeoisie became the slogan of the time, and those who challenged it were ruthlessly mocked – by the very medium for which they were paying.  It didn’t matter how depraved the subjet matter – the more the merrier.

In this way, the commentariat were able to marginalise the majority – opinion became what the opinion-formers said it was.  I can’t recall the BBC giving air time to orthodox Christians who wished to present a real alternative point of view. I doubt its executives even recognised their own bias – they would not have moved in circles where the sorts of views Mrs Whitehouse espoused were heard. They knew such views existed, but thought them backward and deserving only of being changed.

Now, had all of this been done on their own money, that would have been fine – but it wasn’t, it was done at the public expense, Greene saw himself as a pioneer toward a better Britain. Well, if anyone thinks that a Britain in which nearly half the children born are to unmarried parents, where some women have up to nine abortions, where 180,000 a year children are killed in the womb is a better place, they should place their votive candle in front of a statue of Greene – and then seek help.

All of this is a form of vanguardism – that phenomenon whereby a small, self-selecting group of ‘leaders’ capture some ‘commanding height’ to change things as they wish. To those who argue that TV cannot do that, I ask why there is a billion pound industry buying advertising time on it.   Capitalism, so despised by the opinion-formers, think it works.

It may now be that the time of such behemoths is past, and that a multi-channel environment will be a better one. But I doubt it. The damage is done. Mrs Whitehouse was right, and if we’d listened to her, fewer lives would have been damaged, and fewer souls lost.