Saturday 3 December 2016

Kevin Myers: 'English repeatedly forget their own failures'

Published 21/07/2011 | 05:00

ATELEVISION programme, of itself, doesn't say much about the country from which it comes: but a programme that is hailed by the media as a flagship drama of the national broadcaster might, it can be argued, offer a fair representation of prevailing cultural standards. That's why 'The Hour', the execrable new series on the BBC, is worth watching, if only for a few minutes, most especially as a companion to the astonishing revelations that, yes, there might well be corrupt officers in the London Metropolitan Police.

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'The Hour' is set in the BBC in 1956 and is infused with all the believability of a children's programme. In it, the bright new star of a current-affairs programme refers excitedly to the impact that Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy are making in the US -- though of course, this is years before they actually became national figures. No doubt each might have got a passing mention in the many newspapers in 1956, but not so as to justify excited comment in newsrooms. Only a childishly inane hindsight enables a scriptwriter to have such foresight.

A man is found murdered. The young reporter bribes a policeman to see the body. The lining of the dead man's suit has been sliced open. He reports excitedly to his colleagues; this is MI6's work -- and even more suspiciously, MI6 was refusing to make any public comment on the matter.

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