The Wizard of OZ

Well it seems that a simple song in a musical can become a political hot potato. I cannot quite believe that on the BBC website I have just read that if “Ding Dong! The witch is dead” does make it into the Top 40 on Radio 1 tonight only a 5 second clip will be played and a news editorial will explain. On the other hand if another song called “I’m in love with Margaret Thatcher” gets into the chart then we will have the song played in the normal fashion. What?! The first song which has been out there in the public domain since 1939 and so not composed as a protest song or to get at anyone in particular is being censored but a song which is clearly partisan is allowed? Really?

Sorry, did I wake up in some parallel universe where freedom of speech has been abolished and only pro Government propaganda is permitted by the allegedly politically unbiased BBC…

I am now wondering just what this might do to our political debates – let’s imagine Prime Minister’s Question Time where only supportive comments can be made and anything remotely critical of Government policy is instantly stifled by Mr Speaker. Mmm not going to do much for debate is it? Then again all sorts of policies are currently being implemented which had no prior airing in any party manifesto and received no mandate from the Electorate so this seems a minor point in comparison. Ah, so I have woken up in a parallel universe…

In which case then were I to form a band and write a song called “I am not in love with Margaret Thatcher” would it be played on Radio 1 (assuming it sold in sufficient numbers of course) without a gagging order?

We are in a sorry mess if the sort of peaceful protest of buying an old song is to be suppressed because some people cannot accept that the same person they choose to admire inspires opposition in others. No prizes for guessing that Margaret Thatcher is a divisive political figure. Surely in a mature Democracy we would rather have a musical contest than the good old days of the 1980’s which involved mounted police, baton charges and scaffold poles?

Now where did I leave my guitar…?

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