A Modern Day Phantasmagoria    
    Ronald Rickord warns against the dangers of television    

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players... William Shakespeare

The power of television is by far the greatest danger that today confronts the British people. Contrary to what many patriotic Britons imagine, TV is much more dangerous to our way of life and culture than immigration, racial integration, abortion, homosexuality, incest, drugs, political correctness and the treasonable ambitions of the Europhiles. This is because TV is used to promote all these iniquitous things. TV is also a greater danger to us than books, newspapers and magazines, as it has such a hypnotic effect and easily intrudes into our homes and consciences. It takes a certain amount of effort and intelligence to read a book or newspaper, whereas watching TV requires no such effort. It is tailor-made to attract the attention and influence the mores of the least thinking and most slothful members of our society.

During the last few years BBC TV and ITV have been increasingly used to peddle vice, perversion and violence, and to condition the moral attitudes of viewers. In this they have been remarkably successful, and by their malign influence many of our people have been reduced to the level of mindless zombies. This has been achieved with the tacit approval of the politicians, who themselves use TV to spread their propaganda and to inflate their own egos by appearing on the screen as frequently as they can. Can anyone remember the last time any politician complained about the gratuitous drivel that nightly appears on our screens?

The result of the intrusive effect of TV is that many people now live in a world of sheer unreality. TV has become a latter-day phantasmagoria. Many conversations overheard these days consist of discussions about the TV programmes screened the previous evening, particularly the so called ‘soaps’, which some people seem to believe are fact. This fantasy world scenario even affects our political leaders. As Peter Hitchens points out in The Abolition of Britain, a brilliant analysis of the state of our country published last year, Tony Blair and William Hague both made official statements concerning the fictional imprisonment of a fictional character in ITV's Coronation Street said Mr Blair: "It is clear to anyone with eyes in their head that Deirdre Rachid is innocent and should be free." It is a pity he does not extend the same sympathy to Mr Tony Martin, who continues to languish in gaol for shooting dead a serial burglar who broke into his farmhouse. Said Mr Hague: "The whole nation is deeply concerned about Deirdre Rachid." Of course, neither Messrs Blair nor Hague is stupid enough to believe this nonsense, but they are both prepared to subscribe to it if they think that it might he worth a few votes at the next election. Although, Perhaps Mr Blair really feels at home in this fantasy World - after all, his own step-mother-in-law was known by her Coronation Street persona, Elsie Tanner.

Grim Prophecy

In a chapter headed ‘Telescreen Triumphs’, Mr Hitchens begins in his book with a quotation from a letter written by T.S. Eliot to The Times in 1950: "I find only anxiety and apprehension about the social effects of this pastime, and especially about its effect on small children." Although Eliot probably did not foresee the full extent of the damage that TV would do to children, his worry about its effects can be seen to have been percipient. The inability of many children and teenagers today to read or write or even speak with any degree of fluency, is a direct consequence of a childhood spent in front of a TV screen or playing computer games. As Hitchens says: "children aged two and three were watching as much as eighteen hours of television a week, 80 per cent of it without an adult present in the room." In such circumstances how can children learn to master speech or interact with other people? Is it any wonder that such children, abandoned by their parents to TV, which Hitchens calls a "national childminding service," grow up to he ill-adjusted, if not monsters? How can matters be otherwise when the Government employs financial and tax policies aimed at dissuading mothers from staying at home to look after their children? Evidently the Government would rather mothers were out at work, and so TV increasingly performs the function of bringing up the children in loco parentis.

Effect on family life and national mores

TV is thus nurturing a generation of couch-potatoes, some of whom, in their attempts to emulate the violence and rapine they witness on the screen, will inevitably become violent themselves. However, it not only has a detrimental effect on children. Many adults, also, are corrupted by its baleful influence. These destructive effects are threefold. First, they stifle normal family conversation and interaction in the home, thereby inhibiting the acquisition of fluency by the young, and generating a contempt for law and order. Second, they promote violence, licentiousness, perversions and bad language - viewers are nightly regaled with a surfeit of explicit sex, gang rapes, homosexual behaviour and F-words. And third, they enable politically motivated TV producers to brainwash the populace with their anti-British and pro-internationalist dogmas. The left-wing propaganda daily churned out by the TV mind-benders is not solely confined to the actual programmes screened, perceptive viewers cannot but fall to recognise the same traits in many TV adverts. As Jean Raspail wrote in The Camp of the Saints: "You know that in advertising, today, it's only the Left that sells."

Apart from their political agendas and their own personal careers, TV producers are primarily concerned with one thing: audience ratings. It is a mystery to me why the BBC should be concerned with trying to compete with the ITV companies when its revenue is guaranteed by the television licence fee. Nevertheless, in their endeavours to achieve the best audience ratings, both BBC and ITV pander to people's basest instincts and even the foulest perversions. Many of the plays and ‘soaps’ (which Hitchens refers to as "Suburbs of the Mind") that are screened dwell on such unsavoury topics as rape, abortion, incest, AIDS, homosexuality, paedophilia, miscegenation and drug-addiction in their ‘storylines’.

In defending the inclusion of these topics in their plots, the producers argue: "But it's real life; it happens." Yes it does; but how much of it happens because weak-minded and easily influenced people are inveigled into emulating the actors and actresses who take part in these sordid sagas? And it cannot be denied that the parts played by some performers seem to be repeated in their own personal lives. The private lives of the so-called ‘stars’ and ‘celebrities’ (most of whom, but for TV, would be complete nonentities) leave much to be desired. Indeed, many of them go out of the way to publicise them!

Distorted view

Though I am not a great TV viewer myself, the little I do watch convinces me that unless something is done very soon to control the content of TV programmes our people will lose all sense of morality and decency, and they will get a distorted view of the truth of what is actually happening in the world. It is indeed ironic that at a time when almost anything is acceptable on TV, the one thing that is strictly verboten is genuine free speech. Patriots intrepid enough to suggest that continuous immigration and the presence of asylum-seekers are having a destructive effect on our country are seldom, if ever, reported on news programmes and are hardly ever invited to express their views on current affairs programmes. If truly patriotic people appear in plays and ‘soaps’ they are invariably portrayed as uneducated oafs or mindless thugs.

In the early days of television the poet Oliver St John Gogarty disparagingly referred to the TV set as "that bloody illuminated coal-scuttle in the corner," and suggested that it ought to be chucked out. Perhaps he was right. If we all had a mind to throw our sets on the nearest rubbish tip we would, at a stroke, deprive the mind-benders of a tool that gives them enormous power and influence. And our country might be all the better for it.

    Spearhead Online