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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    BBC boss rejected Orwell statue idea because he thought proposal "far too left-wing"

    Goodness. One would think that the man who wrote two anti-totalitarian novels skewering Russian communism (those would be 'Animal Farm' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four') and who in addition wrote the great patriotic essay "My Country Right or Left" in the autumn of 1940, might still be honored for the work he did for the BBC during the war years, wouldn't one.

    'Orwell is far too left-wing for us': What BBC chief told Joan Bakewell
    over plans to honour 'greatest journalist of his day' with statue
    (Daily Mail)
    The BBC rejected a campaign to erect a statue of George Orwell outside Broadcasting House in London because the author was 'too left-wing'.

    The author, who worked as a journalist for the Corporation during World War Two, was the subject of a campaign to get a statue in his honour outside BBC's Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus, central London.

    But Baroness Joan Bakewell, who is leading the campaign to honour 'the greatest British journalist of his day', said outgoing BBC director general Mark Thompson turned down plans for the statue.

    Orwell produced radio programmes at Broadcasting House during World War Two, before leaving to write Animal Farm and dystopian masterpiece 1984 (sic).

    more, along with a great picture of Orwell smiling behind his BBC microphone, at link above

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Palm Springs
    Unbelievable! One of the most influential authors of the 20th century, no less!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Umm, what?!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Excellent Geoffrey Wheatcroft piece, from the Guardian:

    Why George Orwell is as relevant today as ever
    If George Orwell was guilty of anything, it was not
    of being too leftwing but too intellectually honest
    If [outgoing BBC director general Mark] Thompson thinks Orwell automatically counts as "leftwing" then he hasn't been following the story closely. It's true that Orwell said: "Every line of serious work that I have written has been, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it." But his posthumous fate was to be execrated by part of the left to which he thought he belonged while he was appropriated by a right he abhorred.
    So, yes, Orwell does matter, today as much as ever. He once wrote that Anatole France was not really a socialist but a radical, as could be seen quite simply in "his passion for liberty and intellectual honesty". Orwell must have known that he was writing about himself. Come to think of it, Thompson might be right, if for the wrong reason: there could not be a less appropriate site for a statue of Orwell than "the Ministry of Truth" – or the BBC, on which the ministry was partly modelled.
    the rest at the link above

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