Adam Curtis

I'm afraid I haven't been posting any stories recently. The reason is that I am in the midst of putting together a live show with Massive Attack. It's a joint production between the BBC and the Manchester Festival.

I've had quite a few requests to put up a film I made a while ago about Mrs Thatcher - called The Attic. It's about how she constructed a fake ghostly version of Britain's past, and then used it to maintain her power. But also how she became possessed and haunted by this vision.

I'm putting it up as a bit of a corrective to the terrifying wonk-fest that took over after Mrs Thatcher died. A conveyor belt of Think Tank pundits and allied operatives poured into the TV studios and together they built a fortress around Mrs Thatcher's memory that was rooted in theories about economics.

They did this because economics is the only language that wonks understand. It's a view of the world where they see the voters - the people who put Mrs Thatcher in power - as simplified consumption-driven robots.

What was missing was the fact that Mrs Thatcher was also a powerful romantic politician who created a strange but compelling story about Britain's past that connected with the imagination of millions of people. It was fake, but it was incredibly powerful because she believed it. And the power of her belief raised up ghostly dreams from Britain's past that still live in people's imaginations - long after she fell from power.

The problem with wonks is that they can't deal with emotion and feeling, and they don't like stories. It means that they cannot connect at all with the feelings and imaginations of the voters. Yet the think-tankers have built a sarcophagus of economic discourse around Westminster.

What we are waiting for is a politician to come along who can connect with our imaginations and inspire us about political ideas instead of boring us to tears.

The film stars a wide range of characters - including Flanagan and Allen:

Members of the Political Wing of the Irish National Liberation Army:

Deborah Kerr:

PC Claude Morrell:

Mrs Thatcher and her friend Airey Neave:

And the ghost of Winston Churchill:

Here's the film.

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  • Comment number 44. Posted by Moor Larkin

    on 24 Jun 2013 22:55

    Perhaps another parallel might be that Churchill's dream ended with the fall of Berlin and Margaret's with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Rejoice. Rejoice.

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  • Comment number 43. Posted by Simon Terry

    on 21 Jun 2013 06:32

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.
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  • Comment number 42. Posted by goalazo

    on 20 Jun 2013 17:13

    "Is she still in the attic?"

    Now you are really scaring me.

    Green Card Database

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  • Comment number 41. Posted by MisterSob

    on 17 Jun 2013 17:18

    You'd have thought Patrick Cosgrave would have tidied up a bit before the interviewer arrived. (9 mins 45)

    Great work again Adam. I find it interesting that most of your work is timeless, the paranoia which seems to pervade parliament is interminable but manifests itself in different ways during different epochs. Quite bizarre.

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by Benjamin

    on 15 Jun 2013 15:55

    http://www.matthewtaylorsblog.com/thersa/can-david-cameron-head-off-revolution-by-confronting-global-capitalism/

    Interesting blog about the potential for revolution/collapse in our society because of austerity and inequality. Adam territory I think! Good read.

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by Nottingham Florist

    on 14 Jun 2013 10:25

    When I say "Al Gore", I actually mean "Gore Vidal" - what a mistake to make! I apologise!

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by Nottingham Florist

    on 14 Jun 2013 10:24

    I've been reading a lot of Al Gore, and more especially due to my laziness, watching youtube videos of his recollections on America's past and present. If he'd have somehow gained office in the US, I feel we'd have gained a leader who could express things without sounding like a policy wonk.

    However, the pentagon and corporate America would never have let him put his "outrageous" ideas into action. I'm often struck by Chomsky's words that US democracy is actually a "guided democracy", with far more in common with Iran, than we will ever truly acknowledge or accept.

    The US, and western democracy, isn't controlled by "religious" autocracy, instead its controlled by a military-and-monetary "autocracy", they run everything of importance at arms-length.

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by Halfdan

    on 12 Jun 2013 23:44

    Ah, Mr. Curtis, thank you for always keeping the perspective. The world needs more people like you. I can't wait to get home tonight to watch the film.

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by Paul Murphy

    on 12 Jun 2013 06:30

    Imaginative and informative as Adam's blogs always are, it is absolutely the right state of affairs that he is busy instead telling stories as stunning audiovisual projects. Roll on the next TV series! (First, we take Manchester, Manhattan and Berlin)

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by JulioSP

    on 11 Jun 2013 12:28

    A month and a half is gone and I couldn get hands on my ususal Curtis fix. Please give us the stuff or recommend a good detox facility.

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