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Politics in the Archers

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Messages: 1 - 47 of 47
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by pollytoynbee (U15496045) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Anyone know if anyone in the Archers ever discussed politics, elections, party political councillors or the effect of political decisions - apart from farming regulations? Urgent advice needed !
    Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Mustafa Grumble (U8596785) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    PT - there are a number of posters with comprehensive libraries/memories who will doubtless call in during the day and may be able to answer your question. Does your "urgent" tend towards the Cornish "dreckly"?

    Political events in themselves rarely feature in more than the most general terms ("will you be voting next week?") and results are rarely mentioned, even in the form of "topical inserts" - so no mention was made of Obama's re-election in the Wednesday/Thursday episodes. Cannot recall that it was even mentioned in 2008. IIRC there was a moment of jubiliation from Pat Archer when Labour won the election, but even that was quickly muted.

    Back in the 70s I think a couple of the characters were in the Young Conservatives, but that was depicted as being for the social rather than political side of events. Current character Mike Tucker was a union rep many years ago, but no mention of that is now made.

    The fox-hunting issue was covered (Jill Archer being an anti-, her daughter Shula being an active hunt follower, ditto the late Nigel P) and sympathies aired; child poverty and social issues / campaigns occasionally feature in storylines, generally via the vicar.

    But in recent years (the last decade, say) I can recall no overt party political discussion/involvement/storylines.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Dee (U3082905) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Parish council business and elections to the parish council are often the topic of storylines. As they raise a rate, tehy are third tier government. In TA, they do not align themselves overtly to any political parties though.

    I seem to remember that Mark Hebden was a member of the SDP but I could be mistaken.

    Home farm regularly employs groups of pickers from Eastern European succession countries, so their right to work in the UK would be a factor.

    Kate's husband is a political journalist (I think) in South Africa where they live.

    Badger culls & issues surrounding badgers have been a reocurring SL.

    Ambridge no longer has a local police officer and the police house was sold as a private dwelling.


    Not much I'm afraid, but I hope it is of some use.

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Dee (U3082905) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Neraly forgot - we have a legal civil partnership in TA too. Not sure if this is the sort of thing you mean but I suppose that the law passed to make civil partnerships legal was a political decision.

    I think the BBC was planning a programme a couple of year back (2010 , for the anniversay maybe?) on politics in The Archers. Not sure if it was ever broadcast though. I take it you have contacted them directly.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Mustafa Grumble (U8596785) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Yes, quite right Dee: Mark Hebden stood (& was elected) as a candidate for the SDP in 1985. No mention was made in 1989, I believe, of him standing for re-election, and though he died several years later he was so dull he may as well have been dead in 1989 anyway!

    Lucas Madikane (Kate's SA husband) may have had a political bent to his journalism 'back in the day' but during his most recent outing (Ambridge Extra Series 3) he was depicted as being just an ambitious journalist keen to earn a decent income.

    I found one reference that suggested Brian Aldridge's encounter with a Grundy cow during which he suffered an attack of "hoof on head" was when Brian was canvassing for the forthcoming council elections. Cannot verify that, however.

    Shula was the YC - no surprise there!

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Mustafa Grumble (U8596785) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    I think the BBC was planning a programme a couple of year back 
    Yes, broadcast as 2 x 30-minute epsiodes at the beginning of January 2011.

    I'll set them playing in the background & post anything that might be relevant.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Mabel Bagshawe (U2222589) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    I haven't got any of my books to hand but a bit of googling has identifed an early topical insert in 1952 when the Archer family commented on the contents of that day's Budget

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by pollytoynbee (U15496045) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Many thanks to all. Please keep the memories coming! Fascinated to hear about two programmes devoted to this. What were they called, and how can I get hold of them?
    Polly

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Reggie Trentham (U2746099) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Nigel was in the YCs too, I think that's where he and Shula met. And Mark Hebden certainly represented 'the canning factory ward' on behalf of the SDP.

    Jill was also, in the late 1960s, a councillor, on the rural district council in her case. I am pretty sure that she was elected as a Liberal but when this discussion has come up before no-one has been able to verify this.

    Pat was a member of CND in her early days, I think she may even have visited Greenham Common but I'm not sure. She was certainly very enthusiastic about the result of the 1997 general election. She has imo made a very credible transition from young lefty to New Labour entrepreneur.

    Both Mike and Neil were secretaries of the local branch of the agricultural workers union.

    Sid was, as you would expect very anti Common market.

    My recollection about Brian canvassing for the Tories when he was gored by the Grundy cow is the same as Mustapha's. The cow obviously had very sound political judgement.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Mustafa Grumble (U8596785) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    PT - the programmes were called "The of Ambridge" and they were broadcast on 1st & 8th January 2011.

    If you are unable to wangle them out of the Beeb (they are not available on iPlayer) let me know to that effect on this thread.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Mustafa Grumble (U8596785) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    "The Politics of Ambridge" ....

    Such a subtle subject that even the word politics can disappear into the ether when connected to Ambridge.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by mike (U14258103) ** on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Brian Aldridge was canvassing as Tory candidate for the County Council when he was kicked in the head by a mad (but polically astute) Grundy cow. He was badly injured and had to withdraw as candidate.

    Mark Hebden was SDP councillor for the Canning Factory ward in Borchester.

    Pat Archer stood for the Parish Council as a socialist feminist candidate but was not elected. Her non political deadbeat hisband Tony was elected ahead of her because all his relatives voted for him and Ambidge is not exactly a hotbed of socialism.

    Shula Hebden LLoyd (nee Archer) was in the Young Conservatives in her youth and although this was mainly for social reasons (i.e. sex) it was very clear that her political synpathies lay in that direction.

    Politics and discussion of political matters featured quite a bit in The Archers in the past but not so much recently because of the view of the present editor (Vanessa Whitburn) that it is not appropriate (so all the things I detail above happened more than 20 years ago).

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by JoinedPeetsBoard_Smeesues_too (U14519481) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Here is the chronology from the beginning to the mid 90s .. I think this contains some mention of politics. An example is Jill being accused of socialism (by Phil) because she objected to Borchester Grammar School becoming Independent ..

    umra.wikispaces.com/...

    The following may have already been mentioned:

    (1) Up to recently there was a mention of the budget as a "topical insert" ..

    (2) And there was the Countryside Alliance march .. which featured if I remember correctly in the Brian Siobhann affair!
    JPBS

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Musta if you do email them; moi too please. On Peet's with same name.

    Politics is tricky here I have just been censored for a negative but perfectly proper expression of distaste for Thatchell!

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Tayler Cresswell - Host (U14232848) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    The Politics of Ambridge programmes were presented by Michael Dobbs.

    Here's the programme page > www.bbc.co.uk/progra...

    Tayler

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Mustafa Grumble (U8596785) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    As I said, Ms T, no longer available on iPlayer. Would Auntie make such programmes available to journos for their research purposes, do you know?

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Tayler Cresswell - Host (U14232848) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    (2) And there was the Countryside Alliance march .. which featured if I remember correctly in the Brian Siobhann affair! 

    That's right JPBS.

    Also David Archer more recently bemoaned the fact that he couldn't make the NFU march about milk prices this summer (think this was a topical insert).

    Tayler

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Tayler Cresswell - Host (U14232848) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    As I said, Ms T, no longer available on iPlayer. Would Auntie make such programmes available to journos for their research purposes, do you know?   I think it's possible MG.

    Tayler

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Dinah Shore (U14984316) on Friday, 9th November 2012

    Sean and Peter from "The Cat and Fiddle" went on Gay Pride marches so regularly, that Marjorie Antrobus used to drop in to the conversation, "Oh, Sean is off to /Pride/ ," very casually.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 12.

    All this user's posts have been removed. Why?

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by exxers (U15150817) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    Here is the chronology from the beginning to the mid 90s .. I think this contains some mention of politics. An example is Jill being accused of socialism (by Phil) because she objected to Borchester Grammar School becoming Independent ..

    umra.wikispaces.com/...

    The following may have already been mentioned:

    (1) Up to recently there was a mention of the budget as a "topical insert" ..

    (2) And there was the Countryside Alliance march .. which featured if I remember correctly in the Brian Siobhann affair!
    JPBS 
    JPBS, thanks.



    IIRC, Phil was pushing for a grandson to go to a private school...giving him piano lessons to that end. Jill was against it, I think. So if I'm right, Phil must have become more right-wing? I may be wrong!

    This was in the last twelve years or so, when I started listening. I can't look at Who's Who because of the "pictures" and so far I've only got this year's Who's Who book.

    Can anybody remember anything about this...TIA newbie-exxers

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by exxers (U15150817) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    Also, I often wonder why "nobody" in TA talks about World Politics e.g. US Presidential Elections, British Elections...there must be plenty of time to insert the odd line. Some characters would be intrinsically interested: some would have a personal agenda e.g. Brine and The Chancellor/Budget! I'd just expect a line or two a week perhaps, at key times. May be unrealistic. I have no idea. Any answers please? TIA exxers

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    In reply to exxers:

    Also, I often wonder why "nobody" in TA talks about World Politics e.g. US Presidential Elections, British Elections...there must be plenty of time to insert the odd line. Some characters would be intrinsically interested: some would have a personal agenda e.g. Brine and The Chancellor/Budget! I'd just expect a line or two a week perhaps, at key times. May be unrealistic. I have no idea. Any answers please? TIA exxers 


    I suspect left leading PC BBC could not bring itself to script anything even vaguely realistic> After all, the vast majority of TA Characters IRL would be Tories!

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Reggie Trentham (U2746099) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    Another notable intervention of politics, which I don't think anyone has mentioned yet, is when Roy got mixed up with some far-right racists. I don't think any specific political organisation was ever mentioned but it was fairly obvious who they were meant to be.

    I can't remember all the details but it certainly involved racist hate mail, and possibly worse, being sent to Usha.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    Another notable intervention of politics, which I don't think anyone has mentioned yet, is when Roy got mixed up with some far-right racists 

    I recall the incident, but do not recall anything that made it clear that they were "far right"

    Didn't Roy come good when actual harm was planned?

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by cath (U2234232) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    Roy told his mates where Usha lived and then dobbed them when they threw ammonia at Usha. The mates then trashed Mike's market garden.

    Still on racism, Bunty and Reg were very much against Mark taking on Usha as a partner because she's not white. Shula backed Mark and he refused to talk to Bunty & Reg for a while iirc. And then he died.

    I think Alistair is a leftie/liberal of some kind - he and Jill were both against Daniel going to a private school.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by JoinedPeetsBoard_Smeesues_too (U14519481) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    It was Pip .. Phil thought she could get a music scholarship to the Cathedral School. She eventually opted out because of family difficulties - if she'd passed the exam but not got a scholarship they'd have had to find the fees .. Elizabeth objected to spending "family" money and what about Josh and Ben?
    JPBS

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    All this user's posts have been removed. Why?

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Peggy Monahan (U2254875) on Monday, 12th November 2012

    I recall the incident, but do not recall anything that made it clear that they were "far right" 

    Which other sort of racists attack people?

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by stolenkisses (U6230663) on Monday, 12th November 2012

    I don't know if you would count Sid's long-running antipathy to the gay couple running the Cat and Fiddle, and the effects on the cricket teams, as political.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by taddydogman (U13374770) on Monday, 12th November 2012

    I don't know if anyone else will remember this but many years ago, probably some time in the 1960s or early 1970s, Dan Archer was amongst a group of farmers who took lunch with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. I can't now recall the exact details but I imagine it must have been something to do with the NFU and I also recall that at the time many listeners to TA thought this to be somewhat OTT.

    Local politics came to the fore in 1953 when it was proposed to build a number of council houses in Ambridge. The plan was vigorously opposed by many Ambridgeites and there was great relief when Hollerton Town Council (the originator of the proposal) eventually withdrew its plans.

    A few years later in 1960 there were plans to erect a number of electricity pylons in the vicinity of Ambridge. Local opposition was immense and I think I'm right in saying that the plans were eventually shelved.

    Ambridge has also been under threat on a number of occasions from planned road schemes. However this presumably is no longer an issue following the construction of the Borchester bypass.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by amazingBrunel (U14588018) on Monday, 12th November 2012

    I remember Walter Gabriel being grumpy about Labour being re-elected in 1966, Shula’s relationships with various Young Conservatives including Nigel. and Brian always acting as a dyed in the wool Tory, but politics get scant mention even after an election has taken place.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by exxers (U15150817) on Monday, 12th November 2012

    Snork OI - and true, most TA people are quite RW. (Sorry to digress but I have left you a message in a thread you may have unsubscribed from: London Metropolitan University. No hurry to reply: if you decide to, 2013 would be fine as it will be 2014 before I "get" it, the plot.)

    Thanks, JPBS - of course it was Pip. I remember it well now!

    exxers

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    I recall the incident, but do not recall anything that made it clear that they were "far right"

    Which other sort of racists attack people? 


    Left wing

    Centrist

    Apolitical.

    I seem to recall some rather racist Socialists around the world.

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by virtual_jan (U13662056) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012


    Polly's article for those who missed it

    www.guardian.co.uk/c...


    Polly makes some interesting points, but she has stated that posters on these boards prefer to suggest thrifty lifestyle changes for Ed and Emma rather than question why they are not claiming benefits. This is not true; there have been lots of threads for weeks now discussing Ed and Em's entitlement to Tax Credits etc. and questioning why they are not being claimed.


    v_j

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Tayler Cresswell - Host (U14232848) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    Thanks for posting the link virtual_jan - you beat me to it!

    The comments underneath the article are interesting. Seem to reflect a lot of what's been said here.

    Tayler

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by Peggy Monahan (U2254875) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    Left wing

    Centrist

    Apolitical.

    I seem to recall some rather racist Socialists around the world. 


    We were talking about what happened in Ambridge. I am well aware of racism in Stalinist Russia (other so-called Communist countries could also be cited). However racist physical attacks in Britain (as in most of Western Europe) do tend to come from racists who adhere to far-right ideas.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by A Frend (U2249422) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    Thanks for posting the link virtual_jan - you beat me to it!

    The comments underneath the article are interesting. Seem to reflect a lot of what's been said here.

    Tayler 
    I was surprised that Vanessa Whitburn refused to speak to PT, Tayler. As I recall she has been happy to be interviewed by Beeb journalists in the past and has sent team members on Women's Hour so her refusal this time seems odd. Was there any reason for not wanting to talk in detail about what is one of the few realistic SLs at the moment, do you know?

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by San Fairy Anne (U14257911) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    I'm not surprised VW did not agree to be interviewed. She doesn't like direct questions, will not engage in any discussion which might mean she has to concede she might have been wrong. I mean, she has never engaged with us and all she did after the great deintegumentation of Lower Loxley was invite two listeners to be shown the studios where TA is made. SFAnne™

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by A Frend (U2249422) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    I suppose you're right, SFA, but it seems strange to me, when the prod team usually takes every opportunity to publicise the programme, that when the press comes calling without being drummed up they say no. It'd be nice to think that they have confidence in their SL but it doesn't look like it. This confirms my worst fears about the story - it'll be over and hearts will be warm by Christmas.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Tayler Cresswell - Host (U14232848) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    Hi all

    Vanessa will be on the PM programme on R4 today after 5pm with Polly Toynbee talking about all this.

    Tayler

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    Hi all

    Vanessa will be on the PM programme on R4 today after 5pm with Polly Toynbee talking about all this.

    Tayler 


    Tayler I just read that at 17:58 and it is timed at "1 hour ago". So thanks for the advice, but it would have been more useful with some notice.

    Can you (anyone?) tell us what time into the prog to LA at?

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by fairy hedgehog (U1485678) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    > what time into the prog <

    It was squashed into the last few minutes.

    fh

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Tayler Cresswell - Host (U14232848) on Tuesday, 13th November 2012

    Hi all

    Vanessa will be on the PM programme on R4 today after 5pm with Polly Toynbee talking about all this.

    Tayler 


    Tayler I just read that at 17:58 and it is timed at "1 hour ago". So thanks for the advice, but it would have been more useful with some notice.

    Can you (anyone?) tell us what time into the prog to LA at?  

    Hi OI

    I posted here as soon as I knew it was happening. The episode will be on catch up soon - here:

    www.bbc.co.uk/progra...

    Tayler

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Wednesday, 14th November 2012

    Thanks. It's at 54 to 58mins.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by rpchamberlin (U2368551) on Thursday, 15th November 2012

    I think Shula's husband Mark actually stood as an SDP councillor, though I remember thinking this was about as unpolitical as a political act as the script writers could find. (Sorry Polly) And Mike Tucker was Labour when a trade unionist but I think he changed his allegiance as soon as he became self-employed. Actually, it isn't just the Archers or soaps that are apolitical. Weather forecasters often mention things like 'it's going to be a wet Valentine's Day' but I haven't heard one say 'If you're going to vote, make sure you go early because it's going to pour with rain this afternoon.'

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by Peggy Monahan (U2254875) on Thursday, 15th November 2012

    I think Shula's husband Mark actually stood as an SDP councillor, 

    Indeed he did and it was actually said so quite definitively. I was quite annoyed by the way Toynbee presented information she was given in this thread, "one person thought", "might have". It was distortion to back up her argument. Which I don't totally disagree with but I don't think her article was very good.

    Report message47

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