The television of my childhood had only two, and later three TV channels. The BBC started broadcasting the news at midday, followed by Watch With Mother, and then the screens went black. Around 4:40pm, programming resumed until about midnight, after which it all went off-air until the following day. ITV was very much the same.
Yet in those days of far less choice, primetime, hard-hitting news and current affairs strands were available to viewers such as World In Action, This Week and Panorama as well as single documentaries, often covering significant political topics effecting the entire nation, usually providing poles-apart perspectives from the government-of-the-day’s point of view.
In 2018, there are circa 400-500-600 TV channels available, via terrestrial, cable or satellite broadcasting. Yet, since the highly disconcerting outcome of the 2016 EU Referendum, how many of these have subsequently produced a programme or film putting a balanced case for the very nearly 50% of us who voted ‘Remain’. As far as I know… NOT ONE.
There were over 16,000,000 of us who voted ‘Remain’ – a sizable number of people whichever way you look at it. Nevertheless, on such a staggeringly important issue, we are and remain completely ignored.
It says something disquieting about a society in which I have had to resort to the cinema, a very commercial environment, in order to make this very significant voice heard. We are not the Monster Raving Looney Party that lost its deposit; we are many. In Postcards From The 48%, there are just over 60 of us speaking on behalf of the 48% – who are not going away and have no intention of giving up their demonstrably valid viewpoint.
Over the course of filming, I have personally been subjected to considerable abuse. I have been accused of being undemocratic and even treasonous – simply for holding a different point of view.
For 15 years, I found myself socialising at odd weekends with Enoch Powell in what was a very odd relationship for someone like me, with a black brother. We agreed on nothing. However, it was Enoch, an arch opponent of the EU, who, in arguing the case for leaving it, made me realise how very much I wanted to be a part of the European Union. On occasion, Enoch was also accused of being undemocratic and treasonous in his views regarding the EU. And he would invariably say that it was his democratic right to fight for what he believed in.
In what way is it not equally the right of each and every member the 48% to claim such a right for themselves?
Postcards from the 48% is out now.