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UK gov used TV program to target jury? (1970s)

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posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 10:52 AM
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This is some piece of weirdness. It came up on the radio in a jokey way. Was the late Richard Whiteley (much loved TV presenter) a MI5 spy?
Because another UK TV household name, Ricky Tomlinson, had accused him of being one.
Big giggles all round as the old union man spouts off. It all sounds like a joke.

However, there seems to be a very peculiar story behind this.
www.theguardian.com...


Back in the 70s Tomlinson was involved in union strike action, (before he was famous).
Stuff happened and eventually him and a number of others appear in court on public order offences that occured during the strike.

During the trial there was media publicity for a TV documentary and a discussion show, chaired by Whiteley.
This program was aired in the evening during the jury's deliberation. This program and discussion were both highly prejudiced against the defendants.
Undountably the jury knew the program would be shown, and it's likely that even if they did not see it themselves they would have heard it discussed.
They may well have been influenced by it when they brought in a guilty verdict the next day.
www.theguardian.com...

It has since come to light that there was an amount of government involvement in the making of those programmes, and the theory is that they were not just ordinary social engineering, but were made and scheduled to target 12 specific individuals (the jury) and to influence their decision making.

It also shows how the lengths to which the government was willing to go (making an entire TV program for the benefit of 12 people) to silence their opposition.

The people found guilty that day still maintain their innocence, apparently. And it was their campaign that found the evidence of government involvement.
www.shrewsbury24campaign.org.uk...

I thought it was interesting. I looked into it because I wanted a laugh, but it turned out to be very interesting.

Whether Whiteley was a spy or not seems of no consequence. In fact, the concentration on the famous name seems to be a smokescreen to stop people looking deeper.

It seems they still have secrets to keep because according to the second guardian article linked above
"A file on the programme, held by the National Archives, has not been made public, but it was “retained” by the Cabinet Office in the interests of national security under Section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958."

And I thought it was all just entertainment.



edit on 7-3-2017 by Mandy555 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: Mandy555

You cannot tell me that the information held within that file can be anything other than in the public interest to know, and furthermore that it pertains in ANY way to national security. It is probably very embarrassing, and potentially damning for powerful figures in British politics, but those are NOT the same thing.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: Mandy555

The claim made by Ricky Tomlinson that Richard Whitely was a member of MI5 isn't of no consequence - Tomlinson made the claim about someone who is dead and so can't answer it.

If there should have been a TV programme about an ongoing criminal case is a very good point, but would Tomlinson have been so aggrieved if it was biased towards his particular viewpoint - that he was innocent? I think not, and I'd hope we've moved on. Having said that, Tomlinson believes that the programme and the programme alone influenced the jury, but that is troublesome. It suggests for a start that they all watched it and then that they took it on face value and apparently ignored any evidence that suggested that they were indeed innocent. I find that just a little hard to accept at face value myself as Tomlinson by his own admission in his autobiography was hardly a saint at the time.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:10 PM
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a reply to: uncommitted

What interested me was the apparent lengths the gov would go to in order to fix a trial (wether the accused was actually guilty or not guilty). It seemed inordinate and bizarre.
It seems from the evidence that there was some government involvement in the making of the program, and that at the very least they used the TV program to further their own agenda.

This stuff probably goes on all the time. It's just that unless there is a famous name involved it never gets reported.
This is an occasion where the presence of people who later found celebrity caused the events to be thrust into a momentary spot light.

I thought it was interesting as an example of media manipulation.
I have no opinion on whether the strikers were guilty or innocent.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 02:00 PM
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originally posted by: Mandy555
a reply to: uncommitted

What interested me was the apparent lengths the gov would go to in order to fix a trial (wether the accused was actually guilty or not guilty). It seemed inordinate and bizarre.
It seems from the evidence that there was some government involvement in the making of the program, and that at the very least they used the TV program to further their own agenda.

This stuff probably goes on all the time. It's just that unless there is a famous name involved it never gets reported.
This is an occasion where the presence of people who later found celebrity caused the events to be thrust into a momentary spot light.

I thought it was interesting as an example of media manipulation.
I have no opinion on whether the strikers were guilty or innocent.



If you've no opinion on whether they were or weren't innocent then why are you so sure they were stitched up by the government? There isn't any actual proof to it, there is the claim by Ricky Tomlinson. How can you make an assumption on one part but say you aren't concerned about the actual facts of the matter?

Sorry, not sure I understand where you think you sit on this.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: uncommitted

Possible MI5 interference in judicial cases is not of interest?
Government agencys probably using the media to get people to think in a certain way is not of interest here?

BTW. I never said anyone was 'stitched up'.

Edit.
Where I stand on this. I don't think it's ok for governments to interfere with the due process of the law.
A trial is to determine guilt or innocence, not to produce a predetermined result.
If this is genuine evidence of a sophisticated (for the 70s) manipulation of a trial, then it should be of interest to all of us.


edit on 7-3-2017 by Mandy555 because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-3-2017 by Mandy555 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: Mandy555

There seems to be circumstantial (at least) evidence of a concerted attempt to attack the Trade Union movement in the UK using 'Shrewsbury' / Tomlinson trial.

Equally there seems to be circumstantial evidence (at least) of a link between the death of Tomlinson's co-defendant, Des Warren, and the treatment Warren received in prison.

These are, potentially two very 'big issues' : Government power being abused and a Government culperable in the death of a citizen. For the record I find the suspicion of either unacceptable.

I'm with Mandy555 on this ( though I would have nobbled the defence Barrister into selecting an unfriendly jury, rather than make at TV programme - much cheaper!).

The Gaurdian article apparently pretty much consigns Tomlinson to the fringes of credibility, based on the apparently ludicrous claim of a dead game show host as an MI5 agent (albeit in a former incarnation as a journalist). Next thing you know someone famous will claim the Keeper of the Queens pictures was a red hot Commie!

The Gaurdian is an independant paper looking to promote a liberal stance. A 'friendly jury' - say for the Tomlinson-Warren trial - would have been made up of Gaurdian readers. The final words of the Gaurdian article are essentially "leave the file open on this for furtger evidence", which I'm sure they will, and publish as appropriate.

At least Tomlinson got some press coverage for an issue which still haunts him. A message in a bottle, with his name spelt right.

Someone, somewhere, might read beyond the sub edit and not dismiss the man Tomlinson as in his dotage. We may never have a 'truth and reconciliation committe' in the UK, but I don't think either Tomlinson or our society can move forward until we do.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 06:43 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit

You cannot tell me that the information held within that file can be anything other than in the public interest to know, and furthermore that it pertains in ANY way to national security. It is probably very embarrassing, and potentially damning for powerful figures in British politics, but those are NOT the same thing.

It's a year and a quarter since The Guardian filed that original story and it virtually died, but I'm guessing it was an, 'online only' story, The new Guardian filing seems to have caught more attention, with the base tabloids this time...I could be wrong, but I'm not going back to check them anyway. It's just a fact that the British intel was used on it's citizens, and probably more controlled by government then than could possibly controlled in the same way today, which is more a dictat of the intel services telling the government what to do...if there is no common purpose that is. Either way, the plebs have no part to play, and did get # upon when it suited, just like the miners in Maggie's day.
It should be remembered too that Heath was the man who brought the UK into the EC illegally, and knowing that he did so, and IMO it's likely that the whole British government, or a fair proportion of it, knew that also, and just allowed the accommodation since it was fairly clear that it was the only way forward for such a tiny, small group of islands. Intel also likely, played a part in that too, but nobody cares now...so be it.
edit on 7-3-2017 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 06:56 PM
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Anyone who thinks the state wouldn't stoop so low to destroy organised labour in the UK never saw what happened in the 80s with min ers, dockers and many other workers.

Ricky Tomlinson doesn't strike me as the crazy tv personality type to make stuff like this up.
I find the idea of Richard Whiteley being an MI5 guy a bit odd. Once upon a time I thought Jimmy Saville was just a bit eccentric though.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 05:33 AM
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a reply to: Mandy555


Possible MI5 interference in judicial cases is not of interest?
Government agencys probably using the media to get people to think in a certain way is not of interest here?


Or Ricky Tomlinson voicing his grievances and making claims he can't substantiate?



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 06:51 AM
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a reply to: uncommitted

This,.
MP Tom Watson, speaking in parliament about the documentary.

We have to ask ourselves why that film was made, and why it was shown on that particular date. It is my contention that the file reveals the highest level of collusion between the Government, the security services and the producers of the film. The first document in the file is a memo from Mr Thomas Barker of the Information Research Department to a Mr Norman Reddaway. For the benefit of younger Members, I should explain that the IRD was formed after the second world war as a covert anti-communist propaganda unit operating within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and was closed down in the late 1970s. Mr Barker boasts:

“We had a discreet but considerable hand in this programme....In general, this film, given national networking, can only have done good.”

From this page.
hansard.parliament.uk...(ReleaseOfPapers)

Which makes very interesting reading.

Do you really hate Brookside, or the Royale family, or something?



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 12:24 PM
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a reply to: Mandy555

Tom Watson has made a lot of allegations about a lot of people (none of those he made about Leon Brittan were found to have any substance for example), so I don't really hold him as credible.

I've nothing at all against the work Ricky Tomlinson does as an actor - he's a good actor, gives roles a lot of credibility when reading a script, but that doesn't mean his opinion is correct.



posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 01:57 PM
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a reply to: uncommitted

Seriously, I didn't say he was.
I said it was interesting. I'm not here to bang his drum for him.

I think it's a fascinating story that illuminates the way the media is used to control our thoughts.

Both the original case and the documentary, and also the "Richard Whiteley was a spy" thing that brought it to my attention.

I thought it was interesting enough to bring it to other people's attention, but I have no desire to argue the rights and wrongs of a 40 year old court case.

Clearly you don't believe the documentary theory, which is fair enough.
It has been interesting seeing your view of the story.
Thanks.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 04:42 AM
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a reply to: Mandy555

It's been a pleasure having a civilised conversation. I have no idea if the documentary was or was not government backed propaganda, it was Tomlinsons baseless accusations about Whitely that makes the thing smell a little to me.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 05:24 AM
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a reply to: uncommitted

And it was that belng laughed about on Radio 2 that made me go look.

It's been a pleasure chatting to you too.



posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 05:31 AM
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a reply to: Mandy555

Nice thread post granny




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