Would the BBC ever commission 'The Great Global Warming Swindle'?

Would the BBC ever commission a Martin Durkin film?

by David Atherton on 3 June 2013 10:03

On Wednesday, May 29th, I attended the Institute of Economic Affairs' A Special Event at the IEA, where Mark Littlewood, the Director General, asked film producer Martin Durkin about “his stance on liberalism, free markets and more.”  His point about the BBC was fascinating as well as expected.

As Managing Director of Wag TV, Durkin has built it up to be one of the top ten production companies in the UK. Specialising  in factual programmes, its clients include Discovery Channel, Canal+, National Geographic, Channel 5, and Channel 4.

I am sure many of you will have seen The Great Global Warming Swindle, a documentary which looks at how anthropogenic, manmade warming is more about funding and politics than hard science. Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story is a similarly brilliant piece of work which scrutinises Britain’s £4.8 trillion of debt.

My personal favourite is the tour de force on Baroness Thatcher, Margaret: Death of a Revolutionary.

Starting with the latter, Durkin was asked what kind of reaction he got. Littlewood in his question seemed to imply the world was about to land on top of him, especially the left. But Durkin was quite surprised that death threats and nasty items in the mail were sparse. He added amusingly that even his lesbian, Marxist sister had said that he made “some good points.”

Durkin also tackled the suggestion that Baroness Thatcher could have done more. Being a “working class revolutionary,” she had few allies in the party, he argued, and the real reason she was deposed as leader of the party was that the Tory toffs were deeply unimpressed with Essex barrow boys, as the epitome of the working class, improving their lives. The working class voted for her accordingly. With David Cameron’s Eton mafia, it seems that the old order has returned.

On Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story Durkin gave a superb analogy for government spending and quantitative easing. It is the equivalent of “taking three pints of blood out of the left arm and spilling some on the way when putting two pints in the right arm.”

But Durkin saved his best and most cutting (pun intended) remarks for the BBC. As an unabashed classical liberal, who could seriously envisage a state consuming zero percent of national wealth, he was asked by Littlewood why his undoubted film making talents had not been used by the BBC. Durkin recalled how he has once asked a senior BBC Executive why the BBC would not commission a film like The Great Global Warming Swindle. His response was to simply laugh in Durkin's face.

A sure sign that whatever Martin Durkin’s next project may be, Commentator readers will find it as agreeable as it is entertaining.

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