Orwell at the BBC?

Another minor travesty in the modern world – a George Orwell statue is to be erected at the BBC. There’s clearly a twisted irony at work here: many believe that the Ministry of Truth – the propaganda department of the totalitarian state in Nineteen Eighty-Four – was based on Orwell’s experiences working for the BBC during the war. Witnessing their function as propaganda during the wars of the last decade and certainly today the comparison isn’t too far-fetched.

The planned statue was declined by the BBC last summer, with director-general Mark Thompson calling Orwell “too left-wing” – he has since revised his position (from the safety of position of chief executive of the New York Times, another establishment vehicle for pro-war propaganda), saying, “The case for commemorating Orwell is very strong. However, quite what he would have made of the prospect of spending an eternity in the shadow of the Ministry of Truth is another matter.”

The torture chamber he depicts in Nineteen Eighty-Four, named Room 101, was named after an airless conference room at the corporation. Perhaps the BBC plan to bring back more of these rooms in their secret bunker


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