Can the Right not Write?

The head of the National Theatre wants a “good, mischievous right wing play” but why are right-wing political attitudes so absent from the creative media? Does it skew social, cultural and political attitudes in British society? The right does nominally dominate the print media but with large sections of society ignoring the mainstream news media do they adopt their narratives from the television and film they watch?

The BBC as a public broadcaster should offer some protection but it has been repeatedly attacked for a left-wing bias including by former employees.

In Northern Ireland Unionism and Nationalism are usually associated with the right and left (despite the commonality of social conservatism across society and diversity of economic outlook). Does this provide an explanation for Unionism’s problems with the BBC?

Gary Mitchell’s problems (before the vicious campaign of loyalist paramilitary intimidation against his extended family) could be a salutary lesson. His plays were turned away by Belfast theatres. BBC NI rejected his work and probably gave his recent victimisation more coverage than they did to his plays. Republicans told Irish America he was “a sectarian bigot who would not allow Catholics to perform, direct or produce any of his work”.

This week too Dublin-based Newstalk 106 defended itself against claims of anti-Unionist bias.

Can the right break the left-wing media consensus? Can Unionism utilise new media to challenge the BBC? Can something be learned from the American Right?

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