Well, I used to be disgusted
But now I try to be amused.
(Elvis Costello, ‘Red Shoes’)
People who are sad
Sometimes they wear a frown
And people who are kings
Sometimes they wear a crown
But all the people who don’t fit
Get the only fun they get
From people putting people down
People putting people down.
(John Prine, ‘People Putting People Down’)
Anthony Wedgwood Benn MP spent much of Saturday 28 September 1963 in Bridlington on Labour Party business but, as he recorded in his diary,
I dashed back in time to watch That Was The Week That Was, which returned to TV tonight. It was savage and brilliant in parts, and the room was packed with Labour leaders and journalists. Not a single anti-Labour joke was made and even I wondered if it had gone too far.
Benn’s reaction to ‘TW3’, BBC television’s late night satirical programme, first broadcast in 1962, was a typical one in the Labour Party and on the British left: the show, and the ‘satire boom’ of which it appeared to be a part, was ‘on their side’ and against the Conservative government. But for how long could they get away with it? However, a meeting a year later with That