Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Calling Call my Bluff's Bluff

Was Call My Bluff actually part of an establishment conspiracy to subvert the English language, thereby dictating the way we think about certain issues?  It's a thought that occurred to me the other day when I saw one of the few surviving black and white episodes of the long-running and once popular BBC2 quiz show.  (To be honest, I never realised that there were black and white episodes made in the sixties - I only remember watching the colour episodes in the seventies.  Consequently, I had assumed that it had always been presented by Robert Robinson and that Frank Muir, Patrick Campbell and, later, Arthur Marshall had been the only permanent team captains.  (Obviously, I don't count the later BBC1 revival as this clearly wasn't the proper Call My Bluff).  So, I was surprised to learn that Frank Muir had been the only constant, with opposing team captains including the likes of Robert Morley and presenters including Robin Ray and Joe Melia).  Anyway, to return to the point, the whole business of the teams alternately offering three different definitions of  a word, with the other team trying to guess which one was true was surely designed to call into question the actual meaning of specific words - that no matte how convincing a definition might sound, the 'real' definition might be the complete opposite.

I'm sure that, in 1970, there were episodes where words like 'Labour Party' were featured, with the revelation that the true definition wasn't 'Left of centre social democratic party', but rather 'Bunch of dangerous communist revolutionaries Hell-bent on destroying the UK economy'.  Similarly, 'Harold Wilson' wasn't 'Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister' but instead 'Spawn of the Devil', while 'Ted Heath' wasn't 'Organ playing leader of the opposition', but 'Saviour of the British People'.  How else can we explain the Tories' unexpected General Election victory in 1970?  A subtle campaign of political 're-education' in the guise of an amusing quiz show.  It makes you wonder what other words and piecs of political terminology Call My Bluff subverted during its long sojourn on BBC2.  Was it the key to Mrs Thatcher's success by undermining the whole concept of public ownership?  Was 'Nationalisation' redefined as 'Economic drain' while 'Privatisation', had its correct definition of 'Theft of Public Assets' declared 'Bluff', with a false definition of 'Economic Freedom and Prosperity for All' instead declared 'True'?  I think we need to know whether Robert Robinson was actually an MI5 deep cover agent, acting to undermine the British political left.  We need to call the security services' bluff over this issue.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home