C4 Carole Thatcher Argentina Documentary

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by musicalmarvin, Mar 29, 2007.

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  1. I have just watched this program and have concluded;

    1) Ms Thatcher is not born for television. As well as being unphotogenic she has a horrendous method of expressing herself.
    2) She is purely being a journalist banking on who her mother was in order to make a program.

    However - I was impressed with her for not apologising to every Argentine that she met (unlike the apologies for the slave trade which seem to be uttered by everybody). When talking to the Veterans she did say 'it was war', and very 'tactfully' (not) rejected their offer of a Falkland/Argentine flag. I thought that she lacked some sympathy when talking to some of the mothers of sailors killed on the General Belgrano. Whether her mother was in the right is surely a matter of personal opinion, regardless of whether it falls inside International Law. They were still mothers who have lost their sons.

    This is the most I have written for some time. What are the thoughts out there (and not on my writing!)
  2. I wasn't certain that the Argentinian session was a good idea! The visit to the Islands worked fairly well, but the rest appeared to be an opportunity for media manipulation. I think Ms Thatcher should just have blamed Galtieri!

    My friends looked very young on screen, especially when they are now grey or balding! I look forward to taking the mickey out of them!

    25 years ago? A lifetime!

  3. I agree on almost all counts.

    1. She does not shine on TV (except perhaps game shows). She is, indeed, very gauche and ill at ease.

    2. She would not have got to make this prog. had she not been MT's daughter; but I doubt it will advance her journalistic career. If that was ever going to take off, it should have been years ago. She's now in her 50s.

    3. She was quite correct not to apologise.

    4. She could easily have afforded to be far more sympathetic and less confrontational with the mothers of dead Argentine servicemen, and that would have defused their confrontational demeanour. It would also have been common courtesy to sympathise with their very obvious distress, which is nonetheless real for the fact that their president took them into a war of unlawful aggression.

    This does not go down as in any way a memorable piece of TV. Pity. A missed opportunity.
  4. Way too 'jolly hockey sticks' for me. The Argentina trip was a bad idea. Watch that again, and watch Simon Weston's approach (when he met Argentinian vets) and it all becomes clear. Tactful rather than tactless.
  5. I work in TV, thinking up programmes like this, and I'm afraid to say that the way TV functions is:
    1) a bored stressed exec scans the papers for impending anniversaries- sees the Falklands.
    2) thinks, 'who can we get to front it?'- nothing gets commissioned, esp by C4 and BBC3, unless it has someone simultaneously tangential and obvious to present it, even if they know **** all about the subject. If Maradona had fought there & spoke English it might have been him; that Welsh Guards chap? ('too 90s') Prince Andrew ("he wouldn't, would he?")- so we get Carol Thatcher, even if she isn't a screen natural, is an alienating presence etc. The fact that the target audience would watch a programme about the Falklands War even if it doesn't even HAVE a presenter gets forgotten in the need to pitch it to the scary commissioning editor over lunch...
    3) No factual programming gets commissioned these days unless it features 'a journey'-no matter how spurious- which is simultaneously geographical and internal. Here we see Carol confront her own past/family life as well as visit the South Atlantic...
    4) the angry argies at the airport... were clearly tipped off by the production crew thinking "****, there's not enough drama here!" Upped the drama quotient for that 9.45-50 point when remote fingers get restless..
    5) minor quibble, but it annoyed me seeing footage of paras to illustrate booties reminiscences, or Gurkhas as Welsh Guards- but that's just my pedantry
    6) she was technically correct about the belgrano, but christ she looked inhuman. which is exactly what the director/producer wanted... 'car crash' is a buzzword, as always. That was easily the most memorable scene...

    All in all, dumbed-down tv that even 5 years ago would have been done properly...
  6. Every Argentinian I've met has been a fundamentally decent sort, and the real tragedy of the Falklands War was that we ended up fighting the Latin Americans with whom we've always had very close historical, cultural and economic (and military!) ties. It has been said that "Argies" are Italians who speak Spanish and think they're British/ Irish, and there's actually a lot of truth in this - certainly very much so where the social/ political elites are concerned. And don't forget the Patagonian Welsh!

    Despite the impression conveyed in the programme, many Argentinians regard the whole business as a regrettable interlude (and an embuggerance to normal relations, esp economic!) that has little long-term significance. Certainly, the better educated appreciate that but for the boneheaded stupidity of successive Argentinian govts (esp in the 1960s/ 70s!) the Islands could have been theirs years before '82.

    IMO, it's a great pity that Thatch minor didn't use this as an opportunity to tease out/ discuss such matters with "players" in the contemporary Argentinian scene: that would have been interesting, and might even have contributed something useful to the on-going "issue". Instead we were treated to a rather distasteful mixture of low level jingoism/ self congratulation and "sucked sugar stick" sentimentalism. Certainly, it will provide populist politicos in the Argentine with plenty of "edited highlights" to gee up the nationalist element. A great opportunity for constructive debate/ dialogue gone to waste - silly, tactless, and just plain stupid.
  7. Quite agree. As I noted, a missed opportunity. But I don't think Ch 4 were at all minded to make a programme that was in any way subtle or "stretching".
  8. I agree with the points raised reference the 'tactics' use in the documentary, although carol had a point to make about the fact that Britain did not start the conflict. I feel a bit of compassion and understanding would not have gone amiss.
    At the end of the day they were sent there like our servicemen and expected to fight for the islands and surrender their lives. I am grateful to all that have fallen and suffered as a result, having served abroad myself and extend my sympathies and thoughts with families from both sides.
    Lets just hope some of the tree huggers ive heard about on other posts realise what has been sacrificed for them (and their trees) and actully pause to reflect the horrendious situations the armed forces are trained for and placed in.
  9. Buenos Aires is a fantastic place, I lived on the Cabalitto/Bodeo border on Avenida la Plata by the subte station if any of you know it and the people really like the British. They are kind, courteous and friendly. One of the few places on the planet where the taxi drivers round down the fare and you never get ripped off and pay foreigner prices wherever in nightclubs or taxis or shops, its safe and it is a place of fantastic women and fabulous food.

    The documentary might have been a hatchet job on Thatcher, I just couldn't see how her visit to Argentina was going to put her in a good light and the meeting with the mothers of the Belgrano dead was crass, insensitive and hard to watch without squirming in your seat.

    The Argentinians want the Falklands back, simple as that. However every single one I spoke to did not want to fight a war over them ever again. They always stressed the only way they would want the Falklands back is through negotiation and a peaceful settlement.

    I think all gungo ho sentiment over the Falklands anniversary in my opinion is crass when there has been 300 suicides of former task force members since the end of the war. May they all rest in peace.

  10. We get another dose of squaddie bashing from the drama" mark of cain" tonight i think, all about the brutality against iraqi detainees from a fictional infantry battalion and there young soldiers.
  11. Carole Thatcher went there as a journalist, no more no less. She enjoyed a good reception in the Falklands because of what her mother stands for. Again in Argentina she enjoyed another sort of reception because of what her mother stands for.

    Her answers to the poor mothers of the dead conscripts was poor to say the least but I did note one of the mothers wishing her mother less than a happy time in heaven. She didn't become embroiled in a fish wife's slanging match so good drills there.

    She did take time to visit the memorial to their dead in Argentina - I have a 10x8 of that on my wall and note it has been painted a garish colour in the last five or so years.

    Carole Thatcher did not back down with weasel words nor did she run away from any confrontation. An excellent trait our PM could acquire I think.

    I did notice one point about Carole Thatcher though -- she's got hands like a crippled bricky - they are massivo!
  12. There has been paint thrown at it and probably that is the garish colour you are talking about (the attempts to get of the paint didn't obviously work). It is made of marble and is tasteful. There is a lot of anger about the Malvinas veterans and the fact the goverment can make fantastic statues to their war dead while a lot of the living are unemployed, in poor mental health and livin on poor pensions. The Falklands debate can get the people wound up and Thatcher was an idiot for going there, I wonder why she needed 'closure'.

  13. The Mark of Cain is on next Thursday evening at 21:00, on Channel 4
  14. Carol was gweat with her interviews with the mothers - she told it how it was.

    Carol for PM.