THE WIT AND WISDOM OF MARY WHITEHOUSE

Mary Whitehouse stepped onto the public stage 50 years ago in 1964. To some she was the guardian of Christian family values, to others a self-appointed busybody. She spent decades campaigning for a responsible media and against harmful material. Ironically much of what we know about her views has come to us filtered by the media itself. This is Mary Whitehouse in her own words taken from the books she wrote during her lifetime.


November 2014

“Many have been inspired by the BBC’s own motto ‘Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation’ but when it will not talk, even to its own customers, the words ring with a hollow sound.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“Viewers have a right to try to uphold standards which they feel important – not only in their own homes but the quality of culture generally.  That is not a triviality.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

The decision to show film of the shooting showed, in our opinion, an extraordinary lack of sensitivity and took us straight back to the days of public executions.”

A letter to the BBC, 1968

“There is an enormous gap between the easy justification for showing violence because it is reality and the challenging responsibility not to transmit violence which could ‘incite to crime or disorder’.”

A Most Dangerous Woman, 1982

“Television, given different emphasis, could do more than any other to promote a responsible society.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“There is little which cannot be discussed on television so long as programmes are balanced and responsible.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“The greatest danger of pornography lies in its impersonality.”

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

“We must assess the measure to which we have been deliberately misled, conned and exploited by those within the broadcasting industry who have consistently ignored not only their professional obligations but also the wealth of human experience now available.”

Quite Contrary, 1993

“Concern about the kind of world we are building for the young & the enormous burden we are creating for them has been the heart of our work”

Mightier Than the Sword, 1985

“What is at stake is not a child’s freedom but the freedom to be a child.”

Who Does She Think She Is, 1971

“Let’s all be kids together cry the adults – as if only the fantasies of child’s play help them to come to terms with what they have made of the world.

Whatever Happened to Sex, 1977

The Broadcasting Standards Council (now OFCOM) has most regrettably, become part and parcel of the broadcasting establishment instead of being, as it was first conceived, the independent voice of the viewer and listener.

Quite Contrary, 1993

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