Most of us probably suspected as much over the years but the BBC has finally come clean.
MI5 vetting of journalists and broadcasters right up to 1990 proves to be factual and can no longer to be written off "conspiracy theory"
The vetting files: How the BBC kept out ‘subversives’
A memo from 1984 gives a run-down of organisations on the banned list. On the left, there were the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Socialist Workers Party, the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Militant Tendency. By this stage there were also concerns about movements on the right - the National Front and the British National Party.
A banned applicant did not need to be a member of these organisations - association was enough.
If MI5 found something against a candidate, it made one of three "assessments" in a kind of league table:
The BBC procedure was in principle never to employ someone in Category "A", though a few did get through the net. This contradicted its public position that the BBC controlled all appointments. In theory it did. In practice it gave that choice to MI5 in Category "A" cases.
- Category "A" stated: "The Security Service advises that the candidate should not be employed in a post offering direct opportunity to influence broadcast material for a subversive purpose."
- Category "B" was less restrictive. The Security Service "advised" against employment "unless it is decided that other considerations are overriding".
- Category "C" stated that the information against a candidate should not "necessarily debar" them but the BBC "may prefer to make other arrangements" if the post offered "exceptional opportunity" for subversive activity.
No doubt similar behaviour is still at play in the vetting of the smiling faces of media today,
but now when people scoff and refer to such notions as "conspiracy theory" you can ask
whether they would have also called it a "conspiracy theory" if you had claimed this in 1990!
The BBC finally admits that MI5 secretly vetted its employees, an open secret for generations
MI5 vetted thousands of BBC staff to keep ‘evil’ and ‘subversive’ lefties out
Clarion: MI5 secretly controls hiring firing BBC staff, Observer 18 August 1985