Until the year 1990, there were comparatively few books dealing with the origins of Radio Caroline in 1964, and most of those were of an amateur nature focusing upon Tony Benn as some sort of political spoil-sport. Prime Minister Harold Wilson hid behind Benn while Benn took the brunt of abuse and ridicule.
At one point in the proceedings, Benn even remarked that Wilson was listening to one of the offshore stations, and Benn confirmed that the sound of offshore radio was to be heard in his own home. Politicians in all of the main parties, some more than others, kept raising the issue about passing a law to "suppress" these stations, but Tony Benn refused to attach his name to any Parliamentary Bill with that word in its title.
Just before the 1967 Marine Offences Act was presented to Parliament in its final form, Benn was promoted to a higher job that embraced his previous authority, but which gave him a wider responsibility than his job as Postmaster General. By the time all the shouting was over and the Bill had become the Law, the nation did not engage in civil war, and neither did the Labour Party immediately lose office. That change came about due to the financial mismanagement of the British economy and a disaster in the making that involved international loans resulting in a revolt over unemployment by British trade unions.
Because Tony Benn was a maverick within his own political party, and because Tony Benn had surrendered a title which had previously placed him briefly in the House of Lords, and because he had married an American wife with the eponymous first name of Caroline, he was a fringe player, but a man who was constantly interested in his own continuing education about the past. However, he was not a total team player when it came to going along with party politics or even national identity as created by the British Establishment.
So Tony Benn took a lot of abuse from everyone, and now, in the light of new information it does indeed seem that Tony Benn could have adopted these lyrics for his own anthem:
"I've been cheated, been mistreated ....
I've been put down, I've been pushed 'round ...."
Some years ago on BBC Radio Kent, ex-offshore Radio London dj Dave Cash asked Tony Benn a question about our work, and Tony Benn was quite open and honest in his response ....
This article was written around the time that Nicholas Stanley's book 'Radio Man' first came to our attention, and then we began a joint investigation with Chris Edwards of OEM in order to uncover the story behind the mysterious paragraph on its page 276. This is the reference that attributed the beginnings of Radio Caroline to Charles Orr Stanley and his son John who both managed the Pye Group of companies.
Chris Edwards was not the first person to request that his name be removed from our list of contributors due to the highly controversial area into which we began to delve. However, after agreeing to abide by his request, Chris then began making comments on other forums that implied that what we are engaging in is something that he disapproves of. It is true that this investigation is rapidly pulling the rug from underneath the anorak belief system, and unless this contradiction is addressed in OEM, it is likely that upon our own publication in book format of this information, a question of credibility will soon confront Offshore Echos Magazine.
However, what is now becoming very obvious is that Tony Benn has been libeled and slandered and that Ronan O'Rahilly has been exalted to a level of admiration that he does not deserve. What allowed the libel and slander to take place was the hidden story of Radio Caroline, which to this day has never been told, except by us!
We will be explaining more about the real problem facing Tony Benn and the real reason for the passage into law of the Marine Broadcasting Act of 1967, and its updated by incorporation version into the 1990 Broadcasting Act, within this continuing series of Blog posts.
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