Posts Tagged ‘Battle for Barking’

The Battle for Barking: good television – bad politics

03/12/2010, 12:00:19 PM

by Dan Hodges

The Battle for Barking, broadcast on More4 earlier this week, made for compelling viewing. Award-winning documentary maker, Laura Fairrie, spent a year “embedded” with the Margaret Hodge and BNP campaigns as they fought house by house, street by street, for control of the constituency and the council.

I was in Barking for part of that campaign as well. My job was to manage the press on behalf of Hope not Hate. I spent some of that time dealing with Laura Fairrie.

She’s a talented documentary maker. And a brave one. At best, the BNP are instinctively suspicious and hostile towards the media. At their worst, they turn violent.

Laura Fairrie didn’t infiltrate them as such. She wasn’t filming under cover. What she did was much harder. She got them to accept her. Then trust her. By then end, they had come to like her. There’s a telling moment at Griffin’s campaign launch when the BNP’s Bob Bailey asks for questions, and says, “Let’s start with Laura”. It’s said with undisguised affection. “They’ve had such terrible experiences with the media and film makers”, Laura told the Guardian. (more…)

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