But it is possible, by exploring in more detail the events of late 1976, to piece together what he was aiming to do – and to use this speech as one way of understanding the peculiar collective mentalities of that moment.
My aim is to bring together these different strands of the low-cultural and high-political in order to show how they form part of a unique historical conjuncture, one which cannot necessarily be tied to a uniform understanding of ‘the 1970s’.
‘I think one has to look into the political motives of certain people who do not want our children to have a proper education,’ he said.
‘I love this country and I do not want to see the citizens of tomorrow becoming servants of another power – and I think Mrs Thatcher was right when she recently named the other power.’ His concern was prompted, he said, by researchers for Green’s ‘stand up and be counted’ speech was not, then, as odd as it first appears; it emerged out of both his own personal politics and the political-economic ‘crisis’ of the mid-1970s.
173-98, which pulls off the amazing feat of viewing the entire decade through the prism of its least lovable television presenter.’ – Dominic Sandbrook, Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979 ((London: Allen Lane, 2012), p.
907., a talent show on the UK commercial channel ITV, the presenter Hughie Green turned to the camera and suddenly adopted a grave demeanour. Then we got to my house and quietly snuck the chicken up to my front door, rang the doorbell, and hid around the corner. Victor was surprisingly pissed that I’d “wasted money” on an enormous chicken, because apparently he couldn’t appreciate the hysterical value of a 5 foot chicken ringing the doorbell. 15 YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.” Then he yelled that he wanted it gone, but I couldn’t move it myself, so instead I said okay and went to watch tv. It was awesome, and Laura and I agreed that even if we got tetanus, this chicken had already paid for himself even before we got it in her truck.Green’s employers at Thames Television were horrified at this flagrant breach of the 1955 Broadcasting Act, which stipulated that political issues should be dealt with on television with due impartiality.Thames’ director of programmes, Jeremy Isaacs, later wrote that Green’s ‘mixture of patriotism and propaganda … television critic in March 1977, is ‘unabashed about being hired to introduce a talent show but using it for giving his millions homilies about the state of the wunnerful nation.A nation that Churchill offered only blood and toil, tears and sweat. To lift up our heads and resolve that this time next year, we can say: we did it!Have we really lost what he once inspired in us – the dignity of work, the urge to salvage honour, the will to win? And it cost nothing but determination, hard work, freedom from strikes, better management, and from all of us: guts! Throughout this speech the orchestra had been building up to a crescendo.His Canadian accent became more clipped and English, which tended to happen when he was addressing more serious matters.As the in-house orchestra played sombre mood music, he asked his viewers: In your farewell to 1976, did you see Britain old and worn, on the brink of ruin, bankrupt in all but heritage and hope, and even those were in pawn?Plus, he’s awesome and I can’t stop giggling every time I look at him. Beyonce stares at him from outside his office window. “Knock-knock, motherfucker” is embroidered on all of them. Beyonce-the-giant-metal-chicken now has her own Facebook page with over 30,000 highly imaginative fans, and you can buy your own travel-sized Beyonce right here for under . ‘If there is one article worth singling out, it is surely Joe Moran’s splendid ‘”Stand Up and Be Counted”: Hughie Green, the 1970s and Popular Memory’, History Workshop Journal, 70 (2010), pp.