Newspaper review: BBC Ding Dong song decision discussed


Many of the papers give their opinion of the decision by BBC Radio One to play just a short extract of the song which has been downloaded by thousands of people in a protest against Thatcherism.

The campaign group, Index on Censorship, tells the Guardian that the refusal to play the song Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead in full in Sunday's chart show was wrong.

But the Daily Mail is incandescent in its opposition, describing it as an "utterly disingenuous fudge" that has come about after a barrage of complaints from MPs.

Former Conservative defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth is quoted as saying that the BBC is "playing into the hands" of a left-wing campaign to damage Lady Thatcher's legacy.

The Sun front page speaks of the "fury" of two of the actors who played munchkins in the Wizard of Oz film where the song originally featured.

Ruth Duccini and Jerry Maren say they are ashamed and shocked that music from such a well-loved film is being used to celebrate someone's death.

Meticulous planning

The life and legacy of Lady Thatcher continues to feature in many of the papers.

The Times publishes an extract from a biography of the Iron Lady, which examines her early years in Grantham in a home said to have been " austere, teetotal" and where "the greatest sin of all was wasting time".

It reveals how the father she credited as her greatest influence had little involvement in her life once she left home to study at Oxford.

Details of Lady Thatcher's funeral are revealed in the Daily Telegraph.

It says the service, which was planned meticulously by the former prime minister, will be Christian, not Conservative, including the patriotic hymn I Vow To Thee My Country.

There will be a reading by David Cameron, but no political eulogy.

'Stay silent'

The Daily Express and the Daily Mail report on the increasing concern among Labour grandees that Ed Miliband is leading the party too far to the left.

Lord Mandelson and Alan Milburn are said to have backed Tony Blair's warning that Mr Miliband must adapt to the needs of modern Britain and avoid making Labour a party of protest.

The Daily Mail regards it as a sign that the party "is increasingly tearing itself apart".

The Express believes Tony Blair and his supporters should stay silent. It describes his comments as an "attack that reeks of conceit", accusing him of being largely to blame for Britain's current crisis.

Meanwhile, the Independent reports that Dr Andrew Wakefield, the man whose discredited research linked the MMR vaccine with autism, says he should not be blamed for the measles outbreak in south Wales.

He is said to believe that the government is "culpable" because it was determined to protect the MMR programme instead of allowing single vaccines. The government have denied his assertion.

Tracked to Iran

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has come in for criticism in the Daily Mirror, for apparently using a photograph of young Australian students on a website to recruit election volunteers.

A Labour MP accuses Mr Shapps of trying to make the party look young, diverse and modern. A Tory spokesman defends the web page, insisting that the rest of the photos used are of actual party activists.

And the Independent features the story of a man who has blogged on his experiences after his laptop was stolen in London and tracked through surveillance software to Iran.

The paper says the computer's inbuilt camera provided its owner with photographs of the people who were using it.

He supplied the evidence to the Metropolitan Police but was told that Tehran was out of their jurisdiction.

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