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In the autumn of 1970, Britain discovered oil in the North Sea. Since that time, North Sea Oil has come to occupy a central place in Britain's economic life. This programme looks at three factors t...hat affect many political decisions taken in Britain - particularly in regard to oil. Firstly, the general economic climate at the time, secondly, the traditions and competing ideological orientations of the parties involved and thirdly, the conflicting interests at different levels. are These factors are illustrated by interviews with Alan Fisher, General Secretary, N.U.P.E., Tony Benn, Minister for Energy in the last Labour Government, John Biffen, presently Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Jo Grimond, M.P. for the Orkney & Shetlands.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D232, Comparative politics
Item code: D232; 06
First transmission date: 10-08-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:23
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Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: Alan Fisher; David Potter; Tony Benn; John Biffen; Jo Grimond
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Economics; North Sea oil; Politics
Footage description: Views of oil rigs, wells and refineries. The commentary outlines three factors which have affected the distribution of oil refineries in the U.K. The economic climate, the tradition of adversary politics and regional interests. The historical economic context is examined, showing Britain's decline during the 1970s. Alan Fisher of the National Union of Public Employees explains that economic recession has made increased public spending an unpopular way in which to allocate oil revenues. Views of oil rigs. The programme now examines the adversary politics of this country, as opposed to the consensus politics of Holland. There follow several sections of film showing Margaret Thatcher and Jim Callaghan during the 1979 General Election, talking about their respective policies. Tony Benn describes three political trends operating in the U.K. The free market Conservative view, the corporatist view and the Labour view which is to increase public spending whilst breaking down the centralisation of power. Tony Benn and John Biffen give their views on how revenue from North Sea Oil should be used and how it should be allocated. The programme now considers the problem of regional interests. Views of the Orkneys. Jo Grimond describes the way in which the Shetland and the Orkneys have been affected by the oil. He then talks about the way in which national and regional interests can conflict.
Production number: FOUDOO6K
Videofinder number: 110
Available to public: no