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Secret Society (suppressed BBC series) (1987)
About this BBC series you can read on the wikipedia page of Duncan Campbell (investigative journalist):

The Secret Society series caused a political furore in 1987. BBC Director General Alasdair Milne's support for this series was one of the key reasons he was sacked (and replaced by Michael Checkland, an accountant). This Journalistic Coup d'État was conducted by Lord Victor Rothschild, Margaret Thatcher and Marmaduke Hussey in 1986.

The production team behind the series was threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. Mr Campbell's front door was kicked down and his home searched. In 1987, Strathclyde Police raided the corporation's Scottish headquarters in Glasgow and seized the tapes from the offices of BBC Scotland where the series had been made. Mr Campbell's home was also raided, The tapes were later returned and the series broadcast on the BBC except for episode one. The BBC decided that the episode (one) about secret cabinet committees was too sensitive to show before the 1987 general election. The Thatcher government leaned on the BBC to prevent its damaging allegations being made public.

1. The Secret Constitution: Secret Cabinet Committees - about small, secret and influential Cabinet committees.
2. In Time Of Crisis: Government Emergency Powers - Since 1982, governments in every other NATO country have been preparing for the eventuality of war. In Britain, these preparations are kept secret. So what will happen when the balloon goes up?
3. A Gap In Our Defences - Bungling defence manufacturers and incompetent military planners have botched every new radar system that Britain has installed since World War Two. Why? And can we stop it happening again?
4. We're All Data Now: Secret Data Banks - The Data Protection Act is supposed to protect us from abuse, but it's already out of date and full of loopholes. So what kind of abuses should we worry about?
5. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) - ACPO Making up their own law and policy. About the Association of Chief Police Officers and how Government policy and actions are determined in the fields of law and order.
6. Communications Zircon - About GCHQ with particular reference to a secret £500 million satellite. Reference to Zircon spy satellites which the public accounts committee were not told about.

Now I was just able to find on google video the first episode and I uploaded it on rapidshare.

The first episode about secret cabinet committees features author Peter Hennessy, Clive Ponting and MP Clement Freud amongst others. In this freedom of information tour de force Campbell exposes the secret decision to buy U.S. Trident nuclear submarines as well as laying bare the cabinet level dirty tricks campaign against CND and its general secretary Bruce Kent.
Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan, the British Atlantic Committee, The ultra-right Coalition for Peace Through Security and the cabinet secretary come in for sharp criticism for keeping key decisions secret from MP's.
Channel 4 and Mr Campbell later attempted to buy the "banned" episode (one) from the BBC but were rebuffed. Eventually, the original scripts were used to produce a new version and it was broadcast in 1991 on Channel 4 as part of a season of banned films.
However, the original has never been broadcast.
I don't know if this is the original or the one broadcast by channel 4.

On youtube its possible to find some small pieces of the other 5 episodes, and on about 10 torrents I just found this one alive, but it contains just 4 episodes and its really slow.

Any of you knows where its possible to find all 6 episodes, possibly on high speed servers or trackers?

Hi Tony and welcome to DPF!

Yes, this BBC series was notorious at the time.

Important historical context is that this was still the era of the D Notice, when a faceless Civil Servant, acting on orders from the government or MI5, could simply stat that programme Y or fact Z could not be broadcast on "national security grounds" - without having to justify their decision.

The rather anodyne wiki entry below suggests that there was some element of "voluntary compliance" with D notices. That's not true. D notices were obeyed by broadcasters and publishers.

In Britain, a Defence Advisory Notice or DA-Notice (called a Defence Notice or D-Notice until 1993) is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security.

D-Notices and DA-notices are merely a request and therefore not legally enforceable and consequently news editors can choose to ignore them without (in theory) official repercussions, although they are generally accepted by the media.

The original D-Notice system was introduced in 1912, run as a voluntary system by a joint committee headed by an Assistant Secretary of the War Office and a representative of the Press Association.

In 1971 all existing D-Notices were cancelled and replaced by standing D-Notices that gave general guidance on what could be published and what could not, and what would require further advice from the secretary of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee (DPBAC). In 1993 the notices were renamed DA-Notices.

As of 2008[update] there are five standing DA-Notices:[1]

DA-Notice 01: Military Operations, Plans & Capabilities
DA-Notice 02: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Weapons and Equipment
DA-Notice 03: Ciphers and Secure Communications
DA-Notice 04: Sensitive Installations and Home Addresses
DA-Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Special Services
On 8 April 2009 the Government issued a 'D' notice in relation to sensitive anti-terror documents photographed when Assistant-Commissioner Bob Quick arrived at Downing Street for talks about current intelligence.

[edit] Australia
A voluntary system of D-Notices was also used in Australia starting in 1952 during the Cold War period and were issued by the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Committee. At the first meeting of the Committee, eight D-Notices were issued covering atomic tests in Australia, aspects of naval shipbuilding, official ciphering, the number and deployment of Centurion tanks, troop movements in the Korean War, weapons and equipment information not officially released, aspects of air defence and certain aerial photographs.[2]

In 1974 the number of D-Notices was reduced to four, covering:[2]

Technical information regarding navy, army and air force weapons, weapons systems, equipment and communications systems;
Air operational capability and air defences;
Whereabouts of Mr and Mrs Vladimir Petrov; and
Ciphering and monitoring activities.
A fifth D-Notice relating to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) was issued in 1977.[2]

In 1982 D-Notices were again revised to four.[3]

D Notice 1: Capabilities of the Australian Defence Force, Including Aircraft, Ships, Weapons, and Other Equipment;
D Notice 2: Whereabouts of Mr and Mrs Vladimir Petrov;
D Notice 3: Signals Intelligence and Communications Security; and
D Notice 4: Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).
The Defence, Press and Broadcasting Committee has not met since 1982 although the D-Notice system remains the administrative responsibility of the Minister for Defence.[2]

The D-Notice system fell out of common use at the end of the Cold War but remained in force. The 1995 Commission of Inquiry into the Australian Secret Intelligence Service reported that newspapers confessed ignorance that the D-Notice system was still operating when it was drawn to their attention in 1993 and 1994.[4]

[edit] References
^ Details of the UK D-Notice system from
^ a b c d Sadler, Pauline (May 2000). "The D-Notice System". Australian Press Council News.
^ "Fact sheet 49 – D Notices". National Archives of Australia.
^ Gordon J. Samuels and Michael H. Codd (1995), Report on the Australian Secret Intelligence Service - Commission of Inquiry into the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Australian Government Publishing Service, pp. 114-115, ISBN 0644432012

[edit] External links
D-Notice website (official web site)
National Archives of Australia
Dr. Pauline Sadler, "The D-Notice System", on the Australian Press Council News website
Retrieved from ""
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Finally I found first 4 episodes. Missing are last two (5 and 6) programmes. If you have them, share them
... one of the chief sources of cultural paranoia is the everwidening rift between the beliefs of a people and their actual behavior, and the tacit assumption among these same people that this practice�this contradiction between idealism and practice�is a normal state of affairs.
LIONEL RUBINOFF, The Pornography of Power

Thank you very much Tony !
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
I echo Magda's thank you Tony. I remember the series at the time, especially the Zircon satellite affair.

Duncan Campbell bombed one of my proposals for a mind control doco for Channel 4's Dispatches, so I don't have much reason to like him. But he was a penetrating journalist in his day.

I remember that out of the money allocated by Channel 4 to "independently" assess the proposal, Campbell had it all but for about £20 or so, which didn't even cover my journey expenses to meet him. I travelled by train and tube. He traveled by taxi and claimed for it. :evil:

Ah, the smell of champagne socialism in the morning - how I love it...
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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