Thursday, 14 July 2011

“Doing a Bridget” Bridget Murphy – animal rights campaigner

Bridget Murphy lives in St Helier No1 District. Continuing my series of interviews with interesting residents, I caught up with Bridget this morning at the Hotel de France anti-whaling protest. The car horns in the background are passing motorists showing their support.

Bridget is best known for her letters to the JEP and regular contribution to the BBC Radio Jersey lunchtime phone–in programme, until it was curtailed.

I ask her about what might appear at first glance as a paradox in her support for all things “Establishment” and yet be a vocal campaigner. In Jersey supporters of the status quo, take their opinions from the JEP and maintain a genteel silence; so why is she prepared to do what few others will do?

Here she explains the origins of her involvement in campaigning against animal cruelty and goes on to explain what she thinks about the decision by BBC Radio Jersey to curtail the phone-in.

I have often been at odds politically with Bridget, but I respect her for having the courage to voice those views. She says she will be voting for me in the October elections. Some may be surprised at that. In that case they haven't really grasped that in a crisis new opportunities arise and alliance are born. Yes, the times they are a-changin'.


  1. What a load of waffle!
    Why didn't you ask her why she followed the establishment propaganda and spin on all the abuse issues, instead of looking into the actual facts as produced by bloggers? Why is she happy to be interviewed for a blog but won't refer to them?

  2. Sooo nice to see everybody getting along so nicely. I think your right, new alliances are being formed and it might just prove to be a very healthy catalyst for change.

    I loved the horns. It told me that there are lots of Jersey people that do care.

    Other then that you could have cut it down to 6 minutes. That's a minute more than BBC used to give her!

    Good blog.

  3. We democracy campaigners have experienced for years the indifference of the official government media outlets in Jersey. Our ideas are not taken seriously. We are never interviewed, yet foreign journalists flock to our door when they want an explanation of what is really going on in the island and how the society and economy function.

    Bridget experienced first hand something we know well, when she argued with BBC Radio Jersey and came out with a bloody nose. She has a certain pride and it was dented. As someone of generally right wing opinion she did not expect Government Media to treat her in that fashion. The truth is we are all plebs and deserve to be in the gutter.

    The phone-in was curtailed because opinion was becoming too shrill. This was merely a reflection of social polarization going on in Jersey society as the economic crisis deepens. In advance of an election and for reasons of general stability, it was decided to eliminate this discordance. Jersey society will suffer in silence.

    The new policy is one of harmony, trivia and reassurance that government is coping. BBC Radio Jersey now presents banal slogans ( I parody) like “From Green Street roundabout to the Snow Hill bins, loving where we live”!!!.

  4. I disagree with you about Talkback. It was not just curtailed because it was too shrill; there was also a new station manager, and history shows that any new station manager (on any BBC Radio station, including the big 4), always wants to "make their mark" - i.e. change things!

    It is very rare to get a new media team anywhere who doesn't - same also applies to TV shows with producers and controllers.

  5. TonyTheProf

    I was referring to the closure of the lunchtime phone-in programme, rather than Talkback, which still exists in altered form.

    According to Minutes of the BBC users group, the lunchtime phone-in was becoming “predictable”. It is not clear what coded meaning hides behind the word “predictable”. Too much Bridget?

    I interviewed Bridget here in order to show she is not the one dimensional caricature Loyalist defender of the status quo.

    I have met many people who say they miss the lunchtime programme. They clearly did not find it predictable and rather enjoyed the many and varied characters who turned up. This is particularly true of the elderly retired who have time on their hands. Some are house bound and often with a limited circle of friends; listening in to the “moan in” was a place where they could cheer or scoff opinions they themselves held. Essentially it was something intensely “local”. Listeners knew the regular contributors and their opinions. It was also a view of island affairs and concerns from the point of view of the ordinary person, bottom up, rather than the press releases from government Ministers that is the staple of “official” news. For some it was an opportunity to comment from thier point of view on that "official news".

    I agree that new Managers like to assert their control, sooner rather than later, with changes to the way things have been done previously.

    I regularly forget to listen the new style Talkback. It has become “predictable” – uncontroversial, tame and uninformative. The subject matter is tightly controlled and the politicians who turn up seem content to be so constrained.

    Bring back the cut and thrust of opinion and prejudice. Lets hear what the people really think and want.

  6. If only the Jersey public was really bothered about the right to protest - whether on air or the streets.
    Ex Bailiff Bailhache led a dubious rally a few months ago at the same Hotel venue with a complete constitutional change for Jersey in mind. Yet, there was not a single banner outside then or hardly a word about it in the media.
    I am pleased that whales in distant waters have their supporters in Jersey but wonder why so few Jersey residents care about their own political salvation?

    As I have noted elsewhere, Pip Ozouf has a blog and invites comment from anybody - yet hardly any can be bothered to engage with him?

    No doubt Bailhache will be elected because of his status - but will the voters be supporting his "independent Jersey" policy? Tom Gruchy asks