New George Orwell Statue in London


Last month a statue of the author George Orwell was unveiled outside of Broadcasting House in London, home of the BBC. There is quite a bit of irony in this since Orwell, who worked at the BBC on broadcasts to India during the Second World War, disliked his propaganda work there immensely and found the place a total bore.
In his excellent new book, Churchill & Orwell, Thomas Ricks mentions that Orwell wrote in his diary that the BBC had an atmosphere that “is something between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum, and all we are doing at present is useless, or slightly worse.” Orwell also wrote that at the BBC “nothing ever happens except continuous dithering.”
Ricks points out that Orwell continued his digs at the BBC in his book 1984, when he named “the torture chamber in that novel ‘Room 101,’ after the conference room at the BBC’s building in London at 55 Portland Place, where he sat through meetings, deadly bored.”

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