Letter:History will honour Wilson

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The Independent Online
I agree with Alan Watkins (18 August) that Channel 4's Secret History "documentary", "Harold Wilson - the Final Days", was "an utter disgrace". Indeed, I was surprised and disappointed by its unbalanced focus on the sinister, especially since the producer, Simon Berthon, is a television director of great experience as well as professional distinction.

The programme was stripped of all positive aspects of Harold Wilson's remarkable four terms as premier and his unique qualities as a Labour Party leader. It contained far too many aspects of the worst selective television drama, relieved here and there by an interesting interview most particularly with the former cabinet secretary Lord Hunt. Alan Watkins is right to protest about the imbalance, etc, as I have done to the producers.

Alan makes much play of Wilson's much trailed intention to retire early - though he knows, as we all did, that a good deal of those earlier hints were calculated to confuse his political enemies inside the Labour Party, more so than Wilson's foes on the other side of the House.

I look forward to a television documentary that sets Harold Wilson's achievements (as well as failings) in their proper perspective. I feel sure that history will accord him far greater esteem than some of the more recent shallow and superficial judgements.

Geoffrey Goodman

London NW7