The Thank You Present by Christopher Reason

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BBC Radio 3, 12 November 2011
Terence Griffiths (or 'Griff') to his friends (Roger Allam) is a hotshot industrial reporter in the mid-1980s with a nose for exclusives. He reports  the miners' strike of 1985, and publishes a story which, had it been true, would have led to the downfall of one of the elected leaders of the NUM (National Union of Mineworkers), and a consequent destruction of their campaign to resist Mrs. Thatcher's plan to close down their pits. Unforunately the allegations prove false: Griff resigns from his newspaper and his career seems destroyed. Salvation comes in the form of an offer to head the department of journalism studies at an unnamed northern university. Griff willingly accepts the offer and runs the department in collaboration with long-time friend and ex-colleague Simon (Reece Dinsdale).
Now, twenty-eight years, later, Griff commits suicide for no apparent reason. It is left to Simon to discover the truth behind what happened, and he becomes involved in a complicated tale of bluff and double-bluff involving Rachel (Tracy Whitwell), a miner's wife who gave Griff the story in 1985, and who admits at the 2011 inquest that she was actually an undercover police officer. Griff turns out to be the fall-guy in a campaign of bluff and counter-bluff involving the State and the miner's union, designed to uncover each other's secrets. Once he understands this, he commits suicide out of shame, realizing that all his lovingly-cherished illusions about journalistic truth and integrity have been shattered.   
The Thank You Present was a cynical meditation on how the concept of 'truth' counts for nothing in a capitalist world dominated by interest groups and their fanatical desire to maintain power at any cost. Mrs. Thatcher's government wanted to smash the miner's union, and drew upon every organ of state policy - the police, the secret services, the press - to achieve their ends. Some might say that such methods were characteristic of 'totalitarian' rather than 'democratic' states: author Christopher Reason left us reflecting that there was probably little to distinguish between the two.
As Griff, Roger Allam cultivated an exterior of world-weary cynicism fuelled by liberal doses of vodka. As a representative of the so-called 'free' press, he understood that his duty lay in not reporting the truth but carrying out the wishes of the newspaper owners. Rachel's story gave him the chance to extricate himself from this corrupt vortex and stand up for what he believed in. Once he discovered the whole story was manufactured by the state, there was little other option for him other than to kill himself. Griff's death-scene was handled in a matter-of-fact way; he recorded a final message on his mobile phone, admitting that the only true source of stability in his turbulent life was his love for Simon.
Tautly directed by Gary Brown, The Thank You Present was a stinging indictment of the ways in which individuals and their beliefs are ruthlessly sacrificed by the state - even in the so-called 'democratic' west.