The Curious Case of the Jamming of Uncle Scrim

Colin “Uncle Scrim” Scrimgeour

When we think of the jamming of broadcasts we would normally associate such practices with cold-war politics and despot nations. So it may surprise you to know that politically-motivated jamming has occurred in New Zealand.

The year is 1935, Colin “Uncle Scrim” Scrimgeour a well-known broadcaster and Methodist minister implored the masses to vote for the opposition Labour party in the upcoming election.  The jamming was carried out at the behest of the then Minister of Broadcasting in the governing National Party and rumour has it an amateur radio operator and civil servant provided the necessary skill to do so.

More on this intriguing topic and the life of this iconic broadcaster can be found on Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.

2 responses to “The Curious Case of the Jamming of Uncle Scrim

  1. Paul’s comment – ‘…implored the masses to vote for the opposition Labour party…’ is at odds with Scrim’s comment, page 45 of the book ‘The Scrim-Lee Papers – A.H. & A.W.Reed. Scrim – “I had no intention of doing other than protesting against the morality of a system which compelled people to hunger and want life’s decencies in a world of plenty….I had no intention of saying anything political which would have put the owners of other small stations in jeopardy…”
    Interestingly, pages 48-49 of the same book show a copy from a 1936 newspaper of that event, stating in part – ‘…the new Postmaster-General, Hon. F. Jones, made the following sensational disclosure, a disclosure that has been regarded as a first-class sensation by the New Zealand Press and which the “Radio Record.” in fairness to all the broadcasting interests involved, publishes here: – “I find as a result of inquires into the jamming of 1ZB that it has been established that instructions were issued by responsible authorities under the direction of the late Postmaster-General to take the steps which were adopted to put the station off the air on that occasion.”
    There is much more of course on those two pages. In fact the whole book is a sensational read and disclosure to behind the scenes politics and influencing powers and controls.

  2. Pingback: The Jamming of 1ZB |

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