Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Very British Coup (1989)

Based on the speculative political novel by Chris Mullin, this British miniseries starred Ray McAnally as Harry Perkins, a third-generation Communist, lifelong steelworker, and a powerful labor leader. Thanks to strong support from the industrial countries, Harry was elected Prime Minister of England, whereupon he set to work putting his left-wing ideals in action. Harry's efforts were compromised by a vast right-wing conspiracy, fomented by a number of important Conservative money men and set in motion by Britain's' MI5 and America's CIA. The winner of four BAFTA awards, including Best Drama Series and Best Actor (Ray McAnally), A Very British Coup aired in three parts over Britain's Channel 4 from June 19 to July 3, 1988. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
A Very British Coup (1989)

A Very British Coup was a made for television 3 part series {mini-series}. For special features it includes an audio interview with Author, of the book the shows were based on, Chris Mullin.

Although the title said "British Coup", it seemed more like a US coup as the evil guys were Americans conspiring to topple the UK government. Production wise it was pretty good considering made for TV and had an overall good script. Well worth watching.

I put this one in the category of "Leftist Dogma" as Harry always had simple answers to complex problems. For example it is completely ironic that the UK government borrowed funds from a Russian bank. History should tell us enough to know that Russia never did before or after the filming of movie including all the debt crisis they have experienced since release of the film. But in all honesty some of his ideas seemed plausible enough to work, although I just wonder if all the workers were striking why didn't the capitalists strike also when the government started implementing some leftist agenda.

A Very British Coup - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Plot (TV version)
Harry Perkins, an unassuming, working class, very left-wing Leader of the Labour Party and Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central, is elected Prime Minister in March 1989. The priorities of the Perkins Government include dissolving all newspaper monopolies, removing all American military bases on UK soil, unilateral nuclear disarmament, and true open government. Immediately, the right wing and allies scheme to depose him, with the U.S. the key, but covert, conspirator.
His move to try to make the government more open is definitely a nice proposal, but as learned from the Wiki leaks, other governments might not like it much. Removing the American military bases did take up a lot of the film time and was reason implied in why the Americans were so up in arms. At one time Harry compares the bases to their own private aircraft carriers. Although it was lost the idea that aircraft carriers' most important trait is their mobility and their rock does not move fast enough.

Since this is after the environmental scares of the 70s, then nuclear power was also on his cutting block.
In the TV version the Prime Minister is presented with forged evidence of financial irregularity following a long running affair, with the suggestion that he should resign rather than see the story made public. He agrees to make a resignation speech on live TV, but instead announces the attempted blackmail to the world along with a new election. As the screen fades to black we hear the sound of helicopters and a radio announcer talking about the "constitutional situation".
It was also pointed out by the author that the closing scene had a close-up of a military jacket and thus portraying a possible coup on Harry's government.

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