There was a debate in the press recently (in relation to Braveheart) about whether historical inaccuracies detract from artistic merit. It must be hoped that isn't the case as far as This House is concerned, because it's not hard to spot the errors and misrepresentations. You'll wince at the portrayal of the SNP's Westminster leader Donald Stewart, but even worse is the depiction of the SDLP's Gerry Fitt as some sort of romantic Irish nationalist who helped bring down the British government for no other reason than that it was the British government. The reality is that if Fitt was a romantic anything, he was a romantic socialist. He was horrified when his successor as SDLP leader, John Hume, turned the party into an out-and-out nationalist party. He actually had a very specific reason for refusing to back Callaghan on the vote of no confidence: he wanted rid of Roy Mason as Northern Ireland Secretary.
Thursday, June 4, 2020
In the unlikely event that you have two-and-a-half hours to spare this morning or this afternoon, I can recommend that you grab the last chance to watch the National Theatre recording of This House - the story of the 1974-79 Labour government from the vantage point of the whips' office. I went to see it in Edinburgh in March 2018 - which given the current circumstances is a rather unsettling memory, because two days later I came down with just about the most horrendous dose of the flu I've ever had. Just goes to show how easily respiratory infection can be passed on in large indoor gatherings (although admittedly I've no idea whether I caught it in the theatre or on the train).
Posted by James Kelly at 8:26 AM