Really, no, he wasn’t

At times of national crisis, it pays to listen to the great playwrights. Writing in the New Statesman, David Hare makes the point that the real culprits in the Brexit fiasco are not the “red wall” victims of an austerity-induced discontent wrongly attributed to our membership of the EU. No: they are comfortably off members of an influential elite. Hare writes: “The people who were desperate to pull Britain away from its geographical moorings were as likely to be found in Knightsbridge as in Hartlepool. The leader of the UK Independence party, Nigel Farage, who put the fear of God into the Conservative party, was a stockbroker. His principal cheerleaders were press owners, paid-up members of an elite who all lived abroad: Rupert Murdoch, Lord Rothermere and the Barclay brothers.”

Not a stockbroker. He was in the metals market, not stocks.

And as to being backed by Murdoch – I still recall the day that the chief political report of The Times insisted – and wouldn’t retract – that Ukip wasn’t going to fight the next election. Something which was, of course, rather damaging to the cause at the time….backed by press owners my arse.

21 thoughts on “Really, no, he wasn’t”

  1. Surely that should read “Sir David Hare”.

    C’mon guardian, he hasn’t renounced it you know.

  2. Still waiting for Hare to write even a passably decent play. He has made lots of attempts but he seems not to learn from experience

  3. Who are these great playwrights? Because Hare is definitely no one of them. And writing agitprop is not writing plays.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    The left love to use the word austerity to explain things they don’t like. To the extent we ever did have austerity its lost all meaning and its just a verbal tick.

    If the red wall (should we now call them blue wall?) areas ever thought austerity was the problem they soon lost interest because of its overuse by the left.

    Far more important to them was the daily hassle of trying to get doctors appointments, school places, housing, jobs etc when they could see an influx of immigrants also laying claim to those resources.

  5. Everyone knows that it was the NHS and our scientists who came to the rescue, not greed or capitalism.

    Working for free, are they?

    Indeed, knowing as I do how much British influence in Brussels was appreciated by other member states, I suspect that if we had remained inside the union we should have acted as a beneficent influence, preventing them from getting into such a tangle over vaccines.

    So it’s Brexit’s fault again. Damn you, Brexit! Damn yooooouuuuuuuu!

    If only Johnson were to do a U-turn on Brexit

    Swivel eyed fruitcakes, always banging on about Europe. Sad!

  6. The ‘Red Wall’ voted tory not because the tories are much better, but because they’re sick of being s**t on by the Labour Party, which has morphed over the last 20 years into the anti-English party.

  7. Diogenes,

    The Arts Council keep paying him, so why put in the effort to make a good one?

    My rough rule of thumb about playwrights is how often anyone has spent their own money adapting their work to the screen.

    And the truth is that nearly all of the best writing goes straight to screen now. Why keep paying actors and prop people every day if you don’t have to. I think David Mamet might be the last great playwright, and he shifted from writing plays to doing screenplays (Ronin, The Untouchables and others).

  8. Couldn’t be arsed to read the referenced article, so thank you Steve for the quotes. If he believes that we could have pulled the EU’s irons out of the fire then he really is deluded. I can’t imagine St Ursula the Unsuccessful listening to any advice from Boris.

  9. At times of national crisis, it pays to listen to the great playwrights.

    Prime Minister, the Argentines have invaded the Falklands.

    Call Pinter.

    Ma’am, he’s at a writers block retreat in Bali. Stoppard’s available.

    Bring him in.

  10. At times of national crisis, it pays to listen to the great playwrights

    Lol.

    Anyway, the author seems unaware that virtually the entire political class, the media, the ‘charity’ sector, academia and the CBI were all backing ‘Remain’. I mean, he can pretend all he likes that this wasn’t the case but he’s lying.

    I suspect that if we had remained inside the union we should have acted as a beneficent influence, preventing them from getting into such a tangle over vaccines.

    Genuine lol. It would still have been a fucking shitshow, and he’d be blaming Britain.

  11. The remain/leave line was most strongly about establishment and non-establishment. The loudest remain voices I knew were at the BBC and involved in museums. But it was also the subsidised arts, lawyers and doctors who benefit from government licensing.

    The rich people who wanted to leave all enjoyed few advantages of government (e.g. Dyson, JCB).

  12. At times of national crisis, it pays to listen to the great playwrights

    The Guardian really is beyond parody.

  13. “I think David Mamet might be the last great playwright, and he shifted from writing plays to doing screenplays (Ronin, The Untouchables and others).”

    Not really. In the last 20 years, he has written 13 plays and 9 scripts. Since 2015, 4 plays and no scripts. I cannot comment on the films he has written but, in the case of Harold Pinter at least, it is noticeable that the films he scripted are not as gripping as his stage plays. The same is true of Tom Stoppard. Perhaps it is because they can choose their own material when they write a play rather than having someone else’s project thrust upon them

  14. Diogenes,

    My point was more that little of Stoppard’s and Pinter’s work has been adapted to the screen. And very few films today are adapted from plays. But if you went back to cinema of the 40s and 50s, a great deal of it was adaptations of plays to screen. Most adaptations are from musicals.

  15. I suspect musicals are the only form of theatre that makes any real money, the rest being subsidized by the arts council and similar bodies.

    Re: UKIP and the press, despite some sympathetic noises all the supposedly ‘right wing’ press still backed the Tories at the election times.

    ‘pull Britain away from its geographical moorings’- yes, leavers wanted to tow the UK out into the middle of the Atlantic!

  16. If you’re a Guardian writer (or even reader) the world is full of people making ‘wrong’ decisions, which (from your viewpoint) are completely inexplicable (mostly because you’ve never asked for, and certainly not listened to, any justification for their views). This can’t possibly be the result of your being completely out of touch with real people (and reality in general), so it can only be the outcome of interference by ‘dark forces’ (Murdoch, Putin, Xi, the Illuminati, the Jooz, …). The resultant conspiracy theories make Qanon look like a bastion of rational enlightenment.

  17. “At times of national crisis, it pays to listen to the great playwrights.” Maybe, but why go on to recommend listening to a shit one?

  18. TG – You’re welcome

    PJF – Excellent

    BoM4 – Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross is a work of genius.

  19. The Guardian’s version of British history is far different to the one I remember at school. Apparently William Shakespeare defeated the Armada, Lord Byron won the Battle of Waterloo, and Noel Coward led the country against the Nazis in 1940. How could my teachers have been so wrong??????

  20. Dennis, The Shakespeare of Westerville

    If LBJ had only made Tennessee Williams his Secretary of Defense we’d have won in ‘Nam.

  21. Rothermere was a remainder wasn’t he?! Grauniad manages to be wrong even when quoting another publication…

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