Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »
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Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative Party and financial institutions of the City of London. The IMF, the military and their secret service "comrades" start to plot against of the elected PM. They are unhappy with the non-nuclear and neutral aspirations of his party (during the Cold War) and are supported in their fears by nationalistic media moguls. Quietly, the protagonist Harry is driven by an underlying desire to compensate for the corporate manslaughter of his granddad, "who were killed at work" when he was "splashed by molten steel". Harry inherited his shaving mug, nothing more, and was originally determined to see workers participate in decision making for safety on the job. As his national-political consciousness grew he formed a wider agenda for a reinvestment in health and education as well as public ownership of public ... Written by
"A Very British Coup" was a turning point in my life. Aged about 18 and having spent much of that time in Mrs Thatcher's Britain, this mini-series illustrated what might have happened had a Michael Foot, Tony Benn or a Ken Livingstone been elected Prime Minister.
Ken Livingstone wrote a book called "If Voting Changed Anything They'd Abolish It". Harry Perkins the new socialist British Prime Minister, like all the best idealists fighting a hopeless cause, simply doesn't know when he is beaten, or rather he chooses to carry on regardless of the storm clouds looming.
Shortly after his election he receives the traditional congratulatory phone call from the US president. A formal script is placed in his hands which he refuses to follow much to everyone's consternation and the scene is set.
The Americans cannot risk losing control of their huge static aircraft carrier off the coast of France (it used to be called the UK). Big Business tries to starve the Perkins government of funds. Harry responds brilliantly surviving on low cunning and simple honesty in this capitalistic, high-brow, dishonest world.
There is no way his government can survive, it will not be allowed. There are dark forces gathering......
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