Review: Blair and Brown: The New Labour Revolution was an enthralling view of how a new hope turned into a Greek tragedy
In May 1997, life seemed rosy – I was moving into a new flat, I’d just started a new job in London, and new Labour had just won a landslide over John Major’s stultifying, sleaze-ridden, grey-suited Conservatives.
And as the first episode of Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution (BBC2, Mon, 9pm) reminded us, everything on that sunny May 2 – as the results were announced and Michael Portillo was left with nothing to do but root out his old train timetables – seemed light and optimistic. The change the Labour Party had been going through since the disastrous election of 1983, slowly at first under Neil Kinnock, and then at breakneck speed under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, had culminated in a government which promised so much.
As does this four-part documentary, which allows all the main players the chance to speak, unmediated by narration or presenter. Blair and Brown are there, of course, as are Peter Mandelson, Patricia Hewitt, and Alistair Campbell, as well as many other civil servants and party apparatchiks.
Man falls from roof after police respond to concern for welfare call in Preston city centre
Preston man charged for indecently exposing himself in Fulwood and Ingol
‘Violent’ man wanted for breaching suspended prison sentence has links to Bamber Bridge, Preston and Samlesbury
Preston murder investigation: Two men wanted by Lancashire Police after 25-year-old man dies in hospital after suffering ‘serious head injuries’ in attack
Body of man found at house in Morecambe
By the second episode, it’s beginning to look like a Greek tragedy; these two brilliant men, thrown together by fate and a shortage of Parliamentary office space, doomed to be riven apart by jealousy and ambition, with the hangers-on acting as the chorus.
Eventually, the Labour government – and my ‘wonderful’ new job – ended in disappointment and dashed hopes. This terrific series looks like avoiding that fate.
Along with many others, it seems, I’ve started watching Squid Game (Netflix) and I’m not sure what the fuss is about. I’ve heard episode six is the best, but I’m on Ep.3 and I’m not sure I can wait that long.
The Hairy Bikers Go North (BBC2, Thurs, 8pm) was the TV equivalent of comfort eating, as the hirsute Harley handlers trekked through the Lakes, eating lovely stuff. A break from everyday stress.