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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 October 2013

TV review: Peaky Blinders

Nick Hart, Birmingham Socialist Party

Set in Birmingham in 1919, new BBC drama Peaky Blinders gives a fictionalised account of the criminal outfit of that name in the early 20th century, giving an engaging snapshot of the political situation then.

Gang leader Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is joined by fellow Great War veteran Freddie Thorne, a member of the nascent Communist International. Agitating for a strike at the Birmingham Small Arms factory, he describes the horrors of the trenches before going on to say: "and what reward do they (the bosses) offer for your sacrifices? A cut in your wages!"

When a consignment of weapons goes missing from the factory, police inspector Campbell is drafted in from Belfast, having been involved in the British government's suppression of the IRA following the Easter Uprising - an important event in Birmingham and other cities with a large Irish population.

The series is slightly guilty of adding a Hollywood gloss to the squalid conditions before the introduction of free healthcare and when overcrowding was the norm in working class areas.

An opportunity was missed for a more detailed picture of everyday life at the time, opting for fast-paced action instead. But it proves an entertaining look at an eventful period of British history.

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In The Socialist 2 October 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise them now!

Tax dodging corporations profit from casualisation

Big business puts profits before environment

Tory millionaire tells Britain: 'Back to the workhouse!'

Them & Us


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fighting to defend our NHS


Socialist Party reviews

TV review: Locked up for being ill?

TV review: Peaky Blinders

Theatre review: A man of humble beginnings


Socialist Party editorial

Capitalist parties offer nothing to the 99%


Socialism 2013

Socialism 2013 - a weekend of discussion and debate hosted by the Socialist Party


Socialist Party workplace news

Solid support for teachers' strike

Firefighters' four-hour strike - determined and clear that coordinated action needed

Rochdale care workers dig in

Liverpool pay victory

Leeds zero-hour protest

In brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

28 percent for TUSC in Fleetwood

Lincoln: 400 march against Library cuts

The fight against academies in Leicester

Building Socialist Students


International socialist news and analysis

Greek government forced to take action against neo-fascists

Activists demand full public inquiry into undercover police operations

Sudan: 'Down with the regime!'

Qatar: End this modern-day slave labour


 

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