Politically incorrect film reviews – Outlaw and Made in England

Nick Love and Shane Meadows, two directors of white workingclass origin who like nothing better than to tell the world how much they empathise with the white workingclass world they grew up in. In pursuit of this they make films such as Football Factory (Love) and 24/7 (Meadows). As films their products are watchable but they are also profoundly dishonest. The problem is that both Love and Meadows have donned the liberal bigot coat of many pc colours and the white workingclass world they show is robbed of one essential ingredient: an honest portrayal of the racial friction between workingclass whites and black and Asian immigrants and their descendents.

The dishonesty takes one of two forms: race is either completely ignored (Football Factory) or the story is skewed so that (1) non-white characters are included in an attempt to show workingclass whites and nonwhites “living in harmony” and (2) to allow some of the white characters to be represented as racist boneheads and some to display a white liberal’s appreciation of “the joy of diversity”. Outlaw and Made in England display these latter traits.

Outlaw could have been an English taxi driver. It has a first rate cast which includes Sean Bean, Bob Hoskins and Danny Dyer. The story is of a group of men who form a vigilante gang in response to the supposed crime wave politicians are always feeding the populace. Bean as the leader of the vigilante group gives a dynamic charismatic performance as a workingclass northerner Royal Marine just returned from Iraq to London. . The rest of his gang bar one are entirely plausible, being white and working class Londoners. The “bar one” is a posh black QC who supposedly joins the group because his wife is killed by gangsters on behalf of a Mr Big whom the posh black QC is prosecuting for the Crown. The killer is inevitably white.

The sheer improbability of this scenario – white workingclass lad, posh black QC – alone made the film ridiculous. The clunking political correctness makes it wearisome : the Hoskins character (a serving detective) fawns over the black barrister whom he is part protecting part driving around, utterly robs Hoskins of his normal upfront bluntness, while the rest of the gang never think to say “’ere, what’s this posh black geezer doing with us?” The clear message of the film is that this is that race is utterly unimportant and that everyone no matter what their background is perfectly happy to muck in together and violent crime is really a white thing – none of the characters the gang attacks is non-white. The film is worth seeing for one reason as a film – Bean’s performance.

Made in England is rather more subtle. Here we have a skinhead gang in Lincolnshire around the time of the Falklands (1982). The gang , led by “good guy” Woody ( Joe Gilgun) adopt an eleven year old boy Shaun (Thomas Tugoose) whose father has been killed fighting in the Falklands. The gang, despite being skinhead, has a black member (natch). Meadows attempts to justify this improbable scenario by claiming that the roots of the skinhead phenomenon lay in white boys taking a liking to black music in the late sixties. Whether that is true or not, by the early eighties skinhead culture was resolutely anti-immigrant and the existence of a gang of skinheads who not only have a black member but never mention race even when the black member is not with them, is improbable in the extreme.

All goes along swimmingly in a multi-culti fashion until an ex-con Combo (Stephen Graham) returns from prison and tries to take over the gang and inject a racial element into it. He merely splits the gang between himself and Woody. Bingo! We have the “good” skinheads (Woody) and the “bad” skinheads Combo and the trite little pc agitprop piece is then played out to show how the “bad” skinheads are violent thickos and not at all representative of England while the “good” skinheads are the real English deal, all bubbling with enthusiasm for “the joy of diversity. The film ends clankingly with the Shaun symbolically tossing his flag of St George into the sea. Despite its agitprop by numbers nature, this film does have some very strong performances from the main actors, especially Tugoose who gives one of the great child actor performances.

The PC lesson to draw from the two films is simple: the white workingclass’ real problem is not race or immigration or a lack of national expression it is their social circumstances.

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6 Responses to Politically incorrect film reviews – Outlaw and Made in England

  1. Barry says:

    I thought it was odd but then chose to ignore the fact in this is England that skinheads had a black male with them.Thinking about it now and then I always thought hey they would never allow him to be anywhere near them and guess what most people watching it know it! I dont think a proper film would ever pass the sensor, imagine making a film about a black racist, or an asian racist it would never ever get commisioned yet we all know it happens. We want truth not what a director thinks will get past the sensor whats the point in that you are only lying to yourself not us.

  2. uKn_Leo says:

    “The problem is that both Love and Meadows have donned the liberal bigot coat”.

    This will be in order to get their films produced at all. No politically correct underlying message means no film. It has been that way for some time now, as in all mainstream entertainment and media streams. If you want the work, the money, recognition and acclaim, you sell your soul, produce what is demanded, stay quiet, and learn to live with the ensuing guilt and shame.

    A solution for the more discerning media consumer, throw your television out of the window. It worked for me and mine. No more lies, spin, propaganda, social engineering, anti-English or anti-caucasian sentiments/narratives. But lots of extra free time for reading, learning, socialising, keeping fit, visiting excellent blogs like this one, etc. Try it, it’s fantastic.

    One quick observation in defence of Love and Meadows regarding the film Football Factory. Football hooliganism, was, an area where there was a large degree of genuine inter-racial blindness and cohesion. If you met the ‘firms’ entry requirements, you were in, regardless of skin colour. It was the mass immigration and concomitant experiments in diversity and multiculturalism of the last decade or so that ruined this example of successful working class inter-racial cooperation. As the nation has polarised along racial lines, so have football hooligans, for whom forced multiculturalism and tolerance have produced the exact opposite of the results that were allegedly intended.

  3. Alex says:

    To describe football hooliganism as an example of “successful working class inter-racial co-operation” is bizarre. Football hooligans, of any skin colour, are at the minimum pests that few would miss if they all disappeared. At a deeper level they are a symptom of something rotten in the state of England.

  4. fred says:

    At that time in the ’80′s I was friends with a black skinhead.

    But you did have different ‘gangs’ and he did suffer abuse from some skinheads and non-skinheads.

    As far as the music is concerned the original skins did like to ‘black’ music, much as punks also used to liked to some black music.

    So not all skinheads were/are racist

  5. uKn_Leo says:

    @Alex

    I wasn’t commenting on the rights and wrongs of football hooliganism. Merely stating that they were an example of a subculture where differing ethnicities worked together in harmony (as they scoured the land beating seven bells out of each other).

  6. Lurker says:

    Somewhere I saw Meadows described as suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. He is white working class in origin, he’s got talent but he is surrounded by middle class liberal/left people. Desparate to curry favour with his masters he warps his art to suit their prejudices rather than stay true to himself.

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