Yes, a Brilliant Show and Danny Boyle's a Genius. but Why Have So Many Been Taken in by His Marxist Propaganda?
Byline: Stephen Glover
CAN there be a more ingenious and creative film director in the world than Danny Boyle? I very much doubt it. The man who devised last Friday's opening ceremony to the London Olympics deserves an instant knighthood at the very least -- not that I'd expect him, as a man of the Left, to accept it.
The brilliant Mr Boyle offered a billion or so people a strictly Marxist interpretation of British history. But far from being criticised for taking liberties with [pounds sterling]27million of public money, he has been lauded on the Right -- not least by David Cameron -- as much as by the Left. Clever man.
Whether more than a very few of the billion people who watched it realised they were being treated to a Marxist take on history, I doubt. More plaudits for Mr Boyle. He offered us a Marxist analysis without most of us realising it!
First we had the Arcadian bliss of pre-Industrial Revolution England with its happy peasants milling about with their sheep and geese. Their idyll was destroyed by the 'satanic mills' represented by the marvellously theatrical chimneys rising up from the ground.
This is the view of industrialisation provided by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, in which they lamented the effects of industrialisation and Free Trade, and wrote of the destruction of 'feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations' that had supposedly existed in the countryside.
It seems barely to have occurred to Marx and Engels, any more than it does to Mr Boyle, that the lives of the pre-Industrial Revolution rural poor were disfigured by ignorance, disease and illiteracy, and that life in the cities, though undoubtedly very hard for many, led quite soon to a higher standard of living and at least a modicum of education.
According to Mr Boyle's re-fashioning of history on Friday night, the urban poor were merely repressed by stovepipe-hatted capitalists. For him, subsequent history has consisted of a series of challenges to capitalist power (the Marxist class struggle) represented by the suffragettes, the Jarrow hunger marchers in the Thirties, and immigrants landing in Britain on the Empire Windrush.
Freed from their capitalist repressors, the people were able to create the NHS (much joyous jumping about on beds and myriad sweet-natured Mary Poppinses) and popular music, represented by The Beatles, the Sex Pistols and the Clash. The people's bliss has been re - established.
ALL this was superbly choreographed and dramatically presented by Danny Boyle. But now that the dust has settled, I hope I may be allowed to suggest that his Marxist version of our island history was ludicrously lopsided. Marxists will not mind. As I'm not a Marxist, I do.
There were no references to the achievements of the Empire which, for all its many defects, succeeded in spreading British culture and technology, as well as the English language, to more than a quarter of the globe. Empires for the likes of Danny Boyle are purely repressive.
Nor were there even fleeting references to the role of the Church or religion in British society (Marxists don't like God) or to the inventions and innovations (railway engines, steam ships, telegraph etc.) which powered the evil capitalist Industrial Revolution that Mr Boyle abominates.
You may say that there wasn't time to include all these things, and of course that is right. But if there was space for the suffragettes and the Empire Windrush, The Beatles and the Arctic Monkeys, there was surely room for one or two of them.
And I'm afraid I can't agree with Mr Boyle that the modern NHS is such a wonderful organisation. …