Pride

There used to be an ad for a fly spray – Mortein, I think – that said that when you are on a good thing, stick to it.  It should be the first maxim of advocacy (and the writing of judgments) – if you have good point, stick to it, and do not spoil it with a dud.  This advice is ignored by novices, as we saw with Mr Crowe, and zealots.  People making a moral or political point can come within the second category.  The movie Pride is well intentioned and by and large well done, but in its zeal to promote tolerance about gays it loses aim and focus.  In the great miners’ strike of 1984, the British coal miners, especially in Wales, fought for survival against Margaret Thatcher and lost.  Her demonology is assumed and assured, but we see next to nothing of Arthur Scargill, the miners’ leader, because his ambition, crookedness, and disloyalty make Mrs T look like a saint.  A gay and lesbian action group decides to intervene to help other victims of the oppression by the unthinking masses, but intolerance on social issues is more entrenched among blue collar workers, especially in  a former Methodist bible belt.  We get the heart warming breaking down of barriers, and some fearful stereotypes on either side, but since we know that the miners lose , to what end?  Some parts are delivered with assurance and conviction, but for some there will be too many parts, and there is the danger that people on both sides of what is a black hats and white hats movie, with a female Judas, will become uncomfortably typed – how do the Welsh respond to their being different but counted among the good guys and bad guys.  The point, though, is worth making – and as I was reminded on the way home, this all took place more than thirty years ago, and a lot changes now in such a span of time.

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