Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Toynbeeising Soaps

Polly Toynbee's call for soap opera's to become more politically engaged has inspired me to have a go at writing a Polly approved script for Coronation Street:
Betty: Pint of your usual Ken?

Ken: How can I drink when child poverty is increasing by 13% a month according to an Institute of Studies report and the Tory government are determined to throw the poor onto the bonfire?

Betty: Oh I know luv, I've tried getting a grant to turn the Rovers into a Sure Start Centre but it was impossible thanks to vicious Tory Cuts.

Ken: I don't have time to drink anyway, as I've got to get home to watch Ed Miliband's speech to the TUC now.
If anyone has any other ideas for Toynbeeising the soaps please feel free to offer your contributions.


Bucko said...

Ken: Knock knock. "Why is the Rovers not open?"
"Has it closed down because of the smoking ban?"

SadButMadLad said...

But I bet if the soaps did include politics in their story lines and happened to include some right wing views, Polly would complain about the inclusion of politics in soaps and demand that they be stopped.

A K Haart said...

Betty: Hi Ken, heard any good jokes lately?

Ken: Life is a joke under the Tories. How can I joke when child poverty has increased by 114% ?

Betty: Oh dear Ken, I didn’t know that. How about a nice game of darts?

Ken: I’m not into darts thanks very much. Not now the soup kitchens are being closed to pay the bonuses of Tory bankers.

Betty: Or some of my nice hotpot?

Ken: No thanks Betty. Anyway, you’re dead. I suppose the slashing Tory cuts mean you can’t even be buried.

Macheath said...

Remember all the Eastenders characters trooping off to the mobile ''Elf Clinic' as part of a government campaign to encourage people to go for screening, or the excruciating clunking plotlines as the Archers endorsed the national 'Get Online' campaign for the over-60s?

As far as I know, the only thing either of them achieved was to irritate the faithful and invite the scorn of reviewers.

Meanwhile, if it's verisimilitude she's after, what I want to know is why no one on 'The Archers' ever listens to 'The Archers'.

Anonymous said...

It's already been done. Brookside, Eastenders, even the Archers.

There's chapter and verse in Hitchens' "The Abolition of Britain".


Anonymous said...

Not that I'm a huge fan, but Betty's been dead quite a while.
Paris Claims

Ross said...

Bucko- As SadButMadLad points out, only certain kinds of politics apply here.

AKH & Anon- I knew she was dead, but I can't actually think of many Coronation Street characters.

Laban- Yeah, I've read The Abolition of Britain. The description of an asian character who moved to Ambridge seemingly for the sole purpose of being racially assaulted sticks in my mind.

Macheath- I think these campaigns upset viewers and listeners because their are a breach of trust- people wanted to be entertained and to use that time as an opportunity to preach at them is insulting.

Bucko said...

Ross - True dat. SadButMadLad and Macheath got me thinking though. I remember back in the days when I used to watch television, soaps used to tackle 'the issues' (Probably still do).
Remember at the end of the program there would be a short message saying, "If you have been affected by any of the issues in this program, call this helpline number....)

The lefties seem to think there should be professional help available for whatever 'trauma' you may have been through. They like people to be emotionally dependent on state workers who are there to help. Soaps seem to be a good way of dragging the masses into that.

John M Ward said...

Well, for a start, it'd have to be set in Islington from now on...