Striking a three-figure deal with kitchen-sink director, Ken Loach, the challenging sixty-seven minute “On the side of the Angels” documents New Labour’s failure to deliver a coherently “broken society”. Shot over a ten year period in the 1980s, the camera follows the appalling living conditions of seven former mine workers from Hampstead, forced from their jobs and stripped of their livelihoods - through the eyes of Princess Diana.
“That bitch? She promised us the world.” complains Happy, reclining on an all-too familiar stool in Putney Job Agency. “And what did she do? Ran off with yon coke-piping Judas. Tit-teasing cunt-jockey. And - then - then she got hitched and potted by that other poor bugger. - Not that I’m bitter. Not bitter at all. In fact, I’m glad she left. We’re better off out of it.” Due to chronic scrotal arthritis, Happy hasn’t worked since the Achondroplasia Ltd minesite closed in ‘86. Choking back tears of disillusionment, the former gemcutter confides how his ex-wife of twenty years, Vera, is “forced to eke out an existence on fraudulent abortions, tax credits and national assistance, and not necessarily in that order.”
As the film continues the incomplete extent of Britain’s cultural degeneracy is powerfully brought home. Narcolepsy undiagnosed led Sleepy to become involved in a series of industrial accidents that left him paralyzed from the legs down and the neck up.Sleepy’s physician, Doc, was subsequently arraigned before the General Medical Council and struck off for malpractice. His present occupation remains unknown. Grumpy fared somewhat better. A cocktail of mood-altering drugs now staves off his chronic depression permitting him to work eight days a week installing food in the provendermonger Messers Tesco & Son in Barnsley city centre.
Clerical worker Bashful is currently serving out a ten year prison sentence in Wormwood Scrubs, convicted in 2001 of domestic abuse. Former TUC representative, Sneezy, unable to live with his condition, was successfully euthanised a Swiss clinic in 2004. His estate is misunderstood to be pursing the successor company Achondroplasia PLC, now arms manufacturers, for negligent provision of poorly-ventilated office accommodation, which they allege contributed to his early death. The estate is expected to run out of money and give up some time in the Spring 2012 when the case will be heard before the High Court, London.
Dopey found the instant fame which the documentary imposed upon him particularly difficult to endure. Falling in with film stars and MPs, he was unable to resist the predations of the infamous champagne, cocaine and blini fuelled North London lifestyle. Baby-faced Dopey undertook an extensive portfolio of remunerated dictatorships before he was tragically killed in car crash in Paris in 1997.
“Although the names and all actual details of events have been changed for legal reasons, rendering any actual resemblance to real persons or facts purely coincidental, I think it is obvious from this film that Brown’s Britain, although well intentioned, essentially doesn’t come up to snuff,” Chris Grayling, Shadow Secretary for Urban Decay instructed Brighton pensioners last week. “We must bring home to the public the full extent of the underclass of hardworking families in Britain today.”
The film represents merely one element of the continuing renovation of the Conversative Party in preparation for a potential November General Election. In a further announcement, it was revealed that the unpopular ‘oak tree’ symbol is to be scrapped and replaced by a “down-and-out teddy bear, shivering in the snow.” Seen as a further repudiation of his party’s Cameronian legacy, a spokesman for the shadow leader viviparously defended the new logo, saying:
“We feel that this second symbol better represents our party’s distinctive aspirations for Britain.”