The 'hard man' actor Ray Winstone was in the Mail on Sunday yesterday ranting and raving about Britain having gone to the dogs, what with an incompetent yet dictatorial government (ZANU-LABOUR as Matthew Parris in the Times noted they are now being called in the wake of the Damien Green scrimmage), an emasculated police force, filthy hospitals and much else wrong. Sample:
"‘I wouldn’t mind if you could actually see something being done with all the money they take off in taxes. But I don’t see more police on the streets. I don’t see more schools or hospitals being built. What I see is no one on the streets and then a legal system that doesn’t support the coppers when things finally get to court. There are criminals getting off every day in this country.
‘I see people going into hospital ill and coming out worse with an MRSA bug they’ve picked up from an unclean ward. And I see so many people coming into this country that we can’t cope.
‘As far as knife crime is concerned, what’s wrong with getting tough? First offence, a warning. Second offence, five years and third offence life.
‘I’m happy for anyone from any other country to come here if they want to work, but I’m not happy to support everyone for nothing. I don’t want anyone taking the p***. If you’ve come into our country and you commit a crime, you should be deported. End of story.’ He shakes his head. ‘To me, this all makes sense.’"
He goes on to intimate that he supports the death sentence.
There's quite a lot of implication and one or two big ironies in this. Obviously I am not surprised that Winstone, an ex boxer, Essex born and bred son of a licensed cabbie turns out to be a working class conservative of the old school. What is surprising and amusing is that he must be one of the very few actors in Britain who holds these views or makes them known. If he was 30 years younger and looking to get on, saying the above mouthful - or anything half as strong - would destroy your career in a trice, the British Theatre being a closed shop of left wing platitudes ranging on a spectrum between the Redgraves' lunacy to a simple calculation that when 'social democracy' is in charge the money tap (funding) comes on with a veangeance. Winstone's fellow 'social realism' actors, Philip Davis and Tim Roth are champagne socialists of the common-or-garden variety. I wonder what they'll say about their old mate when they hear what they'll call a crypto-BNP diatribe?
Another irony to consider is that Winstone loathes the criminality, violence, drug and welfare addiction which has spread through the land. Yet he himself must implicated in this. Every thug I ever met had a working knowledge of Winstone's hard man oeuvre, most especially that repugnant, did-far-more-harm-than-good film Scum, which was a classic example of the exploitation movie dressed up as political filmmaking. Have I not heard boneheaded, Stella-swilling, line-racking morons 'doing' Winstone's 'who's the daddy?' speech, usually before the fisticuffs kick off, many times? Monkey see, monkey do. That's the sober lesson of television's impact.
Then there's the director who launched Winstone's career, the Liverpudlian left-winger Alan Clarke, he must be spinning in his grave to hear the boy dissing welfare claimants and migrants. One thing's for sure, Ken Loach won't be calling him up.