Please read all through the blog before deciding whether or not Elizannie has 'gone soft'.
I have just been to see the film 'Made in Dagenham' which is a fictionalised version of the 1968 strike by the women sewing machinists at the Ford, Dagenham factory. The settlement of the strike ultimately led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970. My companion was a Ford Pensioner, thus an ex-Ford worker, and he was also an ex-union official. As I wrote in my previous blog 'The Real Story of Made in Dagenham' [September 18th] I have family connections with Ford & Dagenham so we were both eager to find fault with the film!
Well, I won't lie to you, it wasn't as bad as I expected. There were continuity errors and remarks from my companion that certain things were anachronisms Ford wise - certain car models shown produced in Dagenham were not produced there etc etc. And I [being rather shallow] noticed some fashion errors in the characters' outfits! But all those can be allowed on the grounds of artistic licence....
I enjoyed the scenes with the women meeting Barbara Castle and thought John Sessions made an excellent Harold Wilson - I had not expected that at all! A couple of the fictionalised scenes actually made my eyes rather moist and yes there was a definite feel good factor to the whole thing. However the original reason for the 1968 strike - that the women should be re-graded from unskilled female labour to semi-skiilled gets a bit lost and the portrayal of the union and management negotiations - both when meeting together and between themselves - are more the stuff of film sets than actuality.
Bob Hoskins, as a fictionalised portrayal of the wonderful Bernie Passingham [in the film Albert Passingham], makes a comment that applies to many workers in many industries today [and many others fighting unfair conditions]:
Someone has got to stop those exploiting bastards from getting away with itSo lets hope the film sends the message to all sorts of oppressed groups that ordinary people can make a difference if they stand together. And I enjoyed the theme song for the film written by one of my musical and political heroes: 'The Bard of Barking', Billy Bragg with 'Made In Dagenham'.