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What if ‘Downton Abbey’ told the truth about Britain?

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What if ‘Downton Abbey’ told the truth about Britain?

Post by Ivan on Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:22 pm

We all know ‘Downton Abbey’ is a costume drama; the Tories think it’s a fly-on-the-wall documentary.” (Ed Miliband)

That’s a nice little reminder of just how out of touch Cameron and his gang of Eton and Bullingdon Club cronies are. However, it doesn’t reflect that that costume drama is an insidious piece of Tory propaganda.

‘Downton Abbey’ follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants in the family's Edwardian country house. It starts with the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, which puts the house’s future in jeopardy, as it leaves Lord Grantham without a male offspring to take over upon his death. The drama was created by Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes and was first shown on UK television by ITV in September 2010. Two months later, Cameron gave Fellowes a seat in the House of Lords, where he now sits as Baron Fellowes of West Stafford.

The title of this thread comes from an article written by Polly Toynbee, and which appeared in ‘The Guardian’ on 22 December 2014. Here are some extracts from it:-

To control history by rewriting the past subtly influences present attitudes too: every dictator knows that. ‘Downton Abbey’ rewrites class division, rendering it anodyne, civilised and quaintly cosy. The brutality of servants’ lives is bleached out, the brutishness of upper-class attitudes and behaviour to their servants ironed away. The truth would be impossible without turning Grantham and his family into villains, with the below-stairs denizens their wretched victims – a very different story, and not one Julian Fellowes would ever write.

We never see bedraggled drudges rising in freezing shared attics at 5.30am; slopping out chamber pots, heaving coal, black-leading grates, hauling cans of hot water with hands already made raw by chilblains and caustic soda. We never dwell on the hardship of scrubbing floors, or scrubbing clothes, or scouring grease; in pre-detergent days, they were up to their elbows all day long. And yet they had virtually no water or time for washing themselves. Servants were often dirty and smelled strongly of sweat, with few clean clothes.  

Does it matter? The implanting of falsely comforting memories of a better bygone era disguises fundamental things about the way we live now. As it is, there is still a widespread misperception of the nature of class and destiny. Inequality is rising on an ever upward trajectory, yet people are easily deceived by a veneer of modern classlessness: the end of deference and forelock-tugging makes class less obvious and more insidious, though every statistic shows how deeply entrenched it remains
.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/22/downton-abbey-truth-about-britain
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Re: What if ‘Downton Abbey’ told the truth about Britain?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:30 pm

Anyone who views "Downton Abbey" as a documentary should be deprived of their electoral franchise.
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Re: What if ‘Downton Abbey’ told the truth about Britain?

Post by Ivan on Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:34 pm

The alternative version......  Very Happy


http://uproxx.com/tv/2014/12/
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