Mike Vickers' Blog

April 5, 2015

In the Absence of War =- A Play for Today

Filed under: History in the making, Left Politics, Politics, Scotland, War — derryvickers @ 8:01 am

David Hare’s almost documentary play on Labour’s failure to take over power from John Major in 1992 – ‘In the Absence of War’ – is showing across the Country. Last week it was at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.

The play is about a charismatic politician (Kinnock) who is in front in the Polls but fails at the last hurdle. Follows the party policy instead of his gut feel (cf Borgen).

I was enthralled but  I can’t say I was ‘entertained’ – too much nearer the present truth.

As Joyce McMillan sets out in her article in yesterday’s Scotsman


Some critics say there is comedy in the play.

To me the play is Shakespearean tragedy or possibly Sophocles.

‘Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well’

A fuller piece by David Hare himself


Hare states:

‘It had long been evident that in any democratic society, whatever the current flux of ideology, there will always be two major parties, one protecting Money and the other representing Justice’.  We shall see whether still true in May!


To our local politics here in Scotland in the last paragraph of McMillan’s article re the SNP, she posits ‘and asking which of those huge, political-soul-destroying pressures it can resist, once it is drawn into the corrupt and charismatic world of serious Westminster politics’.


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