Tuesday 17 October 2017

Playwright Alan Bennett: Picture of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage 'nauseating'

Playwright Alan Bennett says his political views are getting increasingly left-wing
Playwright Alan Bennett says his political views are getting increasingly left-wing

Actor and playwright Alan Bennett has admitted that he "loathes" Boris Johnson and finds the friendship between Donald Trump and Nigel Farage "utterly nauseating".

The History Boys writer, 82, revealed he has been getting "more left-wing" in his later years and compared the current political climate to the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister.

Sharing his particularly anti-Brexit opinions with the Radio Times, he said: "With Brexit, it felt as though we were spitting in their faces.

"I also loathe Boris Johnson. So cavalier. It was almost on the toss of a coin really, which side he went.

"I've spoken to his father, because he was at the same college as I was. I felt like saying, 'Why didn't you bring your son up to tell the truth?' "

Adding his feelings about the US president elect, he said: "I feel fear and unease. At the kindest, he's unreliable.

"When it's just him, that's fine, but it's the world ... I must say that the picture of him with Nigel Farage was utterly nauseating, in a real sense."

The artist, who lives in north London, said his opinions on such matters have been getting stronger with his age.

"People are always shocked that I'm left-wing," he said.

"And I've got more left-wing as I've got older. I'm not sorry about getting more left-wing, I'm sorry that there are more things to be getting left-wing about.

"Recently, it's gone back to what it was under Mrs Thatcher, people sleeping in doorways ... Conservatives have this notion that it's somehow self-imposed, that if you're poor, it's your own fault."

Hinting that he was taking on influences from his butcher father, Walter, he said: "I used to think I was like my mum. She was more readily affectionate, and kissed you a lot, whereas my dad was embarrassed, slightly.

"But now I think I'm more like him. He was so good-natured and looked it in his face, that I don't mind."

The Talking Heads writer revealed he will be spending Christmas with his partner of 24 years, Rupert Thomas, at the parents of Mr Thomas in West Hampstead, before driving up to their weekend home in Yorkshire.

Speaking about his plans for the future, he said he would like to "write better things".

::Read the full interview in the Christmas issue of the Radio Times.

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