Entertainment

Sunday 25 August 2019

Rise of the far right the fault of successive governments, says producer

The Left Behind’s executive producer Aysha Rafaele said governments had failed Britain’s towns.

The Left Behind (Simon Ridgway/BBC/PA)
The Left Behind (Simon Ridgway/BBC/PA)

By Alex Green, PA

The executive producer behind a film exploring the rise of the far right has blamed the trend on the policies of the UK’s successive governments.

Aysha Rafaele said factual drama The Left Behind pointed the finger at governments who had failed Britain’s towns.

Speaking at a screening event in London, she said an unstable housing market and “precarious” job landscape had contributed to the problem.

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Gethin (SION DANIEL YOUNG) from The Left Behind (C) BBC – Photographer: Simon Ridgway

She said: “I think we do point the finger at quite a lot of things: at housing, policy of successive governments, the precarious workplace.

“(The film) is not supposed to be set especially in Cardiff. We filmed some of our filming in Cardiff and other bits of Wales as well.

“But even walking into the BBC you are tripping over homeless people. On the streets of Cardiff there is triple the amount of homelessness.

“I would say successive governments have failed the people in our towns, in those places of industrial decline.

“A bit like austerity is a political choice, not an inevitability, globalisation and the impact of it, is also a choice and not an inevitability.”

The Left Behind charts a young man called Gethin, played by Sion Young, as he is tempted by anti-immigrant sentiment.

The hour-long feature explores how Gethin uses the rhetoric of the far right to explain the problems he faces in his own life.

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WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 01/07/2019 – Programme Name: The Left Behind – TX: 10/07/2019 – Episode: n/a (No. n/a) – Picture Shows: Gethin (SION DANIEL YOUNG), Tracy (JALISA ANDREWS) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Simon Ridgway

Rafaele added that the current government’s reluctance to deal with the far right could stem from an indifference to Muslims.

She added: “They don’t care enough about Muslims. That’s why they don’t care.

“Just look what’s going on in the Tory Party with Islamophobia.

“They don’t care about Muslims enough to be making the difference that they need to make to have that impact.

“I’d say it’s the fault of successive governments.”

Last year Rafaele was tasked with setting up a new drama hub within BBC Studios’ scripted area and previous to that she headed up the documentary unit.

The Left Behind will be shown on iPlayer, BBC Wales and BBC One on July 10.

PA Media

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