Monday 22 January 2018

Declan Lynch: Sad realities of booze, class and politics laid bare in Kelly's tale

When it all went wrong for the former FF councillor, he became an outsider in his own country, writes Declan Lynch

IN 1982, in the depths of the Thatcher winter, the BBC TV drama series Boys From The Blackstuff became a sensation with its portrayal of men battered and broken by unemployment and misfortune.

The main man was Yosser Hughes, marching around Liverpool with nothing left to lose, looking for a job. In his utterly desperate state, Yosser represented the darkest fears of the other men who had been abandoned to a life on the dole, and indeed of all men in any place and at any time who have been dealt a lousy hand.

Last Thursday, on the Ryan Tubridy radio show, this recession of ours had its Yosser Hughes moment. Except it was perhaps more stunning in a way than the original, because this boy from the blackstuff was not created in the mind of the writer Alan Bleasdale; he was telling his own story. And it was true, and terrible, and yet somehow magnificent.

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