Common, a drama by Jimmy McGovern, BBC 1 9pm.
Posted by celticman on Sun, 06 Jul 2014
Jimmy McGovern has got his own production company. Anything he produces is snapped up and given prime billing by BBC 1. So when he rallies against the law of joint entreprise, McGovern doesn’t write to Parliament about it. He creates a drama. What can we expect? Strong women characters and weak men. Long pauses and melancholic trumpet solos and tunes. Working class lads that get shafted when they do the wrong thing and then shafted again when they do the right thing.
JohnJo O’Shea (Nico Mirallagro) a seventeen-year-old haemophiliac agrees to give his cousin Tony (Philip Hill Pearson) and his two pals a lift in his brother’s car. They say they’re going for pizza. But they’re going to settle a score. A bystander in the shop gets stabbed by Keiran (Andrew Ellis). In the first scene they’re running from the shop and piling into the car to make their getaway.
There are two innocent boys here JohnJo and the boy that’s stabbed. Even when JohnJo breaks ranks and tells Detective Inspector Hastings (Robert Pugh) what happened and who did the murder, he’s told ‘You’ll get done with joint enterprise for murder. It’s called joint enterprise and I love it’. He explains he no longer has to nail down who the killer was or their motive, just that he was there. A solicitor in court explained that it was not a new law, but the reinterpretation of an old law to prevent duelling. Think of the Montagues and Capulets of Romeo and Juliet. Noble gentlemen were not above common law. But in this re-booted version of the law it was to keep scum off the street. (I’m paraphrasing one of McGovern’s characters here.)
Common Law does not favour the working class man. Just to make sure we get the point snapshots of the relatives of young men who have been sent down was shown at the end of the drama. The good old USA jails more people than any other nation. There’s profit in prisons. Britain always follows that lead. McGovern is my kind of man. He knows and shows when we’re being shafted.