A Very British Coup

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A Very British Coup
A Very British Coup (first edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Chris Mullin
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Novel
Published 1982
Media type Print
OCLC 455822994

A Very British Coup is a 1982 novel by British politician Chris Mullin. The novel has twice been adapted for television; as A Very British Coup in 1988 and as Secret State in 2012.[1][2]

Plot[edit]

Harry Perkins, is the left-wing Leader of the Labour Party and Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central. Beating all the odds, Harry becomes Prime Minister and he sets out to dismantle media monopolies, withdraw from NATO, unilateral nuclear disarmament, and create an open government. Many people in the media, in financial services, and in the intelligence services, are deeply unhappy with Harry's win and his policies, and they unite to stop him by any means.

Main characters[edit]

Analysis[edit]

The book was written in 1981, at a time when Tony Benn looked likely to become deputy leader of the Labour Party which at the time was strongly challenging the government of Margaret Thatcher in the opinion polls. It also has strong echoes of the persistent rumours that have circulated over the years about attempts by members of the British security services, and other wings of the British Establishment, to undermine and depose Harold Wilson's Labour government of the mid-1970s.[3] This first became widespread public knowledge around 1986 with the controversy over Spycatcher, after the publication of the novel but before the broadcast of the TV version. The story also has echoes of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis in which there was alleged CIA involvement to remove a government proposing to close US military bases on Australian soil.

Editions[edit]

The novel was published by Serpent's Tail, and was re-released in 2010. Subsequent reprints have been credited by Mullin to the appointment of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015.[4]

Sequel[edit]

In 2015 Chris Mullin revealed he is working on a sequel[5][6]

Adaptations[edit]

The novel has twice been adapted for television.

A Very British Coup (1988)[edit]

The first version, also titled A Very British Coup, was adapted in 1988 by screenwriter Alan Plater and starring Ray McAnally.

Secret State (2012)[edit]

The 2012 four-part Channel 4 series, Secret State, was "inspired" by the same novel.[7] Starring Gabriel Byrne, this version was written by Robert Jones.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mullin, Chris (5 November 2012). "Secret State: I played the vicar in the TV version of my novel". guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media. 
  2. ^ Conlan, Tara (24 January 2012). "Gabriel Byrne returns to UK television in Channel 4's Coup". guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media. 
  3. ^ Chris Mullin: When the threat of a coup seemed more than fiction The Guardian, 7 March 2006
  4. ^ Chris Mullin (2015-11-20). "Reprinted twice since Corbyn was elected. Thanks Jeremy. #asmsg #kindle buff.ly/1MYCecS". Twitter. 
  5. ^ A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
  6. ^ Chris Mullin (2015-08-10). "My fictional PM was destabilised by MI5. Corbyn's enemies would be in his own ranks". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Mullin, Chris (5 November 2012). "Secret State: I played the vicar in the TV version of my novel". guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media. 
  8. ^ Conlan, Tara (24 January 2012). "Gabriel Byrne returns to UK television in Channel 4's Coup". guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media. 

External links[edit]