James Delingpole: As a Brummie, I am aggrieved with Peaky Blinders

21 September 2013

9:00 AM

21 September 2013

9:00 AM

You wait a whole lifetime for a lavishly shot, starrily cast, mega-budget gangster drama set in Birmingham to come along. Then when it does, it’s absolute rubbish.

Well, I’m sorry but it is and as a Brummie — near enough: I grew up in a village called Alvechurch, just outside, and I come from a long line of Midlands industrialists — I feel particularly aggrieved by the entirely unjustified acclaim being heaped on the dismal Peaky Blinders (Thursday, BBC2).

Let’s start with the accents. Some sound like a mélange of Liverpool and generic northern; others sound Irish, even when spoken by characters who aren’t supposed to be Irish. The series is set in Small Heath in 1919. Times have changed a bit since then, I’m sure, but Brummagem accents? I doubt it. Birmingham, by then, had had a good three centuries as one of the nation’s industrial epicentres to establish its particular style and voice. More likely in this series they either a) couldn’t be arsed, times being sloppy and voice coaching not being what it was, or b) deliberately chose not to make them real on account of the Brummie accent emerging in numerous polls as Britain’s least popular, or c) they were worried it might jeopardise its chances with the US market.

Then, the sense of place. What we have is generic industrial northern grime with some canals thrown in. Fair enough: Birmingham was bombed to buggery in the war, so they had to do most of the location shooting in places like Manchester. Really, though, apart from the references to the BSA factory — and the fact that a brutal gang called Peaky Blinders (so-called because of the razor blades they concealed in the brims of their flat caps) did once operate out of the city — you could be anywhere.

So how do I think they could have made it more plausibly Brummie? In the dialogue, of course. I don’t just mean the accents (did I mention them? Well I’m going to again. It’s a disgrace I tell you and I don’t care if the Brummie accent I did on the BBC Review Show on Sunday night was crap: that’s allowed. I’m not paid to be an actor), I mean in that sardonic, perpetually piss-taking, sing-song flippancy that real Brummies have.

It’s why, whenever I hear the accent, I always feel cheered. It doesn’t just remind me of my childhood, it makes me know I’m also among people who are naturally much, much funnier than, say, Scousers, but don’t make a big deal of it because they prefer to waste their comedic talents on life’s cutting-room floor. (Jasper Carrott would be the exception. And we’re not going to spoil things by mentioning L***y H***y are we? Nobody mention L***y H***y.)

This gang in Peaky Blinders, though, take themselves so very, very seriously it’s as if they’ve got steel rods up their bottoms. There’s this character Auntie Polly whom Helen McCrory plays like she’s the matriarch from Bread (sorry, luv. Wrong city), all strong, wise, capable womanhood because, don’t you know, while the boys were away in the trenches she has been running the Family and she’s not going to accept going back to her traditional little woman role in this bold new post-war age. Again, fine: I’ve no problems with the historical point, just with the characterisation one: GET A BLOODY SENSE OF HUMOUR, love.

As for Cillian bloody Murphy, I ask you. Whenever he enters the pub, loosely modelled on the saloons in Deadwood — (because that’s what this series thinks it is: the Wild West relocated to Birmingham, which would be fine if it had the roguish twinkle of Ian McShane in it but, more’s the pity, it doesn’t) — he does so almost in slow motion, with a halo superimposed on his head and his cheeks looking like they’ve been bathed for five hours beforehand in ass’s milk.

Yes. Cillian Murphy is pretty. Very pretty. I can see that and I can see also there is something both unsettling and alluring about having somebody who is ruthlessly violent with the face of an angel. BUT…That’s all there is to him. He has even less inner life than Don Draper from Mad Men (the war, you know), which might have been fine before The Sopranos, but James Gandolfini spoiled us rather, did he not? Slick, glossy, stylised ultraviolence is no longer enough. Of course we still want our gangster chiefs to be unutterable bastards: but unutterable bastards about whom we really care.

Anyway, that’s enough mithering to be going on with. I also hate: Sam Neill’s charmless Northern Irish policeman; the pornographically lush stylisation; the walk-ons from Winston Churchill; the nasty razor violence; the ludicrously implausible pretty Irish girl who can sing beautifully, apparently; the even more ludicrously gratuitous presence of Benjamin Zephaniah as one of those Rasta poets one used to encounter so frequently in Birmingham back in 1919…

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • Mark Hampson

    Spot on.why didn’t they do something about competing Birmingham Industrialists and Union Leaders, Aldermen and Politicians and the classes and their various arguments and fights during the Industrial revolutions later stages eg the developmental the motor car factories.Pesky Blunders is as pathetic as Ripping Yarns but the latter was supposed to be.

  • Andrew G Mooney

    “as a Brummie — near enough: I grew up in a village called Alvechurch, just outside,” A ridiculous statement. A ridiculous ‘review’. No, no Irish or black folk in Birmingham in 1919. You really know your stuff, don’t you? Thicko.

    • Mick63

      He didn’t say there were no Irish people, or even black people. His complaint was that even those who weren’t meant to be Irish seemed to have Irish accents as well. So do you think there were any black Rasta dub poets in 1919 Birmingham?

      As a real Brummie (I was born in exactly the area in which Peaky Blinders is set) I for one disagree with his objections to the show. I agree somewhat to his grievances regarding the accents and the presence of Benjamin Zephaniah, but apart from that I’m finding it an enjoyable series. I’m sure most people could complain when actors do an approximation of any given accent wherever any drama is set – they all get mangled to some extent – so our accent is bound to suffer a similar fate. You can either be glad that there is at last a series set in the city and consequently sit back and enjoy it, or you can sit around nitpicking over every inaccurate detail.

      • Andrew G Mooney

        Hello “Mick63”. No, he said no such thing, he wrote it. Not rasta as Marcus Garvey wasn’t born then, but possibly black gospel singing poets, maybe with a Bristol or Liverpool accent from Slavery Days? Paul Robeson at Birmingham Town Hall is hardly recorded, yet it happened, as of course did the premiere of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. I love both as manifestations of Birmingham’s unique place in world cultural history which this series tentatively brings into focus.

        “Peaky Blinders” is a “magical-realist” reimagining of a vanished cityscape, so authenticity isn’t the main priority. After Churchill guided the Nazis to bomb Small Heath in revenge for the Peaky Blinders insurrection there’s no way that past can be “authentically” retrieved other than through the victorious class-war propaganda ‘history’ of the Norman Toraigh hordes and their bogus narratives. (popcorn)

        There were no electric guitars either so the soundtrack is also, loike the accents, an epicfail on continuity grounds. I find it odd that it’s not Sabbath and Steel Pulse rather than Jack White and Nick Cave, but assume that’s some overseas sales focus group marketing nonsense. I’m a real Brummie B10 9EY, the ultimate BCFC BrummieBoy, so the melting pot “hybridity is the new authenticity” I grew up observing seems congruent with this interpretation of previous iterations of Small Heath culture.

        @ Mark Hampson: I too, would welcome a series on Chamberlain, Matthew Boulton and the turbo-charged tooth’n’claw hyper-capitalism of the initial Industrial Revolution era. Hopefully without the farrago of Downton-esque drivel which accompanies almost every representation of British history on dramatic telly. It’s important, especially for the balance agenda of BBC Pravda, to validate and narrate a wider mix of cultural voices. “Peaky Blinders” is a flawed opening attempt.

        I don’t nitpick over detail as there’s no credible way of validating folkloric tales of gangsterism other than magical-realist quasi-surrealist visioning.

        Finally, let us hope that future televisual productions on Mercia accurately portray the vast significance of Alvechurch rather than focus on the tiresome histrionics of Small Heath. Mr Delingpole should organise a protest to ensure this isn’t missed by the cultural marxists who infuriate him so. His various complaints regarding this programme *MUST* be taken seriously, as he is a serious cultural critic, unlike you and me.

        Regards to “The Spectator” and, erm, lots of LOLz..

      • Maurice Walshe

        well there where a few black volunteers 9anyd many Indians) in ww1 and for example Walter Tull was the first Black officer in the British army

        • The Elderking

          My family are from Brum and back in the 20’s black people were as rare as hens teeth. The number in this series is just BBC, PC, crap.

          Maybe we can have a series on Mandela with a brummie accent and a white wife?

          • Andrew G Mooney

            Your knowledge of Brum’s history is as impressive as your Knowledge of geography: Alvechurch is not part of Birmingham. Hope you’re not a taxi-driver!

            Benjamin Zephaniah is perfectly placed, I hope he has a wider role in Series 2.

            “Birmingham because it had been the centre of anti-slavery, it was a place of industry, social and racial justice, and it was a progressive town.”



      what a rubbish review! your honestly taking yourself to seriously,its a tv show for God sake!!


      must make you aware that Alvechurch has a population of at least 5,500 that aint no village!

      • Andrew G Mooney

        I know, urban sprawl…I’m sure Alvechurch will have it’s day in the sun, but for now, it’s Peaky Blinders, it’s Small Heath and Brum. *wink*

  • paul carew

    The accents are bad and what the people who put this together should have done was go to the archives and take a look at the real photos of these criminals. they looked rough and not many were over 5′ 8″ tall. Just a bit different from what we see in this series. Also, the Peaky Blinders were not really around after the first world war.

  • Jackiel

    It seems quite a few can’t distinguish between art and documentary.You might expect that from the Spectator. Anything resembling an art form is quite rare in these utilitarian times.

  • Valm

    I am a brummie and was born in small heath.
    I can honestly say that i am enjoying the series immensely.
    The acting the scenery and the soundtrack .

  • Scott Moore

    What a knobhead the reviewer is! Alvechurch is in Worcestershire for god’s sake – he is nowhere near being a Brummie.

    • The Elderking

      Its full of Brummies you knob. It borders the Birmingham boundary and it has a Birmingham post code and 0121 telephone prefix… Have you ever been there? No, I thought not.

      • Scott Moore

        You clearly know nothing about the local area! I was brought up close to Alvechurch. They are not Brummies. Settlements are defined by geography and administrative boundaries. Alvechurch is physically separate from Birmingham and is administratively part of Bromsgrove. Post code and telephone prefixes are irrelevant. Even Silhillians don’t regard themselves as Brummies, despite Solihull being part of the same conurbation.


    for crying out loud !! its a fictional drama ,it is what it is, a tv drama not a historical re-construction,nor a fly on the wall docu-soap,its called entertainment,I’m a 56 yr old born and bred brummie , Peaky bloody Blinders bears no resemblance to the Brum I know ,but come on get real,thanks for putting Brum’ on the map! KRO X

  • Andy Mole

    Lenny Henry (do I win a prize?)

  • Bob King

    Just read James Delingpoles comments on Peaky Blinders & he’s way off the mark. At that point in history the part of Small Heath the program was set in was on the edge of a lot of heavy industrial activity. The place would have been a mess with all the unregulated industrial fallout & lack of services available.
    I grew up in 1960s/70s Small Heath [what a great old place it was] . Even in the 60s they were still clearing out & demolishing hundreds of back to back slums, many with no bathrooms or water inside the houses. A lot of roads were unmade unless they served a main route for transport. A pub called the Garrison still exists. As with a lot of other street corner pubs back in the 60s/70s they had hardly changed from the day they were built. Small Heath has a long association with the Irish & with it the IRA. As for the accent [and I can tell a Small Heath one from 200 yards] the’re not doing a bad job. For me Peaky Blinders is a great piece of work that just happens to cover an important part of Birminghams social history.

    • Andrew G Mooney

      “What a great old place it was” Absolutely! I lived on Somerville Road and would walk past the ‘edgy’ slums of Muntz Street to the glorious Victoriana of Green Lane Public Library and Baths by St Andrews, with it’s newspapers in oak binders and lockers by the poolside where pervs would prey. Or pray, ahem! I imagine those folk in the back-to-backs of Muntz Street were the last outpost of the Peaky Blinders before they were all shipped out to high-rise hell in Castle Vale and Chelmsley Wood to ‘improve their lives’.
      That library / baths is now a Mosque which was exposed as ‘slightly dodgy’ by C4 in 2007’s “Undercover Mosque”.

      Since then the murder of Saleem Hassan by baseball bat, (an attack which began INSIDE a sacred mosque), and the racial murder of Mohammed Saleem by Pavlo Lapshyn (possibly Ukranie’s Brievik stopped just in time?) shows there’s sadly still no shortage of murderous hot-heads on the dark streets of Small Heath. Though now, the culture’s morphed and it’s not Dublin and Belfast but Islamabad and Mogadishu that informs the hybrid culture. And the terrorist plots. It’s still a world epicentre of intrigue if you’ve got the eyes to see it all unfold. Tired of Birmingham, tired of life.

      When last night’s Episode 5 made the big ‘reveal’ that the Shelbys were Brummie Paddies on their father’s side at least (no news on Mom), I wasn’t remotely surprised. That the Deadbeat Dad was greeted by his long-abandoned son with an f-off and then bare-knuckle bloodied another son publicly in a boxing club was also authentic to the boxing, betting, drinking & shagging uber-testosterone white male culture I grew up in.

      It’s probably the same now, but the Muslim guys don’t drink…..and I’m sure they never use the Lucy Palmers sauna & pole dance gaff, like all the business reprobabes in 4 wheel drives on their way home to Coleshill, “viagra capital of England”.

      Most of the tiny shebeen pubs have gone, with The George and Dragon struggling on and The Garrison closed and up for sale. The Monica on Somerville Road and The Mermaid in Sparkhill were blasting out rebel songs sung by Vatican 2 liberation theology karoake Catholic priests in after hours lock-ins, which were also full of Catholic lodge coppers, before and after 21 November 1974. Srsly. One’s now a Balti House and the other is a ‘conference/wedding suite’. No market for boozers in Small Heath now as, I repeat: Muslim men do NOT drink alchohol. Ever. Not in Digby and Small Heath Parks, that’s just pop in those bottles.

      Birmingham’s social history is the history of industrial civilization’s rise and fall, soundtracked to Black Sabbath and Traffic, who would both have perfectly scored Peaky Blinders in preference to Jack White and Nick Cave, though I love their stuff and it work’s well.

      The Small Heath accent was a mixed patois of Brummie and Paddy in the eras up to Caribbean and Muslim settlement. It’s Birmingham’s mordant drone with the lilt wolf-tone [sic] of Culchies added in. It has poised energy, gutteral diction, and is very, very dramatic when done well. Cillian Murphy has done his homework. I have great ‘craic’ taunting folk in Ireland who imagine every ‘plastic Paddy BrummieBoy’ longs to speak like them or Terry Wogan: I bet them to learn a few sentences of Brummie, loike. Usually they just can’t do it, whereas I can do i-Paddy after a few pints.

      It’s just bizarre to finally hear something so close to how I speak blasting out on my totally Small Heath 52 inch LED telly. And that accent is a slap in the face for Norman Coalition Beeb RP “Accentism”.

      In modren, meritocratic class-free Britain, you face as much prejudice for speaking authentic urban Small Heath as you do for being black. Of course, if your a black Brummie from Small Heath, you win the Oppression Olympics and a fee-free 4 year Politics of Linguistics Course at Birmingham Metropolitan University (niqab optional, unless you’re a woman).

      The ‘negotiation’ with the IRA hardman from Tyrone last night was hilarious as I imagined Tory Toffs in the Home Counties having a mega-strop hissy fit at the lack of subtitles. It was great when they subtitled the Roma Gypsy Tinker Palare, but unless you’re Birmingham Irish, I’m sure a lot of viewers had trouble following that poker-face dialogue, which was AWESOME!

      I hope it ends well next week and that it’s a slow-burn success and gets Series 2. Now that Downton Abbey has got all Robin Thicke rapey and scandalised the Jane Austen fans, Peaky Blinders maybe isn’t so ‘challenging’: except for the Malcolm Tucker as BrummieBoy swearing for Jaysuz stuff.

      It’s great t.v. Trust me, I know what i’m talking about, as I’m the original B10 BrummieBoy, now thankfully living in The Shire and able to dip in and out of the madness, rather than be trapped there on zero hours and food parcels with most shops signs in Urdu. Not a racist statement, just that some of my homeboys in the Small Heath hood never had the cash to move to Sheldon or Yardley and it’s hard for them to adjust to the New Englanders who’ve utterly transformed their childhood landscape. And they have a few issues with the prole Poles undercutting them for spark jobs, but let’s leave that for the “Tommy Leaves EDL” thread.

      • The Elderking

        Thankfully my mum, back in 1958, saw the first signs of Sparkbrook going third world (Leamington Road) and ordered my dad to put the house up for sale.

        I then grew up next to the Lickey Hills/Cofton Park – really was in the Shire..

        Thanks mum, you were so right.

    • Maurice Walshe

      Indeed though some of the accents are a bit off – interesting to see and via one side of the family I do have a connection to the pre legalization betting industry in brum.

      I am sure my second cousin whos an actor is a bit gutted that he did not get a part in it though as he has a direct link – and woudl have had a better accent 🙂

  • john liam

    Actually pal the Liverpool accent was voted to be worse than a brummi so what you on a bout in this rant of crap listen pal the north aint got much so jump of yer hight horse n just enjoy the show

  • john liam

    Lol just read top of page powered by natural gas lol says alot cos yer comments are just full of hot air about the program ha ha ha

  • Joy Braithwaite

    Take a look at the Ray Winston film ‘The Proposition’ also with a predominantly Nick Cave based soundtrack, and you can see the value of drama/history stylised to the point of distress, the Peaky Blinders are the starting point to explore this juncture of history and instability like the Proposition explores the borders of madness as Australia was born of wretched crime and colonialism. I believe the dramatic licence was justified after much research into the dialogue that was apparently quite different at the turn of the last century. The series compels the viewer to try and resist approving of the central Selby character but just like ‘Pinky’ in Brighton Rock the gangster’s vulnerability lures you in and you are scheming away with him. Birmingham, where I too live, is a backdrop housing this character.

  • Moonpig

    I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with the accents – in from Scotland and i’m sure I can do a better brummie accent than that.

    And I don’t think black people were that common in Britain untill after WWII, especially not Rastas lol, when were they invented? 😉

  • I disagree with the reviewer and have found this series entirely
    gripping and vital and as a fictional drama the atmosphere and design
    seem very engaging. The use of more modern music as a soundtrack brings
    a ‘thru a digital lens’ portrait of a former time with the kind of ‘cool’ that we experience when watching a modern gangster movie.. It sets our fictionalised and romanticised memory of these days in a manner we are used to in interacting with modern ‘stylised’ violence in movies and social drama. It thereby isolates the
    essential conflicts, social troubles and readily identifiable good and bad
    human behavior from being trapped in a mere historical museum setting.

    To me this is imaginative re-treatment of some rarely exposed history
    mixed with urban legend. It does the same trick with the mind as the new
    Sherlock did, making the viewer rethink and delve into the time period
    but always maybe with one eye on our present society. The rock music, the
    ‘rasta man’, the glimpses of ‘gypsy’ culture, the IRA tensions, the
    cinematic redrawing of the landscape all help many of us to want to
    watch this re-imagining of dramatic times far more than if it had been a
    dry ‘true to fact’ piece of historically accurate costume docu-drama. It’s just
    drama and a good one at that with the ‘grit’ thrown in.

    Crime, rabid ambition, injustice, misguided family loyalty and devious political agendas have always been with us – these are the essentials stripped bare and reprojected onto a ‘merged’ background, part 1919 Birmingham, part modern Britain, part fantasy land, but still one from which many lessons can be drawn. All in all however it is also a strong and attractive story and for once not set in London or New York but bringing a real invigorating focus on Birmingham. This creates a novel and original theme drawn from genuine history painted with a hard nosed ‘director’s cut’. I think it’s a very good piece of work and compelling watching.

  • Brian


  • Brian

    First of all the budget was nothing when you compare this to say Boardwalk Empire.

    As a Brummie myself (Hall Green), I find this show a fantastic and gripping watch and captures the industrial days of our city very well also the city’s links with Ireland and the Irish community very well done. And Alvechurch is not in Birmingham its in Worcester.

    • The Elderking

      “Well, I’m sorry but it is and as a Brummie — near enough: I grew up in a village called Alvechurch, just outside,….. ”

      Where does he say its in B’ham? Can people from Hall Green not read?

      • Scott Moore

        Brummies are native to Birmingham (not to Solihull, Sutton, Halesowen, Walsall, West Bromwich, Dudley nor anywhere else in the conurbation), so saying that you are a Brummie is saying that you were brought up in Birmingham. Can you not understand this simple concept?

        • Aidan

          I live in Barnt Green, next to Alvechurch but up until this year spent the vast majority of my time working and studying in Birmingham with Birmingham people who had Birmingham families. It’s a middle ground really. Not that I’m saying I’m a brummie, but there are brummies in these areas

          • Scott Moore

            Brummies are not a totally immobile people and have been known to leave their home city on occasion. Some of them even live outside of Brum. Indeed, there are Brummies not just in Barnt Green but also in more distant foreign places such as Baltimore, Bangalore and Budapest.

  • Andrew G Mooney

    I’m intrigued why ‘suddenly’ Downton Abbey decides to drop the Upstairs-Downstairs malarkey and get real about sexual power dynamics in aristocratic power structures. I can’t help feel that they got a sniff of Peaky Blinders and it’s a pre-emptive strike to neutralise the impact, just in case PB goes mega. I think PB will be a slow-burn, word-of-mouth success once it’s on DvD/BlueRay and Santa gifts it all over the place.

    A few mt8s are getting it as a pressie. People who, like me, have a tsunami of cultural products in the ‘pending tray’, the books, films, music, art exhibitions, restaurants reviews/visits that will never be read, watched, eaten as there’s not enough time. You have to be forensically selective these days and you’d go mental if you tried to keep up.

    It always makes me LOL! when the ‘reviewer class’ skim read/watch/eat and then pretend they read 600 pages of piffle or sat through a 3 hour movie or watched an opening episode all the way through or more than once before giving it a ‘professional’ review. They don’t.

    I know a few of them and they report it’s just another job, a slog to keep up with the trendy crap and try and make out it’s all amazing. They have to do that so their ‘advertising sponsors’ keep shelling out.

    If they told the truth: that most books are a busted flush of cliches and could sensibly be reduced to a few chapters, that Hollywood is dead and no-one cares anymore about X-Box effects where it sounds like a nuclear explosion everytime someone drops a pencil, everyone’s bored of the jazzy camera angles which are just a lame exuse for not having a plot, that we no can longer ignore the fact most restaurant food is a waste of mastication, the same old industrial sea bass identical portion size in another ridiculous ‘fusion melange sauce’, and on and on and on..

    If reviewers actually told the truth that most of it is redundancy, cultural exhaution and Bread and Circus clickbait-eyeball-salivate crap to enable what Marcuse called ‘repressive tolerance’, then we might actually be able to press ‘reset’ and start again from first principles.

    PB has flaws, but the murky grimy sooty production values and the ambient mood music of violent despair punctuated by cinematic gore in measured doses demands attention. It made me switch off the laptop, close the door on the family drama in our household and watch each episode several times. It’s partly that I grew up in Small Heath, but the overall critical response is as positive as yours.

    The opening Churchill cameos were to die for: “stop burning the King’s
    picture! why I I forced to go to f-in Moor Street to quell a load of
    rebellious Brummies?” I grew up in the 60s and 70s and the whole Red Robbo communist and IRA stuff was full-on insurrection.

    I hope the second series happens as plans, and i hope that others step forward with magical-realist re-imaginings of vanished and vanquished aspects of the amazing his/herstory (Aunt Polly!) of these blessed Isles Of Wonder. In fact, I’m going to do it myself now that the “elevator pitch” will be easy peasy just referencing PB and Sabbath.

    As an example episode from the 70s Small Heath: It was so funny when punk arrived in Birmingham. We saw The Sex Pistols at Bogart’s, a heavy metal club with a German Bier Kellar downstairs where I worked ( you didn’t need photo id then). We had no idea who they were, and for years, McClaren tried to erase the debacle. Anyroads, Rotten came on with his ‘rebel expectation agenda’ and all he got was amused applause, yawns, whatevers, from the Sabbath fans and fan worship from a few trendies. He was pissed cause no-one was outraged. As if Brum’s Heavy Metal Peaky Blinders were going to be impressed by some art ponces from London. LOL! No one cared.

    I doubt Delingpole watched it more than once. A A Gill was sniffy, which is good, cause anything that snotty nosed sticky toffee pudding posh boy toff despises IMMEDIATELY gets my attention.

    To conclude: the Downton Rape controversy trolling was an attempt at a spoiler. #epicFAIL.

    And it’s funny now the Norman Toraigh culture whores and the Taff, Jocks and Mancs are united in decrying PB over Accentism, not realising that in Birmingham, it’s Eng-Eire-Land, or certainly was most of the last few centuries in Small Heath. Roma Gypsy Tinker sub-titles and mixed culture marriages: absolutely authentic. I no longer recognise ‘England’ or ‘Ireland’ as they’re redundant concepts. After Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder, someone was going to take up the challenge, take it to the next level. That’s me, folks.

    HS2 sounds irrelevant but isn’t. In the same was as the canals and steam railways allowed the criminal entrepreneur culture of Small Heath to infiltrate Kilburn and elsewhere in PB, the future is up for grabs. Either the tossers in the London City State wise up and share the wealth or there will be more Uprisings from “Small Heath”: I’m using B9/B10 as a prop, but it could be Sheldon, Chelmsley or anywhere. I’m sanguine. Either the Normans finally stop their war on Mercia by either running HS2 to make B’ham International the third London airport, etc, or Mercia will revolt and become an independent Republic. That’s my preferred option but I’m a pragmatist.

    I’m an English Republican and an Irish Republican, and I bow before no Queen or FF/FG D4 ‘soldiersof destiny”s shattered dream. I’m the original Peaky Blinder and I think this programme is pure lulz. It’s inspired me to ‘cross the Rubicon’ and become a cultural colossus before posthumous. It’s all already done, and will manifest in the build up to 2021, once I’ve done with Being Dad here in The Shire.

    This is part of it. Brazenly and effortlessly storming into the bar of “The Spectator” with a writing style and online persona that says “don’t mess with me, there’s razor blades in this peak cap!”. What’s Delingpole or any other meeja lurkers reading this in terror and alarm going to do about it? About me? Us? Absolutely nothing. Nor is Dave or Boris or George or Nick or Ed: they know the score, they know the deal. Leave the Pinky Blinders in peace, either run that HS2 so we can take over London, finally, or leave us to our own devices. Unless, of course, you all want war? It can be arranged. “Remember, remember, 21 November 1974”

    Yours, in Jubilo!
    “Cardinal Snowden”

    Absurdist aside. Insane Interlude.

    “Act One, Scene One of “The Pinky Blinders of B10. 1960-2040.”

    “In a bomb-proof bunker in GCHQ, agents who tracked “AndrewGMooney” at the Cheltenham Literary Festival all week convene a meeting. And their chief MI5/6/Opus Dei spook bangs the table and shrieks

    “Enough! Cardinal Snowden and Roman BBlanski have gone too far this time with their art-terrorist Loki prankster cultural gangsterism. They must be terminated with extreme prejudice, with immediate effect, even though it will take a year at least to conclude. It was tolerable when they remained under their absurd personas and avatars, but now the Pinky Blinders are hiding in plain sight! They are reconvening in Small Heath and they are ready to fight.

    Call Mr Cameron. Call Dacre and Murdoch. Call Charles Moore. We will meet at lunch in Chipping Norton at non and decide how to erase this outrage from teh Interwebz. The NSA have the technology. These seditious comments will vanish, there will be D5 notices like confetti at a big, fat gypsy Small Heath wedding!

    We did it with the Birmingham Six, it’s a bluff. Mooney has no evidence, or if he does, he knows he dies if he reveals it. It’s just another sign, a portent of how we must carry on subtly working diligently for the clampdown. I guess we should thank him for keeping us on our toes: by ripping out his toenails, perhaps? He’s heading for Gitmo or a shallow grave, that’s for sure, along with those other weirdos who acted up from Small Heath. Are these ex-Catholics and the Muslims in league? I take it our friends in The Holy See are up to speed with all this? Have the Jesuit Army SWOT / SWAT team landed at Heathrow yet?

    If any of those idiots at “The Spectator” or “Spiked” give us any ‘free speech’ nonsense, remind them: this is not America, there is no First or Fourth Amendment, and even if there were, it’s not exactly a problem for us over there is it? LOL! Apparently, this is some sort of metamodern meta-narrative, some absurdist art terrorist ‘prank’ now that he’s bored of 4chan, anonymous and Occupy. He’s writing his autobiography and revealing Vatileaks 2.0 in stealth mode by pretending to be just another barmpot on the Interwebz, but: those in the know, now know that he knows we know, even if we don’t yet know what he knows, and he doesn’t know what we think or know he knows, or doesn’t know. Nobody who knows him ever says they know him, those that say they know him don’t know him, or only knew him when he wasn’t being him, or was just pretending to be him. He might not be ‘him’, as ‘he’ might be using someone to pass himself off as ‘him’ or that person is passing himself off as ‘him’, and is indeed ‘him’ whilst pretending he’s not ‘him’. Or maby he is ‘him’ and has been ‘him’ all along?. At least that’s what Bumzfelt thinks. Didn’t you all get the memo, FFS! Interns!

    Her Majesty asks us to note that Mooney, though a traitor, is still a subject of the Realm, and Kirsch Starman has confirmed his absurd claim that he was “born on a boat on the Irish Sea between Hollyhead and Dun Laoighaire” is just a precautionary ruse so he can do that Abu Hamza crap at the court of Human Rights if anyb”I’m James Bond” pond-scum low-life idiots at the CPS, HMRC, Military or Treasury think they’ll bet an OBE by being a “have a go merchant when the pubs closed”. Tell those useless prats to back off, and put their water pistols away. Leave it to us, we’re professional!

    He is a serious challenge, this “Witt-Goeth-Einstein” polymath genius cultural marxist is going to bring us all to ignominy and obloquy if we don’t respond with military precision and strategic blue sky thinking outside the box ‘going forward’ . He’s crossed the line, but we need time and space without those ingrates butting in, so we can eradicate him. We need at least a year to pass till no one’s still reading his comments and the investigation into his ‘vanishing act’ concludes he jumped off Beachy Head rather than do that Reggie Perrin on the Costa del Sol vexation again. There’s no point threatening him with a HIV needle spike on The Tube now we know his freak Basque Blood type means he’s immune. He pretended to pray, pay, obey, to be married and suburbo-normative, then he did the victim script misery lit memoir stuff to perfect, then the Memento Momento Mori mental illness Stanislavsky act so that pwned Judge let him escape. And we were all fooled until L’Eminence Grise did the Big Reveal…First we contain him, then, in due course, we can erase him using PRISM . You know, insert the kiddie porn links into all his web comments and then get the X-tianz to go beserk and demand he’s erased from Disqus and Teh Sociul Meeja. The usual strategy. He’s got a website..but it’s only one page…and it appears to have been writtern by a genuine mental patient. It’s mostly about his dog, a Westie. Is it a dog? Or a spy droid? His vet says “it’s a dog and i’m not going to kill him for a bunch of spooks!”. So, forget the dog. The dog was another false lead..a red herring, erm, a white Westie. My head hurts, has anyone got any paracetamol? What’s this report entitled “Broadmoor? Who started this War?” Why did he write it? What does it mean? Is it about the “Jimmy Savile was a Royal Knight and a Papal Knight” meme stuff again? Probably, can’t anyone crack it?

    Colleagues. Do not rise to his provocations, and do not let the ‘democratically elected’ Politicians or Fourth Estate fluffers who kneel before us respond either. Just remove him, slowly and systematically . And the others. If the slow motion erasure fails, and it takes a series of ‘terrorist outrages’ to corpse him as innocent bystander, so what? 21/10/74, hey? Look, we know his “all seeing eye of Sauron” is watching us, listening to this, but I don’t care! We’re in charge, not him! I refuse to take anti-depressants! Can I have a glass of water? It’s so hot in here..” [he feints]

    t.b.c *maybe*

    [written as dawn breaks by “Marcus Aurelius at the grave of the Elgars.”

    The Shire. Mittle-Engerland. 07:15 13/10/2013 CE.]

  • linda

    Loving the series but it is let down heavily by the brummie accents being so inaccurate.. especially annoyed by Aunt Polly’s scouse accent.. shame!

  • Steve Skarratt

    As a more centrally born Brummie than the reviewer, (Loveday street hospital 1961) I do agree that the accents are dire and for me are a distraction, but as a piece of entertainment it works fine. Whilst it has its roots in real history, it has never claimed to be a documentary so I prefer to forgo criticising every tiny inaccuracy (for example Billy Kimber might have lived in islington but he too was a brummie so why the cockney accent?) In favour of enjoying a well filmed drama.

  • Nelly McHajanar

    While I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that is after all what a review is, just one person’s opinion, I feel (see, another personal opinion) that this author would have done himself a service to do some research as the accent has of course changed in the time from when the show is set – as have all accents. It is the nature of them. Language is constantly evolving, and this is well documented, studied and taught.

    His knowledge on the process involved in television production (being shot elsewhere, story construction, set design to facilitate narrative) are also absent.

    All those things aside, regarding his opinion of the actual show itself, I feel very sad for him that he could not enjoy it, as I have enjoyed it immensely. I think it is suburb quality television, and if only there were more of it.

  • Gary Moore

    James Delingpole “as a brummie I feel totally aggrieved”. I’m from Bromford, a proper brummie and proud. Don’t want to burst your bubble mate but you ain’t a brummie. You must be thick if you think Alvechurch is ‘just outside’.

    Ps. Crap review

  • Dave Green

    Its really easy to criticise things if that’s what you have decided you’re going to do. You can find fault in absolutely anything if you want to, and you obviously wanted to really badly didn’t you James? Its fiction, and it was gripping, entertaining and dramatic. Were you expecting a documentary? The accents were ok generally, wasnt a vital issue to my mind. it wasn’t perfect (what is?) but you have nothing good whatsoever to say about it, which is totally ridiculous. oh, and “near enough” a brummie, you either are one or you’re not. You’re not. I am.

  • Zackhiem

    James. Your not a Brummie.
    Clive Langston, Erdington, Birmingham

  • Richie Rich

    Peaky Blinders is just Catherine Cookson with more swearing.

  • Ally Cat

    Oh get over yourself you idiot, you should be happy our city is finally getting the attention it deserves! i love the series and can’t wait for the second. blummin’ idiot.

  • Tyler Strother

    Think maybe we’re a little too hung up on accents here and missing the bigger picture, ie that entertainment exists to entertain and enlighten. It’s like Paul tells Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ:”I don’t care whether you’re Jesus or
    not. The Resurrected Jesus will save
    the world — that’s what matters.”
    The fact’s are not what is significant here. It’s the story and what’s contained. It’s a good show.

  • Andy Whurr

    Having been brought up in the Kings Norton Area of Birmingham from the age of 12 to 17, I don’t consider myself to be a Brummie but I do consider myself well acquainted with the Brummie Accent. I would boldly say I can recognise a genuine ‘Brummie Accent’ when I hear one. I have to say, this series is so hell-bent on accents that this takes over the characters. The actors seem more interested in ‘doing’ and accent (and most of the time very badly) rather than ‘Acting’. I find this series so irritating as the poor accents mask what is being communicated (said?) and it is far too hard to decipher the words that I gave up watching it a while ago. It really was painful trying to understand the ‘words’. I think this has a case of it is not what you say, it is the accent you say it in that matters, whether or not it is understandable or not. On this note, I can’t overlook what I consider to be the worst portrayal of a ‘Brummie’ accent has to go to Timothy Spall in the hugely popular Auf Wiedersen Pet. Spall played ‘Barry’ (Baz) and the dreadful un-brummie like pronunciations used to make me cringe – no body either from inner city Birmingham or any surrounding Brummie areas ever spoke like that or ever will. The pathetic attempts by Spall to pretend to be a Brummie still makes me cringe to this day and yet… if you speak to non-Brummie familiar people (especially Northerners it seems) they think all of Birmingham sounds like Barry from Auf Wiedersen Pet !!! well I never. Seems like some people actually thought Spall was a Brummie, because he sounded so like a ‘tru brummie’ If only they knew how some of the Brummie Dialects are actually not that bad to listen to. It reminds me of countless episodes of Last of the Summer Wine when the actors playing Yorkshire Folk, clearly were not from Yorkshire as can be detected by their awful fake Yorkshire Twang. Thanks to programmes like Last of the Summer Wine everybody outside of Yorkshire thinks that all Yorkshire folk will say: Eeee By Gum, Ekky Thump, on a regular basis. So many of the actors (and as the programmes were aired) I would add the producers too, could not tell a Yorkshire accent from a Lancashire one!!! Bloody basic stuff that.


    I can’t speak to the issues about the local accents and locations being inauthentic (though I’m sure it’s true), but I think Cillian Murphy does a fantastic job. Yes, he’s very stiff in the first few episodes but very gradually and organically, he does reveal Tommy’s inner self through his growing relationship with Grace. There’s the occasional half smile, the way he looks at her while she sings after the IRA incident, and then finally his actual broad smile and laughter at the bar in the final episode when he teases her about their domestic future. I loved that he was in it for the long haul and only let us see Tommy gradually. And yes, agreed that his cheekbones are pure perfection. 😉

  • White Genocide is Real

    I guess the Jews expect us to believe that black men were fucking and dancing with white women in 1920 UK huh? Ummmm no. Why is it necessary to include blacks in eras and areas they were not in. Blacks in early 1900s GB were exceptionally rare. In 100 years if the Jews have their way and rewrite history after the complete annihilation of Western European culture(they are on record as saying this is their goal btw) I’m sure period pieces like this will showcase quite the multicultured society. Winners write history. Owning the banks and media is all you need along with what guilt and indoctrinated youth.

  • HmongGirl

    Yes! As an outsider – an American, I totally agree with this review. I was like, “Why does Birmingham look and feel like freakin Texas? And what is up with the annoying Johnny Cash-themed music.”

  • John Byde

    Why is Benjamin Zephania famous? Can anyone tell me? Talentless.

  • Jack Rocks

    You’re right it is pretty awful (watched a couple of episodes on Netflix last night). I realised this when the charmless but completely obviously a plant Irish bar maid started singing. I was hoping episode 3 would show the entire cast being shot and thrown into the river. Alas there are more than 3 episodes. I probably won’t be watching them.

  • Poltroon

    Blacks in Birmingham mingling with whites circa 1922?