Drama by Jimmy McGovern based on the true story of Reg Keys, who took on the British prime minister over Britain's participation in the Iraq War.
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This programme contains some strong language
and scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.
It was a lovely day.
We'd been to the garden centre, had lunch there,
bought some nuts for the birds. CAMERAS CLICK
It was all very, very British.
'You love your kids so much, you think you'd know.'
'That, no matter where they were in the world...
GUNFIRE '..3,000 miles away even,
You'd know if they were in danger.
BIRDSONG, PHONE CONTINUES
Here we are.
-Nice cup of tea.
-Ooh, I love this.
MUSIC: Summer Breeze by The Isley Brothers
MUSIC PLAYS, PHONE RINGS
-'Hi, Sally, it's June.'
-Oh, hi, June.
-Yeah, Reg's mum here.
-We've been out for lunch.
-'Did you see the news? Six MPs killed.
'It's on now.'
MAGAZINES RUSTLE LOUDLY
'Six dead and eight injured, three of them critically.
'Even at the height of the war in Iraq,
'British forces did not suffer such heavy casualties in a single day.'
TELEPHONE RINGS, TV REPORT CONTINUES
-What is it?
-Hello? No, no, we've got it on now.
Mr Reginald Keys?
TV: '..one was wounded and two vehicles were destroyed.'
I'm Major Potter and this is Captain Fletcher.
We're from Army Notification.
TV: '..details. In the other, a patrol of Paras came under fire.
'When a quick reaction force was sent in to mount
'a helicopter rescue, they too faced enemy fire.
'We'll be getting reaction here in a minute
'but first, Clive Myrie is in Baghdad.'
CLIVE MYRIE: 'Troops from the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment
'have been based in Southern Iraq for some time now.
'They were due to return home at the end of this month.
'In recent weeks, anger has been rising against British rule...'
TV REPORT AUDIO FADES
KNOCK ON DOOR
-I've got some bad news, Sapper Keys.
About your brother.
-He's been shot dead.
What do I do now, sir?
CAR APPROACHES OUTSIDE
REG: It's Richard.
Richard's here, Violet.
You on your own?
They've all been, son. Been and gone.
-No, thanks, we're just getting off.
-Oh, no, you're not.
You're not going all the way back there without a cup of tea.
-Are you sure?
-Yeah, go in.
Is Tom coming too?
'My mum died six months ago,'
still thinking Tom was alive.
Sally later said how much she envied her that.
MOURNFUL FANFARE PLAYS
GLASS CLINKS, CHATTER DIES DOWN
Thank you. Secretary of State, ladies and gentlemen,
we're going to do this in order of length of service.
Your name will be called and you'll go in and sit with your loved one,
for as long as you wish.
First, please, the family of Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell.
TICKING CLOCK ECHOES
The family of Corporal Paul Long.
TICKING CLOCK ECHOES
The family of Lance Corporal Thomas Keys.
HE BREATHES SHARPLY
There's another couple in after us.
-Let's not stay too long, then.
They stayed for ages.
If we walk out in five minutes, how's that going to look?
I don't care how it looks.
-I need a wee.
-Why didn't you go in there?
Cos I didn't want them to say my name and not be there.
I'm really proud of you, son.
AIRCRAFT ROARS OUTSIDE
A DOOR IS UNLOCKED
COFFIN LID CLICKS AND CREAKS
GUNFIRE RICOCHETS, SHOUTING ECHOES
MACHINE GUNFIRE OFFICER: Move back!
SCREAMING, GUNFIRE CONTINUES
There were 31 bullet wounds to my son's body.
I know, because I counted them all myself.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
Tell me it's all been a big mistake.
Are you sure?
Did he suffer?
It would've been instantaneous.
-I'm Major Bryn Parry Jones, Mr Keys.
-Thanks for seeing us.
Oh, no problem.
-This is Lance Corporal Joanne Richardson.
-How do you do?
-And Corporal John Fraser.
Er, I told my wife he didn't suffer.
Just one shot to the head.
Well, please come in.
FRONT DOOR CLOSES
This is my wife Sally. This is Major Bryn Parry Jones.
And I've... I'm sorry, I've forgotten already.
-Er, Corporal John Fraser.
He mentioned me?
-All the time.
THE Jo, then, yes.
I was very proud of them.
It was a tremendous honour to have been their commanding officer.
Good men. Really good men.
But even among men like that,
Tom was an exceptional soldier, Mr Keys.
And, a lot of the time, funny as well.
-You'd say that, Corporal?
Which was great for morale.
Why was he told to stay out there?
It was the end of their stint, wasn't it?
Tom knew the ropes and we desperately needed the likes of him
to remain out there for the handover,
in order to help the new batch of lads coming out from the UK.
-You didn't stay, then?
-No, but the CO who took over from me,
Captain Phillips, he was more than up to the job.
He was four days off his 21st birthday.
Right, I'll make some more tea, I think.
-Another coffee for you?
-Thank you, Mrs Keys.
-Jo, would you mind giving me a hand in the kitchen?
Do you know why they were attacked?
Well, we're still trying to get to the bottom of that.
All we know for sure is a heavily-armed mob
assembled in the town and went off looking for soldiers to kill.
-It was Tom's bad luck...
-Tea always tastes better out of a pot,
I mean, there's probably no real difference, really.
A teabag would probably taste the same.
And when did you last make love?
The night before he died.
CORK IS UNSCREWED
MALE CHOIR: # Ar ddyrys daith i'r Ganaan fry
# Pob gras sydd yn yr Eglwys fawr
# Fry yn y nef, neu ar y llawr
# Caf feddu'n oll, eu meddu'n un
# Wrth feddu d'anian Di dy Hun
# Mi lyna'n dawel wrth dy draed
# Mi ganaf am rinweddau'r gwaed... #
SINGING GETS LOUDER # Mi garia'r groes, mi nofia'r don
# Ond cael dy anian dan fy mron. #
Five years ago, we gave the Army...
a rather shy, introverted...
..young 16-year-old boy.
..what we see before us today...
..is not how we expected the Army to return him to us.
'Not the homecoming we had planned for Tom.'
SEAGULLS CALL, GUNFIRE ECHOES
GUNS ARE RELOADED
BUZZ OF CONVERSATION
-You take care.
-How are you?
-I need to tell you something, Mr Keys.
-It might come as a bit of a surprise.
A few weeks before they were killed, the lads were descaled.
-It's Army jargon for removing equipment -
grenades, flares and so on. It's just so the new lads coming in
have everything they need.
Well, that's no surprise. It seems reasonable, in fact.
Grenades and flares?
They only had 50 rounds each.
In Majar al-Kabir?
You knew this at the time?
-But you still came home and left them there?
Why are you telling me this now?
The papers have got hold of it. They're running the story.
Oh, so you're telling me this now,
because you've GOT to tell me this now?
No. I am telling you this now, because
it's easier to hear it from me than to read it in the tabloids.
We're thinking of you and the other families, Mr Keys, that's all.
What else was taken off them?
A satellite phone. Well, that's what the papers are saying, but they were
never given a satellite phone. They had a clansman radio.
But a clansman is bolted to the vehicle.
Away from the vehicle, what did they have?
Away from the vehicle, what did they have?
There were dozens of bullet wounds to his body.
I heard them talking.
You said one.
One shot to the head.
-It's what you wanted to hear.
-I want to hear the truth, Reg.
They only had 50 rounds each.
I don't want you going back to the Army, Richard.
Look, if I leave the Army, Mum, what have I got?
There's nothing here.
Besides, Tom got killed. They'll look after me.
They don't want two from the same family.
MATT FREI ON TV: 'The Prime Minister hasn't smiled like this
'for a long time. But it's the troubles at home that have been
'the very making of him over here.
'America adores his unwavering loyalty and this is his reward.
'Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister
'of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.'
'Only very few foreigners and two other Britons have been given
'the honour of addressing a joint session of Congress.
'The first was Winston Churchill, who did it three times,
'twice during the Second World War.
'The last was Margaret Thatcher at the height of the Cold War.'
'I'm deeply touched by that warm and generous welcome that's...
'..more than I deserve and more than I'm used to, quite frankly...'
-APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
'..you, like me, know who the real heroes are.
'Those brave servicemen and women, yours and ours,
'who fought the war and risk their lives still.
'And our tribute to them should be measured...'
-FRONT DOOR OPENS
-'..in this way.
-CAR KEYS RATTLE
-'By showing them and their families
'that they did not strive or die in vain.
'But that, through their sacrifice,
'future generations can live in greater peace, prosperity and hope.
'Let me also express my gratitude to President Bush.
'Through the troubled times, since September the 11th
'changed our world, we have been allies and friends.
-'Thank you, Mr President...'
-You're killing yourself.
APPLAUSE ON TV
Turn it off.
If it hurts so much, just...
..turn it off.
Or you need the pain.
It gives you a good excuse to do that.
'I'm being told that the first Congressional Gold Medal was
'awarded to George Washington for what Congress called
'his "wise and spirited conduct"
'in getting rid of the British out of Boston.'
LAUGHTER ON TV
You'd leave me all alone, would you?
CHEERING ON TV
Leave me to go through all this on my own?
How selfish is that?
What about Tom?
If he was alive, you'd think he'd want to see you like this?
'..was kind enough to show me the fireplace where, in 1814,
'the British had burnt the Congress Library.
'I know this is kind of late, but sorry.'
I saw that teacher today.
The one who said that Tom was too good for the Army.
-TONY BLAIR CONTINUES:
-'But though we love freedom, others don't...'
I wanted to say...
"I agree with you, Mr Talbot,
"I didn't want him anywhere near the Army.
"But his dad was all for it."
'..Western values, that Afghan women were..."
-Well, you said nothing at the time.
-What was the point?
He was always going to do what his dad wanted him to do, wasn't he?
You said you were proud of him. He's lying there in his coffin
and you're telling him you're proud of him.
Proud of what?
You're proud of them when they do something,
when they achieve something.
What's he done?
What's he achieved?
-He's got himself shot to bits in some shit-hole
in the middle of the desert!
And all for nothing!
'..you know, my middle son was studying 18th-century history
'and the American War of Independence
'and he said to me the other day, "You know Lord North, Dad?
' "He was the British Prime Minister who lost us America.
' "So just think, however many mistakes you'll make,
' "you'll never make one that bad." '
-ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY:
-And we should pray too for those
who have to keep on at the task of rebuilding,
when the dramas of conflict have faded,
for our leaders, here and in the United States.
We have made ourselves accountable for peace and justice in Iraq.
And leaders and people alike will be called to account for it.
I'd like to speak to the Prime Minister, please.
-I said, "I'd like to speak to the Prime Minister, please."
-It's Mr Keys, isn't it?
Um, you've already spoken to him, haven't you?
Yeah, for about five seconds.
And he was led away, or he allowed himself to be led away.
-I'd like to speak to him properly, please.
-I'm really sorry,
but I don't think that's going to be possible. He's extremely busy.
I can wait.
What is it you'd like to speak to him about?
Well, my son was killed in Iraq - there's a clue.
Well, I'm very sorry about that, Mr Keys, and if you'd like
to give me a message, I can pass it on to the Prime Minister.
I'm sure he'll get back in touch.
A 500-strong mob, armed to the teeth, baying for blood,
came after my son and he had 50 bullets and no radio.
Now, I can accept that, just about.
But if I find out this war didn't have to be fought,
and he died for nothing...
..I will never accept that, I will never let that lie.
Mr Keys, these weapons of mass destruction will be found.
I assure you of that.
BBC NEWS THEME PLAYS
'Good evening. The main argument for invading Iraq -
'that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction -
'has been laid to rest by the leading US arms inspector.
'Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group,
'published his long-awaited report this evening.
'He said that Saddam did not have any chemical
'or biological stockpiles when the war began last year.'
I'm still waiting to talk to Tony.
Still very busy, I'm afraid.
We have a petition.
I'll see that he gets it.
We're all people who've lost sons in Iraq.
We'd like to give him it ourselves.
It's just not going to be possible, I'm afraid.
People who give a few grand to the party, they get to talk to him.
We've given a lot more than that - we've given our sons.
I will tell the Prime Minister that you came and I will see that he gets
your petition and, um... Well, I thank you all very much for coming.
-PETER HAIN ON RADIO:
-'..delegates, if they wish to, prioritise Iraq
'over the health service, over education, over employment matters,
'over other issues. That's their right.
'You know, hunting and Iraq are fringe issues
'as far as this conference is concerned...'
-'Well, it's their right to choose...'
It can't fail.
-This stops it, see?
-Why are you doing it?
Tony bloody Blair.
-'..a major debate.
-But there is, there is a debate on Thursday...'
-Have you seen this, Sapper Keys?
It's a life hanging in the balance, sir.
As hundreds of thousands of other lives hang in the balance, sir.
While the Prime Minister won't even talk about it, sir.
Is he mad?
So you're not suicidal at all, then?
No, no. No.
I just miss my son.
I just miss him.
I miss him so much.
MALE VOICE CHOIR SINGS
SINGING STOPS GRADUALLY
I'd join you, lads, but, er, my throat's a bit sore.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Reg? I'm Felicity Arbuthnot.
We're just up here.
Brilliant, by the way.
Reg Keys, everyone.
What can I do for you?
We'd like you to take on Tony Blair at the next general election.
-'..but the fact that their economic and health
'and education plans are exactly the ones they rejected in 1997.
'I think, when they do that, that, yes, I'll be very happy
'that people compare the choice between their record and ours,
'between our future programme and theirs.
SHOUTS OF AGREEMENT
-'Well, he talks about his record.
'Let's look at his record. I'll tell him about his record.
-MOBILE PHONE BEEPS
-'Waiting times UP!
'And let's have a look at what's gone down.
-'Take home pay DOWN!
Hi, it's Reg.
Are you watching Prime Minister's Questions?
-Talk about "don't mention the war".
-'Let me just remind him...'
The answer's yes.
I'll do it.
I'm going to take him on.
Take who on?
Blair. I'm going to stand for Parliament, in his constituency.
It's the North East.
-Is that where he's from?
-Because he lied.
-Because he took us to war on a lie!
-Reg, you've got nothing to prove!
-What does that mean?
-Everybody knows how much you loved him.
-No, it's not that.
-Well, then, what is it?
-It's not Tom.
I think I could find it in me, somewhere deep within me,
to forgive that bastard for what he did to Tom...
..but I'll never forgive him for what he did to you.
-It might make things a bit awkward for you.
-Well, you're in the Army!
-I can't be the first soldier to
-have a dad standing for Parliament.
-They won't see it like that,
but as your dad's making problems for the Prime Minister of Britain.
So? He's made enough for us.
Could you beat him?
Hey, that's better than bumping him off.
Tony Blair was more than happy to go
2,000 miles across the Atlantic to talk to his American friends,
but not prepared to walk as far as his own doorstep to talk to us.
People whose sons had died in that war.
He's more than happy to talk about democracy for the people in Iraq,
but not prepared to listen to us, his own people,
standing there, shivering, grieving on his own doorstep.
Well, not that it's any of your business,
but I've been campaigning all day and I felt I deserved it.
You haven't been campaigning.
I beg your pardon?
Spouting outside Tesco's with three people and a dog listening?
That's not campaigning.
And you didn't feel like you deserved that whisky either.
You felt like you needed it.
Nice talking to you.
We spoke on the phone.
I'm Bob Clay.
-How do you do, Bob?
-How do you do, Reg?
-So, do you still want my help?
-Then can I be frank?
Well, what have you been so far?
If we're going to do this, we do it properly.
I'm not here to cause a bit of mischief, I'm here to win.
And you win by talking to as many voters as possible.
That means knocking on doors, morning, noon and night.
That means you'll hardly see your missus
between now and election night.
And that means, halfway through this campaign, you'll hate my guts!
But by the end of it, you'll be shaking my hand.
So, are you up for that?
-Can Reg be frank now, Bob?
-You hate Tony Blair. That's why you're here. Yes?
Well, I loved my son. My love of my son will keep me going a lot longer
than your hatred of Tony bloody Blair.
-Have you any skeletons in the closet, Reg?
-Cos they'll find them if you have.
Right, so you do this one, I'll do next door
and then we'll just leapfrog each other up the street.
It'll seem a little strange at first,
but after you've done three or four, you'll be like falling off a log.
-I'm shitting myself.
-Eh! These are working class people.
They'll love you for it.
I'm Reg Keys.
My son Tom was one of six military policeman killed in Iraq.
May I shake your hand, Mr Keys?
And, yes, you can count on me vote.
Tony Blair sent them there on a falsehood, sir.
-I wonder if we could count on your vote.
-OK, no problem.
Hello, I'm Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent,
and I'm campaigning on behalf of Reg Keys,
whose son Tom died in Iraq.
Oh, hello, I'm sorry to bother you. I'm Frederick Forsyth, the novelist.
I'm helping Reg Keys in his campaign against Tony Blair,
the man who took us to war in a lie,
and I was hoping we could count on your vote.
-Um, may I ask why not?
-You don't want to know why.
This is a howl of pain, Mr Keys, all this.
-It's just a howl of pain.
-Please tell me why you won't vote for me.
-I gave my son two rules, Mr Keys.
One - you don't buy a motorbike.
Two - you don't join the British Army.
-Both could get you killed.
-You should've done the same.
-My son didn't die because he joined the Army...
My son died because the Army sent him into a hellhole
with 50 bullets and no radio.
It's what the Army does, Mr Keys - it lets its soldiers down.
And not to expect to be let down's a bit naive, and who wants a naive MP?
Is it naive to expect the Prime Minister to tell the truth
-when he sends his soldiers...?
-He's a politician!
-I don't accept what you say...
-He's a politician!
-It's about the Army and these men...
-You're wanted, Reg!
-The Prime Minister can lie sending soldiers to war!
-I'm sorry we don't see eye to eye.
-Excuse us, we've a lot of people...
-By all means.
-Some want to speak to Reg personally.
You do not argue with them!
"I'm very sorry we don't see eye to eye on this matter, sir," and walk!
You know what you've just achieved?
He's absolutely fucking determined to vote AGAINST you!
It's a waste of time and energy
and absolutely fucking counter-productive!
-Now, go and join Martin!
-Reg? This is Trevor Johnson.
-How do you do?
-How do you do, Mr Johnson?
RAIN PATTERS OUTSIDE How are you?
SHE SWALLOWS 'Are you drinking?'
-Tea. Are you eating?
-'I said yes.'
-No, what are you eating?
-Oh, a sandwich.
-'Well, that's not enough!'
-'That's not - you need some proper food!'
Well, it's only for tonight.
Are you coping, then?
'More than coping.'
'Are you sure?'
Enjoying the peace and quiet, actually.
I'll be home the weekend. We'll go to the garden centre.
'Have lunch there.'
9 o'clock in the morning, till 7.30 at night.
7.30, because Bob says you don't knock on the door
once Coronation Street's started, or EastEnders.
We always vote for Mr Blair here.
-Always vote for Mr Blair?
-Yes, we always vote for Tony.
'Then it's back to the hotel for a phone call with Sally.'
Then, er, meet Bob again for a debrief.
Day after day. Week after week.
Reg and I are visiting all the betting shops in Sedgefield
and we're telling everyone in there to back Reg Keys and vote for him.
When you back a horse, what can you do
to affect the running of that horse, hmm? Absolutely nothing.
You are totally at the mercy of the horse and jockey.
But back Reg Keys, ladies and gentlemen,
and there is something you can do - you can vote for the bugger!
Currently, he is 200-1.
In an hour, he'll be 100-1. In two hours, he'll be 50-1.
In three hours, he'll be 20-1.
In four hours, he'll be down to tens and, by the end of the day,
you'll be lucky to get even money.
So, ladies and gentlemen, backed Reg Keys now!
I was in Downing Street handing in a petition. I couldn't help noticing
how well equipped their policemen were there.
They had pistols, automatic machine guns, radios, earpieces.
Tony Blair gets more protection in the middle of London
than our boys get in a warzone.
-Hello again, Mr Keys.
-We've got to stop meeting like this.
The Prime Minister's not in, I'm afraid.
Why all this?
-Would you like me to give him a message?
He's invited to a televised debate - me, him, anyone else he fancies.
That's not going to happen, I'm afraid.
It's just not going to happen.
I will have my say.
I'll look forward to that, Mr Keys.
Modern trains I'm talking about. Not old ones, modern ones.
I go in for a piss, right? Not a shit, just a piss,
but you've still got to flush it, haven't you?
But the flash is behind the seat, isn't it?
So you put the seat down and now you've touched a lavatory seat,
-so you've got to wash your hands...
-WIFE: Who is it?
Mind your own fucking business who it is!
You press the soap and get a load of soap on your hands,
you move them along to the water, never any water.
Nine times out of ten, there's no water!
Why are we killing Iraqi civilians? They didn't vote for Saddam Hussein.
They're not responsible in any way for whatever that monster did.
But I? I voted for Blair.
I'm responsible. OK, it's a tiny, tiny sliver of responsibility,
but nevertheless, it's responsibility.
So bomb me.
Let some terrorist bomb go off in Sedgefield and there'll be
more justification for that than for anything we do in Iraq.
And I cannot sleep at night, because of it.
And that's why I'll vote for you, Mr Keys.
Two sons and one daughter. She's on minimum wage.
Zero hours contracts. The two boys?
Well, they're on the dole! You, on the other hand,
you had two boys bringing 40 to 50 grand into your house.
40 to 50 grand every year!
So long as they killed whoever they were told to kill!
You come knocking on my door, all man of principle?
Do me a fucking favour!
They wanted your son dead, Mr Keys.
George Bush, cos he wanted to say to his fellow Americans,
"See, it's not just our boys dying, it's the British too!"
And Tony Blair, cos he wanted to show his love of America
and the more British dead, the greater his love.
The most powerful army in the world up against a bunch
of half-starved ragheads and he needed us? Did he shite, Mr Keys!
If you're feeling a little pissed off about invading Iraq,
how must the Iraqis feel? How must they feel
when they see British soldiers marching up the streets every day?
They had every right to kill your son, Mr Keys,
as much right as the French had to kill the Germans!
They weren't insurgents, you know!
They weren't a mob! The were the Iraqi resistance!
You're a mug, Mr Keys!
That was the Tory. He wants to meet.
-I think he might withdraw.
And if the Tory withdraws, the Lib Dem does.
We could win it, Reg.
Just through there.
-Al Lockwood, Reg Keys.
I'm impressed. As I'm meant to be, of course.
-How do you think you're doing?
We're just behind Blair, with unstoppable momentum.
-Of course you are.
-How do you have it?
-White, no sugar.
Well, we've got you in third place. Neck and neck with the Lib Dems.
-Would you like a little bet on that?
-We'd like to help.
If you withdraw, endorse my campaign,
I'll flag up the six military policemen every chance I get.
-You want ME to step down?
-I was expecting you to do that.
We can't deny Conservative voters the chance to vote Conservative.
Even though it could help Blair win?
-We can bring down a serving Prime Minister, Al.
That's history, and you'll be part of it,
-and Reg will thank you loud and clear, yes, Reg?
-Loud and clear.
Every Tory constituency in the country will want you!
It's goodbye, Sedgefield! Hello, Surrey South West!
I'm no career politician, Bob.
I was in Iraq and that's why I'm here.
Representing a party that voted for it.
I can't possibly withdraw, Reg. You can.
See yourself out.
"Fine," she says.
Only Sally could fill "fine" with such foreboding.
F-I-N-E - fucked up, insecure, neurotic, emotional.
And that's not tea she's drinking, it's booze.
And even if it is tea, I'm going to think it's booze and she knows
I'm going to think it's booze, so why's she drinking at all?
And I know what they're saying, they're wrong.
"Poor Reg Keys, lost his son, can't face that, can't accept that,
"so he's thrown himself into this mad campaign.
"He's not a hope in hell, but still, it keeps him busy,
"keeps his mind off the death of his son - that's no bad thing.
"Still, you've got to feel for his wife, having you?
' "Having to go through that all on her own, back in Bala." '
Shall I come round?
No, no, I'm fine.
HE LAUGHS Yeah - "fine".
SMOKE ALARM BEEPS
SMOKE ALARM CONTINUES
I need an ambulance!
PHONES RING REG: Trouble is, I go up and down.
It depends on the subject.
For instance, get me on Tony Blair, I'll burst your eardrum.
REG CONTINUES, MOBILE PHONE RINGS
-'Richard Keys here, Bob.'
-SMOKE ALARM STILL BEEPING
-'Dad's not answering.'
He's, er, he's getting miked up for an interview.
-'I found Mum unconscious.'
-Is she all right? What happened?
I don't know. She's breathing, she's got a pulse, but she's flat out.
-You've called an ambulance?
-Yeah, they're with her now.
-You'll have to let Dad now.
-SMOKE ALARM BEEPS
-What's that noise?
-Smoke alarm. Just let Dad know.
-I will, yeah.
-Keep me posted.
Why should they have you as their MP
and not the Prime Minister, the most powerful man in Britain?
Well, he may be the most powerful, but he's also the busiest.
They never get to see him.
When was the last time he was up in Sedgefield?
When was the last time anybody in Sedgefield set eyes on Tony Blair?
If they want an MP that'll protect their interests -
THEIR interests, not George Bush's - they've got to vote for me.
SMOKE ALARM BEEPS
BEEPING STOPS REG ON TV: 'We did consider that,
'yes - defeating Tony Blair, then resigning immediately.
'But that would force another election.'
Also, if they vote for me, they're not just voting AGAINST Tony Blair,
they're voting FOR Reg Keys.
So, if elected, you'll serve a full term?
-Reg Keys, thank you very much indeed.
-Great. Thank you very much.
-Your car's outside.
-Sally's been taken ill.
Well, we don't know, but Richard found her unconscious.
MOBILE PHONE BEEPS
I've got five missed calls here. When did he call you?
When did he call you?
Hour and a half ago.
That interview was crucial, Reg!
-You'll thank me for it one day.
It's finished, Bob. Finished.
-'..message after the tone.'
I've left the M6, hour and a half away, I think. Phone me.
I'd sooner know. Good news or bad news, I'd sooner know.
-'..message after the tone.'
Now, I've realised, if you're in there with her,
you won't be able to use your phone, so call me back when you can.
AMBULANCE SIRENS WAIL
Why didn't you leave right away?
Oh, I... I'm sorry.
How is she?
-Same. Still out.
-She left a pan on. I grabbed it and...
What have they said?
That she's dehydrated. They reckon it could've been that.
So she didn't, er...?
Oh, no, no! Of course not, no.
-Bob, this is my wife Sally.
-This is my son Richard.
-Would you like a cup of tea, Mr Clay?
He played God with our lives.
He didn't pass on your message for an hour and a half.
That's why I did that interview.
I'm really, really sorry.
You've got three options, Reg.
The first one, the one we prefer, you come back to the campaign.
Recent events never happened. Business as usual. Option two...
..you pack it all in, yes, but you don't tell anyone.
You let me - Freddie, Martin, Brian, all of us...
You let us campaign on your behalf.
We'll say you've taken time off for Sally's illness, and that you'll
be back on board just as soon as you can, but meanwhile, we carry on.
And what's the third?
The third is that you pack it in and you tell everyone
you've packed it in, but on no account, do that, Reg, please,
because, otherwise, it just renders everything futile.
All the effort we've put in, all the time, all of it, futile!
Oh, the irony! I'm after Blair, cos he's a heartless bastard, and
the only way to get him is to act like heartless bastards ourselves!
-I'm no heartless bastard.
-REG SCOFFS: No?
I'm here to help, Reg. And how can I do that?
I can't bring Tom back. I can't nail the guys who killed him.
The only thing I can do is help you give Blair a bloody nose
and a bigger and bloodier nose...
The last thing you want to do is bring Tom back.
I'm Reg Keys, father of Tom Keys, murdered in Iraq,
and, without that, what good am I to you?
I predicted this.
I said, halfway through the campaign, you'd hate my guts,
-but by the end of it, you'd shake my hand.
-Well, you were half right.
What do you think?
You want me to say I don't need him here.
And I do.
I don't want him here.
I don't want to drag him off Tony Bloody Blair.
His mum used to forget that Tom was dead.
I wake up and, with...within a second - bang - Tom is dead.
But she could forget for hours, days even.
And I got so jealous of her.
I used to think, "Why can't I be like that?"
..so I'm drinking and...
..I'm swallowing pills.
And if I'm not drinking or swallowing pills,
then I'm hoovering, polishing, scrubbing...
..and I forget precisely nothing.
But his mum...
Hours, days, everything.
And, vicious bitch that I am,
I start reminding her that he's dead.
"He's dead, you stupid woman.
SHE SIGHS DEEPLY
Which means more drink, more pills...
..more hoovering, polishing, scrubbing.
And that is enough, Reg.
Please don't add to it.
Please don't make me the woman that dragged you off Tony bloody Blair.
Just go back to Sedgefield, really.
I want you to go back too, Dad.
It's an adventure.
And I know Tom's been killed and that,
but that doesn't stop it being an adventure.
I mean, you're taking on the Prime Minister and you can win!
You could go down in history. You'd be mad to stop now, Dad.
And who stands to profit if you stand down?
Tony bloody Blair.
CAR DOORS CLOSE, ENGINE STARTS
Right, come on, then.
Tom loved it here.
For the six.
Rest in peace, lads.
What do you think?
OVER LOUDSPEAKER: Vote Reg Keys.
Tony Blair is a war criminal. He's got away with it
because the process of removal has not taken place.
So I'm asking the people of Sedgefield to do it today.
Vote Reg Keys. Remove Blair, the war criminal.
-I came north this morning to pay tribute
to the sons of Sedgefield, commemorated behind me,
who went out to fight two great wars to protect this land.
They were told that they were going out
because this country was under threat, and that was no lie.
Imperial Germany in 1914 was a threat
and the monstrosity of Nazism in 1940 was an even greater threat.
They were not lied to.
They were not betrayed.
Now, I want you to cast your minds to 85 other soldiers.
They're not listed on this monument behind me now.
Their names are not carved in wood or in stone.
They are written only in the hearts of the families they left behind,
when they marched off so proudly
to do what they thought was their duty in defending their country.
Now, I believe there is a difference between those 85 men
and the ones on this memorial behind me and it is this...
Those 85 men who went to Iraq WERE lied to.
They were lied to, so that Tony Blair could have
a standing ovation in Washington
and his place in history.
Well, Mr Blair, you may have your place in history.
But it will not be quite the one you thought.
-'The excitement of election night is about to begin.'
DIRECTOR: ..two, one.
BUZZ OF CONVERSATION
'Our star reporters are out in the country at the key counts.
'We've got our cameras in all the places that matter.
'At Sunderland South, where they're just having
'a final rehearsal of getting the boxes in.
'They plan to be the first to declare.
'At Portsmouth, Guildhall,
'where the postal ballots are being taken up the steps...'
'..and at Enfield in London, Tory target, the seat...'
Excuse me? Excuse me?
That's a vote for Reg Keys.
The Reg Keys pile is there.
You put it on the Tony bloody Blair pile! Excuse me?
And that's the third time you've done that,
which I think is a bit much, if you don't mind me saying so.
-What is it, Bob?
-That's the third time he's put a vote for Reg Keys
-on the Tony Blair pile.
-An honest mistake.
-An honest mistake.
-..all Reg Keys, all gone to Tony Blair!
That's a level of consistency that suggests something to me
and what it suggests is a little more than an honest mistake.
If he says "honest mistake", Bob, it was an honest mistake.
-How's it going?
-I want you to do something for me.
Hi, Richard. I'm going to get somebody to watch this guy -
that's going to take me a couple of minutes -
but for the next two minutes,
you watch him and you watch where he puts those votes, OK?
Here is where we are.
Newton Aycliffe. We'll have done well here.
There should be 1,423 votes from this polling station.
If it's under, that's fine, cos some people go in and don't vote.
But if it's over, that is not fine.
That means some people have voted more than once, so, if it's over,
-come and get me, all right?
'I've had a number of people saying to me that they can't vote for me
'because they were against the war in Iraq.
'Heaven knows what more I could have done to convince them
'that I also was opposed to the war and, if it was like that for me,
'it must have been at least as strong for others...'
JEREMY PAXMAN: 'A personal vote for you, you say,
'but how much did your support for the war count against you there?'
-'Well, that became part of the issue,
'especially within some of the Asian communities,
'but also amongst part of the white community as well.'
-How are you doing, Bob?
-I don't think we can win it.
WOMEN LAUGH AND CHATTER
-On his way.
-Where you going to put him?
-In his room.
-Oh, you got him a room?
-The candidates couldn't have one.
We've been walking around here! And you got him a room?
He's got a country to run!
-Who are you going to allow to speak?
-I haven't given it any thought.
You've got the world's media here
and haven't given any thought to who's going to be allowed to speak?
No, cos it all depends on the result.
Convention dictates the top three will speak.
What if we finish fourth?
Well, someone's got to finish fourth, haven't they?
You've got to let Reg speak.
If he finishes top three, of course he can speak.
Top three to speak.
He could finish fourth, you know that.
If that happens, he speaks.
And the one who finishes fifth? And the sixth?
There's 15 candidates! Monster Raving Loonies and worse.
Do I let them all speak? Do I turn it into a circus?
I'm not asking you to turn it into a circus,
I'm talking about the top four.
This is a four-horse race, this, always has been -
Labour, Tory, Lib Dem and Reg!
The others are miles behind. It would be totally wrong to stop
any of the top four from speaking, especially if it's this man here.
I'm sticking with convention, Bob, and the top three will speak.
-You don't want to upset Tony.
-Not at all.
-I've kept a diary.
And I have listed every irregularity that you have overseen
-in this campaign.
I wasn't aware there'd been one.
Well, there was that business with the electoral roll
-and how long it took us to get it.
-You got it.
-And then there was the map of the constituency.
-Which you also got.
Also eventually. And now you're talking to me about convention.
Well, convention states that the candidates have a room
where they can relax. ALL the candidates, not just one.
Are you about to say that you'll overlook these "irregularities"
if I agree to let this man speak?
Because, if you say that, Bob, you'll be out of here on your arse!
In fact, you might even find yourself in the nick!
How dare you question my integrity?
I have a run things as fair and square as I possibly could!
No-one is questioning your integrity, are they, Bob?
-Three times, I've tried to get Tony Blair to listen to me
and three times, he's ignored me, so I think he's got this coming!
He's got to stand up there with the world watching
and he's got to listen to me.
-And that'll happen, as long as you finish in the top three.
-Because convention dictates?
Who sent us to war?
It's not the people.
They couldn't be convinced.
But hundreds of democratically elected MPs,
-Sticklers for convention, all of 'em!
I hope you get to speak, Reg.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
-'We're seeing pictures now of Tony Blair
'arriving at the, er... At his count, I believe.
-'Not clear what to read into the Prime Minister's face.
'He and Cherie going towards the count there.
'He's looking... He was looking a bit - how can I put it?
'Putting a determined look on his face and, er,
'Cherie looking, again, determinedly cheerful
'as they go into the count, wouldn't you say?'
Here we go.
Oh, that's wonderful, Reg! That is wonderful!
-Where does that put us?
Only the top three speak.
Who was third?
-What did he get?
-That's practically a tie!
No, it isn't, Bob.
-Who was fifth?
-OK, so we're just behind third, well clear of fifth,
-and we still can't speak?
The media are still upstairs, so, once the declaration's over,
we'll go up there and we'll tell the world that you've been gagged.
Labour, Tory and the Lib Dems could speak -
the people who sent us to war could all speak -
but Reg Keys couldn't.
You must do as you see fit.
Please, let me speak.
I'm not asking this for myself. I'll be speaking...
I won't even see Blair, but the other families will see him.
And the families of every British soldier killed in Iraq,
they'll see him.
I don't think you should stand in the way of that.
You must excuse me. I've got things I must do.
-'A rictus, rather than genuine grin.
-'The last days of the campaign,
-'there's been a genuine grin on his face.
-They thought they'd have
'a really good night, better than they're having so far.
'Especially when talking about their private life to the Sun.
-What? "Five times a night Prime Minister?" '
I, the returning officer for the Sedgefield constituency,
do hereby declare that the numbers of votes in the election
were as follows.
Berony Abraham, 205...
REG: 'When do you most need compassion?
'Probably at the point of death.
'But when you die in war, there is no compassion,
'there's only hatred, because they can't kill you unless they hate you.
'So, no whispers from a loving wife or mother...'
GUNFIRE ECHOES 'Just your mates' screams
'and your killer's snarling hatred. That's the reality of war.'
Six young men...
'..dead in a filthy storeroom-cum-toilet.
'You multiply that by 100,000, 200,000,
'you add women and children, and all on a lie?'
CAMERAS CLICK All on a lie?
..that Anthony Charles Lynton Blair has been duly elected
to serve as member for the Sedgefield constituency.
APPLAUSE AND SOME CHEERS
'..and I know too that Iraq has been a divisive issue in this country.
'But I hope now that we can unite again
'and look to the future, there and here.'
Our job is to serve people. That's what I've tried to do in Sedgefield.
It's what we'll try to do for the country. Thank you.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Right, ready to go?
He's letting him speak.
First of all, I would like to thank the Returning Officer
and all the people who have worked hard
to put all this together tonight.
And I want to thank, in particular,
all the fantastic people who have organised and run this campaign
and all the volunteers - they've been tremendous.
I'd also like to thank my wife and my son
for being here with me tonight,
who have supported me tirelessly through this campaign.
A remarkable campaign.
Er, I'm not...
I don't claim to be a professional politician.
Fighting this campaign has not been an easy task for me,
but I had to do it for my son, Thomas Keys,
a Royal Military Policeman killed in Iraq
four days short of his 21st birthday...
..sent to war under extremely controversial circumstances.
Extremely controversial circumstances.
SMATTERING OF APPLAUSE
If this war had been justified by international law,
I would have grieved, not campaigned.
If weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, again,
I would have grieved, not campaigned.
And tonight, there are lessons to be learned
and I hope in my heart that, one day,
the Prime Minister may be able to say sorry.
That, one day, you'll be able to say sorry
to the families of the bereaved and that, one day,
the Prime Minister may be able to visit wounded soldiers in hospital.
Then our campaign will not have been in vain.
All the people who have given me their vote tonight
have sent a clear, resounding message about the Iraq War.
And thank you to all the people who have voted for me tonight.
And just finally...
..I would like to dedicate this campaign to all the brave 88,
88 British servicemen,
because some people do not know how many have been killed.
Servicemen who gave their young lives in this conflict.
But may I just in particular mention,
as they've come to be known, "The Six".
Six Royal Military Policemen left behind and slaughtered
in a filthy police station in al-Majar.
..Lance Corporal Tom Keys..
'..Corporal Russell Aston...
'..Corporal Simon Miller...
'..Sergeant Simon Hamilton-Jewell...
'..Lance Corporal Ben Hyde...
'..and Corporal Paul Long.'
May you rest in peace, lads.
APPLAUSE ECHOES THEN FADES
Drama by Jimmy McGovern based on the true story of Reg Keys, the father of a royal military policeman, who took on the British prime minister over Britain's participation in the Iraq War.
When Reg and his wife Sally return home to discover that their son, Lance Corporal Tom Keys, has been killed four days short of his 21st birthday in the volatile Shia city of al Majarr al Kabir, they are plunged into grief and despair.
Learning that the army had ordered a scale-down in weapons and comms three weeks prior to Lance's death, and angered by his belief that the war with Iraq was based on a lie, Reg forms a pressure group called Families Against the War. Certain that his son died as part of an army blunder, Reg tries several times to talk to Tony Blair, to no avail. He then makes a radical decision: to stand for election against Tony Blair in his home constituency of Sedgefield.
As the campaign takes up more of Reg's time, Sally continues to struggle with her grief at home. When election night draws in, and the world's press gathers in Sedgefield, tensions run high as the final count begins to emerge.