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Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Spirit of '45.

Ken Loach documentary about Labour's programme of nationalisation following the second world war, and the subsequent media vilification of union workers

Clement Attlee in Limehouse, in July 1945, ahead of Labour's victory.


The Clement Attlee government of Nye Bevan, Manny Shinwell, Herbert Morrison and the rest, has usually been considered as the achievement of the Labour Party vision for society in Britain. Throughout my career in the Labour Party and the broader labour movement, it has been my view that the 1945 government should have been the starting point for social change in this country, not the limit of working peoples ambitions for themselves and their families.
Over the years since then, we have witnessed a relentless dismantling of the welfare state and a rejection of the concept of public (not private) good in social and economic matters. This  descent has accelerated dramatically over the past 30 years through successive governments of both conservative and labour, (and now ConDem coalition). The spirit of 1945 has been lost in the mists of time with the pursuit of consumerism and the cult of celebrity.