The Spirit of ’45

13 Apr

Fierce Writing

I went to see the premiere of Ken Loach’s new film, The Spirit of ’45 at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. Half of Whitstable was there.

In case you haven’t heard about it, it’s a celebration of the achievements of the 1945 Labour government, done as a series of interviews with people who had seen the pre-war world and knew what the alternative would be. It has taken me a couple of weeks to absorb its message.

This was a very different Labour government than those we have seen in recent times. In six dizzying, triumphant years the Labour Party laid the foundations of the welfare state.

It nationalised the coal mining and the steel industries. It created the National Health Service and British Rail. It began the process of decolonisation. It oversaw the return to full employment – finding jobs for all those demobbed soldiers – while…

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