Friday, March 29, 2013

the spirit of '45

I went to the Watershed yesterday afternoon to see this Ken Loach film/documentary about post-war Britain. Unsurprisingly with Loach, the film mirrored his socialist views and was an impassioned call for a return to some of the vision, values and aspirations of 60+ years ago. It highlighted the ambition and energy within the country in the mid-40s and beyond – DESPITE the lack of finance and investment available immediately after the war (which makes our current predicament seem almost seem mild by comparison).
The film contrasted the 1945 “gains” with the “individual greed” of the Thatcher era (and beyond). Yes, you might describe it as being a blatantly biased representation but, nevertheless, it came across as a very sobering history lesson (but I bet Michael Gove won’t be advocating its introduction within the history syllabus!).
Afternoon matinee showings at the Watershed are usually only sparsely attended but, yesterday, there were probably 40 people there (admittedly, most of them were old codgers like me… or even older!) and, very usually, the audience applauded at the end of the film!
After the systematic dismantling of the nationalised industries by Thatcher in the 1980s (which were decaying through lack of investment and political will), Loach’s film is a rallying call to protect the one remaining triumph of Attlee’s Labour government, the NHS.
Sadly, I think it might already be too late…

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