The Spirit of '45 (2013) Movie Script

This is a tremendous moment.
The war is over.
I cry a little.
I think of my dearest friends,
of those men fighting
in the services I've known.
Piccadilly was already
a seething mass of people.
The hoarding around Eros
was crowded with young people,
mainly from the Forces.
People were everywhere.
On shop fronts, up lamp standards,
singing and shouting.
I can remember my father taking me
to school one day.
There was a house absolutely flat
on the floor
and a woman standing outside and saying,
"I only washed my windows yesterday."
The nurses' home was hit in 1940.
Then again in 1941,
the whole hospital was hit
and it was completely destroyed.
The main surgeon, Mr Grey, he was killed
and quite a few
of the doctors and nurses.
And two wards of maternity
with about 50 babies and mothers
and other casualties as well.
I always... Every 3rd of May,
I could go over it again.
# When we go strolling
in the park at night #
# All the darkness is a boon #
# Who cam if we're without a light #
# They can't black out the moon #
# I see you smiling
in the cigarette glow #
# Though the picture fades too soon #
# But I see all... #
# Kiss me once
Then kiss me twice #
# Then kiss me once again #
# It's been a long, long time #
# Haven't felt like this, my dear #
# Since can't remember when #
# It's been along... #
Underlying our joy and thankfulness,
there is one uneasy question.
What about the future?
What will happen now'?
Will we, the people
who have won the war,
drive home our victory against fascism
By defeating our pre-war enemies
of poverty and unemployment?
I think the expectation was,
'We are not going back
to the Britain of the 1930s."
'We're..." It was "never again".
It wasn't only "never again" about war.
It was "never again"
about that kind of peace
where everything was run by rich people
for rich people.
The mood among
the people that I was with
was that basically it was them and us.
The officers were
on one side of the barrier
and we were
on the other side of the barrier.
People were all very much afraid
that what happened
after the First World War
would happen after the second, which was
enormous poverty and adversity.
I mean, I worked with people in the last
war who, basically between the wars,
had gone long periods
without any jobs at all.
I don't think people were greedy
for a lot of things those days.
They just wanted to live peaceful,
have a job,
have children and have a home life.
I think just everybody wanted a good
home life with their families, you know.
I was born 87 years ago
in the slums of Liverpool
off Great Homer Street,
a street called Mellor Street.
I was one of eight children.
And we slept five in a bed.
In my bed there was three lads
and two girls.
We got into bed of a night
with a bed full of vermin.
When I say full of vermin,
I mean the bugs.
The fleas were in hundreds in the beds.
And we got in the beds.
There was nothing we could do about it
because they were in the building,
behind the wallpaper,
in the skirting boards.
And we just got in that bed
and lived with them.
And next morning
when we went to school,
we would have the cane
for having dirty knees.
Every Monday morning,
we were meant to take the bundles
up to the pawn shops,
which were in the city area.
And I'd get on the trams
and the tram conductor would say,
"Dalgleish is the next stop."
"Browns. I'll be at Browns
giving a good price today, ladies."
And when it got to the terminus,
he'd say, "All away, Poverty Park
And it really was a poverty park.
The '30s for me, I can remember
quite vividly, was no shoes on my feet.
Having spoonfuls of malt,
this horrible malt,
when we went into school
to try and stop the rickets.
And coming home from school
and you could smell some food
coming from somewhere.
Then all we used to have was a bowl
of com flakes or something like that.
Coming home in the evening,
you'd probably have a big, big plate
full of swedes and potatoes
with no meat.
They didn't have a carpet on the floor.
And when we used to visit,
they'd scrubbed the floorboards.
And if they'd just scrubbed
the floorboards,
they actually literally had
paper down on the floor.
My grandfather's suit had to go
into the pawn shop on the Monday,
in order that they had
some money not only to live,
but also for the youngest son,
vino had a kidney complaint,
to pay for his doctor's fees.
Then they'd get it out again
when he got his money on a Friday,
so that he could wear his suit
to go to the pub.
Bread and jam
was the usual thing they had.
They talk about bread and dripping.
You had to have beef to make dripping,
so the chances of having dripping
were remote.
It was more often than not
bread and jam.
In our house there was
three children died
between the ages of...
...two and four.
Two died at the same time.
And I can recall
putting two coffins across our knees
in a one-horse coach...
...and the one-horse coach
taking us to the cemetery.
And as I recall,
them two coffins went on top
of other coffins at the cemetery.
The other thing
I can remember about the '30s
was the long periods
when, because of the militancy,
they closed the pit down altogether
and we had to go
picking coal off the tips.
My grandfather and my father,
when they heard the steam engine,
the steam train passing, they would
come out to the back of the house
to count the number of trucks
that were going up to the colliery
because with that knowledge
they would know then
whether they had work for a day or two
or for the week.
They used to call it the umbrella pit
because it was
constantly opening and closing.
My father took me
down to see the dole queue in Liverpool
and then he walked me
the full length of it.
Then he walked me back
so I could see all their faces.
And he said, "Now, remember that."
"Remember that and don't let it happen
in your day."
And I was ten.
We went to all the meetings
in those days.
They were mostly out in parks
or street corners.
And I got quite used to it,
so I was really pretty well educated
as regards politics.
What really matters
is who controls industry
and the result of industry.
Hear, hear.
This rubbish about
the banking system is the greatest.
Hear, hear.
You don't make money,
you don't make wealth
by passing bits of paper to one another.
Close up the ranks. Fall in.
Join the great army
of the children of the night
marching to the conquest of the future.
Marching to build Jerusalem
in England's green and pleasant land.
I was 25 years of age...
...when I read my first book,
The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists.
It just completely changed my life.
I couldn't sleep after reading
The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists.
I just thought, what fools everyone are.
How we've all been taken in
and we're still being taken in.
We're just sucked into a false life
of what it's all about.
When we were living in the slums
off Great Homer Street,
we were the greatest empire
in the world.
We had India, Africa, Canada, Australia.
The greatest empire in the world.
We were living
in the worst slums in Europe.
My dad used to take
an orange box round to the docks
and urge the dockers
to join a union, to band together
with all the other...
"You'll never get anywhere
if you don't."
"You've got to be solid." You know.
I was quite proud to go with him.
I could hear the men saying,
"It's Johnny and the kid."
So I was quite proud
to be the kid with Johnny.
Well, I've been thinking
about the gaps between the houses.
What comes down
has to go up again, you know.
Not like it used to be, I hope.
Not with all those slums and tenements.
That's just the point.
We've got to see
that the job's done decently this time.
Ya, but how? Do you think
we can do anything about it?
Well, why not?
If we can work together now
to look after the lives
of the people here,
I don't see why we couldn't work
together afterwards to clear up the mess
and help build a better world in which
these things can't possibly happen.
I'll second that.
It's people like us that have been doing
the work of the war,
and it's people like us that are going
to do the work of the peace.
My mind goes back
to a meeting we had in a troop ship.
Then one lad got up.
He said, "In the '30s,
we had mass unemployment."
He said, "We don't have unemployment
in wartime."
He said, "if you can have
full employment killing Germans,
why can't you have full employment
building homes, building houses,
building schools, recruiting teachers,
recruiting nurses, recruiting doctors?"
And that argument registered.
We're starting something called ABCA.
We're going to have an hour's discussion
every week on current affairs.
And it's going to come out
of working time.
If there is injustice, inequality,
ifs our fault for allowing it.
Why not write to your MP about it?
Yes, that's just it.
We've got a parliament
and it's up to us to say who goes there
and to make sure they do their job
when they get there.
"I am more and more suspicious
of the way this lecturing-to and
education of the forces racket is run."
"I maintain most strongly
that any of these subjects
which tend towards politics are wrong."
"For the love of life,
do do something about it
unless you want to have the creatures
coming back all pansy pink."
The experience of the war
taught people that when the stale needs
you lo be organised collectively,
in fact, they'll force you into the army
to be organised collectively,
and you can be incredibly powerful.
You can defeat fascism.
And they came back
imbued with that spirit
of saying anything is possible.
Beveridge, a Liberal,
had been given the task
of looking at the world
after the war,
and he identified five giants.
Poverty, unemployment, illness
and so on.
Want must not be known again.
There must be no mass unemployment,
the giant evil of only yesterday.
Ignorance, said Sir William,
no democracy can nowadays afford.
The evil of disease must be overthrown.
The voluntary hospital
and the expensive nursing home
are not enough to maintain this nation
in good health.
We are not fighting to preserve slums
which breed our own diseases
just as swamps breed malaria.
No more generations
must be stunted in squalor.
The Beveridge Report shows how to begin
overthrowing the five giant evils.
It spurs us all to greater effort.
If we can produce so much for war,
much can be done for peace.
You've got to realise
there was only 21 years
between two wars.
And most of the electorate
were well aware
of the fact that after the
First World War, we had men out of work
we had men standing on street corners
in blue uniforms
with no leg or no arm,
something wrong,
and there was no jobs for them.
I don't think anybody
wanted to ever see that again.
Put Labour in.
Vote Conservative.
Socialism must win.
Vote Liberal.
I'm for Churchill.
Attlee's the man.
Posters to the right of them,
posters to the left of them,
volley and thunder. On July 5th, the...
Partly, the Tory Party
was broken in its core
because of its attachment
to appeasement.
So the coalition government,
who comes to head in the war,
is actually a Labour administration
at its core.
"At its core" meaning the ministries
in charge of industry and employment
and so forth are under Labour ministers.
Churchill's at the head of this.
Having come through the '30s
where there was mass unemployment,
coming through the war years
where there was, you know,
rationing and lack of food
and where the housing standard
was very poor right across the country,
people who'd fought in the war,
people who'd supported the economy
in the war effort,
they were looking for some son of
if you like, it was
like a war or peace dividend.
Those were the key things
that they were looking for.
And that's what the Labour Party
Manifesto really addresses.
I mean, people looked back
at the years of the 1930s, the 1920s,
saw the mass unemployment,
the wars, the revolutions,
the appearance of the dictators,
the misery that was caused
and said, you know, "There's something
about the system as it worked then
which was almost inescapable.
We've got to change it."
My father was not
an active trade unionist or anything.
He got a map of the world and he put it
on the table and he said, "Look."
He said, "They grow wheat here,
you get rubber from here,
you get oil from here
and you get fruit from here."
"What we're looking for
is an integrated world system
where everybody has what they need
and everything is developed
for everybody."
I thought that was absolutely amazing.
He said to me, "It's called socialism."
And, you know, as a kid of ten,
I thought it was absolutely amazing
and I still do.
All for one, one for all.
Well, ifs not greed.
No greed and selfishness.
Labour puts first things first.
Security from war, food, houses,
clothing, employment, leisure
and social security for all
must come before the claims of the few
for more rent, interest and profit.
We have shown that we can organise the
resources of the country to win the war.
We can do the same in peace.
Churchill and the Tories
went so far as to print
tens of thousands of copies
of Friedrich von Hayek's
The Road to Serfdom
which is a book that basically says
if you start off interfering
with the economy just a little bit,
if the government
just does just a little bit,
you set off down the road
towards totalitarianism.
You end up with Nazi Germany
or Stalinist Russia,
just by introducing
a little bit of welfare spending,
or maybe nationalising the odd industry.
The Tories printed this.
What a shame it would be
and what a folly to add to our load
the bitter quarrels
with which the extreme socialists
are eager to convulse and exploit
these critical years.
For the sake of the country
and of your own happiness,
I call upon you to march with me
under the banner of freedom,
towards the beacon lights
of national prosperity and honour,
which must ever be our guide.
The election was fantastic.
During the war,
we'd always sat and listened
to Winston Churchill on the radio.
Everybody did.
Everybody sat round the radio
and listened to Winston Churchill.
And as a kid, I mean, that was it to me.
He was the leader.
This was, you know, incredible.
And I say this is no time
to mince about,
to mince measures and fool around
with weak governments.
Therefore I say,
if you do not give a strong vote
to the National and Conservative
government, which I...
And then suddenly,
my family started talking
about something quite different.
We sat round and my father said
they were going to vote Labour.
And I asked, well, what did that mean?
He explained and I said, "Why aren't
you voting for Winston Churchill?"
And he said, "He got the guns out
to the Tonypandy miners."
I can only tell you
that an enormous mass of work...
And we campaigned
Number 10 Downing Street.
So, we went there and the whole
domestic staff were turned out.
It was like Upstairs, Downstairs.
And the butler said,
'We're all Conservative in this house."
The maid at the back
with the little bonnet said,
"And we'd lose our jobs if we weren't."
Labour will now have a majority
over all parties in a House of 640.
It was sensational.
Three weeks ago or more
when you recorded your votes,
very few of you would have prophesied
a working majority for Labour,
much less one of about 200 seats.
Newspapers carried the astonishing news
to an amazed public.
Labour landslide.
On the polling day,
I went to Transport House,
into the little room where
we were watching the results.
On the epidiascope we saw
all the Conservative seats falling.
And it was obviously a landslide.
Then the door opened.
Out of the bright sunshine
into the dark room came Clem Attlee.
A BBC man said, "Will you say,
Three cheers for the Prime Minister?
And I was too shy to do that.
Then that evening, I went
to Central Hall, Westminster.
Attlee had just formed the government
and he brought them onto the stage.
I was up in the gallery.
And so it was
a very, very exciting period.
This is the first time
in the history of this country
that a Labour movement
with a socialist policy...
I have this evening accepted
His Majesty's permission to form...
I ask from you all
support that we shall need
to carry us through, triumphantly,
through difficult years,
to the great era
which is opening before us.
It was a real triumphant day.
Everybody was joyous.
We had a little street party
where we were living.
It was a signal that things
were going to be different.
One wasn't going to be ruled
by old principles.
There used to be messages coming down
on top of the empty drams
saying, "Labour seats here.
We won four seats."
All of a sudden he come out and said,
"Labour won a landslide victory."
And these hardened miners...
And they were a hard kin.
They were rough and they were tough
you know what I mean?
They would take anything
that the boss ever, ever threw at them,
but the tears were coming
down their cheeks, because...
I said to my miner,
I said, "Well, what's the matter?"
He said, "At last. We are going to
take control of our own lives," he said.
"This new government
will make a change," he said.
There was no wild optimism,
at least not in the higher ranks
of the civil service and the government
because everyone knew that we faced
an almost impossible economic situation.
The country had sold
all its foreign investments.
It had lost most of its ships,
it had entirely run out of dollars
and industry was
about three-quarters engaged
in producing munitions of war
which you no longer wanted.
The economy had to grow
very, very rapidly
at the end of the Second World War.
If you could imagine
that only Britain and the United States,
it was only those countries' industrial
capacity that survived to any extent.
The rest had been razed to the ground
or had been dismantled
by the Nazis primarily.
So the world actually needed
a lot of manufactured goods to be made.
But Britain had gone through
a ten-year period of depression.
So, at the end of the war,
Britain had a very key role
to basically fill this gap
in products around the world.
And British industry
was very, very weak.
So the government decided
that the key, if you like, inputs and
infrastructure that industry required
had to be nationalised
on a very large scale
to be able to step up that production.
We said we would bring the pits
into public ownership,
the railways into public ownership,
we would build up
the National Health Service,
we would build up industry generally,
and presented it in terms
of this list of objectives
you might have in wartime.
This is what you've got to do
and we'll do it.
And it was credible for that reason.
Of course for the Labour Party,
the natural language
for trade unionists
and for people struggling together
is that we should own things together.
It's not, "Let's fight each other
to see who can get on top
of the other one and benefit."
The Peasants' Revolt, 1381.
You have John Ball
who is a, you know, hedge priest,
a priest who's been basically
expelled from the state Church
but is continuing to preach
to the commonality.
He says that nothing
will go well in England
until all things are held in common.
It reoccurs in the 17th century
in the English Revolution
with the diggers who take over
St George's Hill in Surrey
and begin to till the land
as common land.
It reoccurs in the early stages
of the Industrial Revolution
when the utopian socialists
like Robert Owen set up factories.
He was himself a factory owner,
but he sets up a kind of model community
with the idea that it will have
all things held in common,
that there will be some degree
of control in it.
So all the way through human history,
in one guise or another,
this thought is
constantly being reiterated,
suppressed, goes underground,
explodes again in a different form.
In all their many jobs,
they are Britain.
Public services.
Manual workers.
Street sellers.
Government workers.
Distributive trades.
Women workers.
Transport drivers.
Steel men.
For seven years we, the people
of Britain, fought a war for mankind.
Today we fight for our own survival.
This battle also we shall win.
I can't recall properly
how we got medical attention.
I think there was a place we went to,
a dispensary.
It was a huge place and there was always
a queue there every time you went.
A dispensary of some sort.
And you got
some son of medicines there.
But obviously it wasn't working...
...because funerals
were always going about.
Well, before the health service,
money was the prime mover,
or lack of it.
I think a farm worker
got six shillings a week.
He would probably
pay a shilling rent on that.
That left him very, very little,
and most had large families.
The money was not there,
so they turned to folk remedies.
"Oh, my grandma knows
what to do with that," type thing.
For instance, tonsillitis,
they'd get someone
that had got sweaty socks,
and something out of the sweat,
they'd put round their neck
and that was supposed to cure them,
but quite often
it resulted in ear infection.
For the working man
or the working woman,
there was
National Health insurance cover.
The panel.
You got onto the doctor's list.
Your family did not.
Your family might be covered
by some son of little insurance scheme:
The Hospital Saturday Fund
or sixpence or a shilling a week
that you paid for each in the hope that,
if anything did happen,
you'd be able to get
some son of cover for care.
You had to pay. And...
My mother was quite sick at the time.
My father was having to go to work
in agony, needing surgery,
but because they didn't pay sick pay...
This was before the railways
were nationalised.
They didn't pay sick pay,
so he was going to work in agony
to pay five shillings for the doctor
to put his foot on that doormat.
That was before you got any help,
you know,
advice on what was wrong with you
or anything.
But the so-and-so knew
my mother was dying,
so kept coming back
for his five shillings.
The doctors were private people.
They used to come and visit you.
They'd charge you
maybe half a crown a visit.
Then they'd probably charge you
half a crown for a bottle of medicine
or something of that kind.
And very often you'd got,
say, three or four in a family
that wanted treatment at the same time,
well, the doctor would do it on credit
and then he would often double up
as a credit collector.
We used to have collectors
who used to come on a Friday
at half past three,
ready to get out on the streets
by four o'clock.
The secret was to get the collector
into the patient's home
before the insurance agent arrived,
because if they paid
the insurance agent first,
there was never any money left
for the doctors' collector.
So you would occasionally go to a house,
walk up to the door.
You could hear life going on
behind the door.
And as soon as you knocked at the door,
dead silence.
Dead silence and you thought,
"I'm sure I heard somebody."
Knock again, still dead silence.
On one occasion, a little girl
eventually came to the door and said,
"My mum says she's not in."
My mother was on her tenth child
and she sent me up to get the nurse.
I run up and get the nurse because
every child had to be born at home.
She came down and I could just hear
mumbling and going on up there.
I heard the baby crying.
Then the next thing, I see my mother
being carried downstairs on a stretcher.
And my brothers was crying.
Optimistic, I said,
"Our mam is going to be alright."
"Don't worry about Mam. Mam is good."
And as she went past,
she just squeezed my hand.
Somehow I knew things weren't right
and she...
I came home from school that day
and my cousin had come round to me.
He put his arm round me
and he said, "Ray, Mam is dead."
And of course I cried my eyes out.
And what really
set the fire going inside me
was when my father was also crying.
The doctor put his hand out
and he said, "George," he said,
"Winnie died," he said,
for the want of a pint of blood
And he said,
'Winnie died for a hospital bed."
He said, "Winnie died
for the want of an abortion."
I ran up to the mountain
with my mother's bonnet,
and I said to that God up there;
Because we all went to chapel;
We were strong chapel;
"If you're a decent God up there,"
I said,
"my mam was
the most wonderful woman in the world."
My brothers and sisters have just been
dragged off to the orphanage."
"Give us our mam back.
Give me my family back."
I genuinely believed
when I went to bed that night
that my mam would come back
the next morning.
From that point on, I was an atheist,
because I realised
that the only thing,
the only persons that could improve
the situation was ourselves.
This leaflet is coming
through your letterbox one day soon,
or maybe you've already had your copy.
Read it carefully.
It tells you what
the new National Health Service is
and how you can use what it offers.
Hospitals and specialist services,
medicines, drugs and appliances,
care of the teeth, care of the eyes,
maternity services,
home health services.
The grand ambition really
was to provide healthcare as necessary
to the public at large.
It was very exciting, you know.
One knew that there wasn't
very much stuff around to do it with.
We had old stock,
the hospitals,
we had very maldistributed
medical services across the country.
There were some areas
which were very poorly supplied
with hospital services.
Bevan was an extraordinary man.
He nationalised the whole damn lot.
Everything that claimed to be
a hospital was nationalised,
which was not at all what the
Labour Party had expected or voted for.
They had all expected
for the hospitals to be owned and run
by local authorities,
by local government.
He made a lot of enemies that way.
But you, the public,
are interested in health no less
than doctors and in health services too.
We all want better health services
and better health,
but in organising them,
let's make sure that your doctor
doesn't become the state's doctor.
Nye Bevan was demonised,
as I'm sure you're well aware.
The British media have a way
of picking on somebody
and turning them into a demon.
They were aided and abetted in that
by the BNIA
who regarded him as evil incarnate.
It's obviously quite a job
sending out the BMA plebiscite
to 56,000 doctors
asking them, roughly speaking, whether
they approve of Mr Bevan's scheme.
Lord Moran, as president
of the Royal College of Physicians,
did the deal with Nye Bevan
which brought the NHS into existence.
He managed to persuade Bevan
to drop the notion of a salaried service
for general practitioners.
That sort of killed a lot of the fear
amongst general practitioners.
But he also got the agreement
to allow private practice
to continue for the consultants
and also for merit awards
and various other things,
which, as you may recall,
enabled Nye Bevan to say shortly
afterwards when asked how he'd done it,
"I stuffed their mouths with gold."
Well, this is the
birth of the National Health Service.
This is Nye Bevan
and the matron, Anne Dolan,
walking from the main building
down towards a gate.
They said this was
handing over the key of the hospital.
There wasn't a key handed over.
It was just... That was just the way
they said the health service was born.
The thing that stands out,
it sounds so petty, this,
but we had jam scones for tea.
Do you remember that?
Each and every one of us.
Food was still rationed.
We had jam scones for tea
and, oh, dear God, that was marvellous.
I never met the man myself, but I do
realise that he was a visionary.
He was very, very passionate
about this vision of his.
I admire anyone who can take
and drive through a scheme that big,
People don't have
to worry about being ill.
When they are ill,
they know that they will get
the best possible impartial treatment,
because there's no commercial element
to the relationship
between a doctor and a patient.
So if you go to your doctor
you know the advice that you get
will be based on
what's best for you clinically.
It won't be about selling you care
if you can afford it
or withholding care from you
if you can't afford it.
I'd been to see a family
in which there was a child
that was coughing, pretty sick.
So I left a bottle of medicine,
as one did in those days.
I came back the next day
and the mother met me at the door.
I said, "Hows little Johnny?"
And she said, "Oh, he's fine."
I heard a lot of coughing and
spluttering at the top of the stairs.
I said,
"He doesn't sound terribly good."
'Would you like me to go up
and see him?"
She said, 'Well, Doctor, no,
it's not Johnny,
ifs Bill, his brother."
"I've given him some of the medicine
that you left for Johnny."
I said, "Well, let me go up
and see him."
She said, "I'm sorry, Doctor.
We can't afford it."
And I said, "Today, July 5th,
it'll cost you nothing."
And I was able to go up and I've never
forgotten that moment in my life.
Of course, dentistry was free
under the NHS initially.
It jolly well ain't now, as I know it.
But I think that was it.
There was this huge surge.
People got spectacles
for the first time in their lives.
I actually know one old man
who carried it around with him.
It was the bottom of a bottle
a glass bottle.
He used to use that
as a spyglass to read with.
He got his first pair of specs
when he was about 70.
Julian Tudor Hart
is an extraordinary GP.
He works in a small mining village
in the Welsh valleys called Glynncorrwg.
There he revolutionised the way
GPs provide care for their patients.
They identified all those people
who they knew needed looking after.
The people with high blood pressure.
So they made a register
and they called them in.
Instead of saying,
"Come back when you feel sick,"
they said,
"I'm going to see you regularly
and sort your blood pressure out."
By so doing, they reduced the deaths
by complications by nearly 50 percent.
Ever since then,
we've had proactive healthcare.
I think
we can use the health service
as a model for socialism.
I think we can learn how to be socialist
in the health service.
I think the health service,
a free service where we pool the risks
so that everybody feels responsible
for everybody else,
we are our brothers' keepers
and our sisters' keepers.
- Hiya, Tom.
- Good morning, Doc.
How are you?
I think my chest
is worse than usual.
I think I caught a cold. I'm full up.
Feeling comfortable
with being your brother's
and your sister's keeper
is very, very important.
It means you are
a more civilised country.
I am very proud that our country
produced the National Health Service.
If I were an American,
I would be ashamed
that I live in such a rich country
that still can't afford
to have generous ideas.
Well, there'd been a debate
going on for almost 40 years
about the benefits
of nationalisation of the railways.
They saw the waste
and the duplication of railway lines
and the bureaucracy
of the private companies
and said that society would benefit
from public ownership.
It formed a sort of unstoppable argument
to say that the railways
had to be nationalised
for the public interest
and also in order
to rebuild the country.
It was a queer system of working
because we could have a train
leave Exeter Central
going, say, down to North Devon,
and he could go down the bank
and stay there 45 minutes
for a pathway through Exeter St David's,
because the signalmen
on the Great Western
were told to give preference
to the Great Western.
You were working against each other.
The whole history
of the railways in Britain
is an example of why railways
are a natural monopoly.
Numerous railway lines were built,
often connecting
the same cities together.
Subsequently the companies
that owned them went bankrupt.
The clear lesson of that is that
the railways are a natural monopoly,
in the same way that providing
drinking water or providing electricity
or gas or any other utility item.
In 1947, by Act of Parliament,
Britain set up
the British Transport Commission.
Its task:
To make all transport work as one.
Don't forget, it wasn't
the nationalisation of the railways.
It was public ownership
of all forms of transport,
which was road haulage,
it was airways,
it was, you know, everything that...
and the canals, everything.
One of the first dramatic steps
was to get rid of something in Euston
called the clearing house
which was a huge office,
full of about 400 clerks
whose job was to pass chitties
from one to another
representing charges
from one private railway company
on another private railway company
for use of their engines, their wagons,
their rolling stock,
their signal boxes,
whatever it might be.
So there was a sort of a paper economy
to represent the charges
and the notional costs
between the different
private railway companies
which employed
hundreds and hundreds of clerks
in essentially
a completely unnecessary task.
In 1948, with the creation
of the British Railways Board,
that clearing house was abolished
and those clerks went to do other jobs,
productive, socially useful jobs
in the railway industry.
The advertising department
seemed to have a heyday
because they recruited more staff
and they had ladders
and buckets of paste and so forth.
They were altering everything.
Wages increased under nationalisation.
Eventually, in the 1950s,
it brought about
probably the most important
industrial agreement in Britain
ever negotiated by trade unions,
which was an agreement
which effectively meant no compulsory
redundancies for railway workers.
# Without rhythm #
# A train could never go without rhythm #
# A troop could never roll
without rhythm #
# The day would never go because rhythm #
# Is the thing that makes
the world go round #
# Without rhythm #
# A poet couldn't rhyme without rhythm #
# Could never tell the time
without rhythm #
# Wouldn't hear the chime because rhythm #
# Is the thing that makes
the clock go round I
In the 1930s, first of all,
there was a tremendous depression
in the coalface.
The mines were run
by private enterprise.
They were opened and closed
at the drop of a hat.
Markets determined whether miners
worked or did not work
and it was a really, really bad period.
On the onset of war, obviously,
the government couldn't allow
these coal owners to run the mines
in the fashion they'd run them before,
not only opening and shutting,
but a lack of investment,
which showed tremendously up
the inadequacies of the industry.
The coal industry
was vital during the war.
That's why the government,
the National government,
had to take over
the control of the coalmines.
The priority was coal.
The priority was always coal.
You got paid for the number of drams,
coal tubs, that you filled per day.
You didn't get paid for putting props up
to keep the roof up.
And I was working with my miner
and he was a lovely guy.
I was looking at the top and I could see
that we hadn't got any posts up.
We should have put the posts up,
but then the horse come up
with an empty tub.
They said if you can fill this quick,
we'll give you another one.
So, bugger the post, bugger the props,
smash into the coal.
And then all of a sudden,
down came the roof. Down came the roof.
Now, I was on the far end of it
and I got covered.
But when I looked up, I could see Fred.
I could see Fred.
He was under this huge rock
and his feet were kicking.
And I screamed and I run down.
I got the big, big wedge,
which we put in front of the drams
in case it runs away.
I ran up and I was screaming,
"Fred, Fred, Fred!"
I tried to knock this.
I was screaming all the time it happened
and the other miners
were all coming down.
Eventually we picked it up,
but Fred was dead.
And why did he die?
He died because the priority was coal.
And the least priority of all
was safely.
There's only one word
to describe the coal owners.
They were tyrants. They were tyrants
who not only owned the mines,
they thought they owned
the people who worked in the mines.
And to a degree, they did.
A man's sons had been stealing apples
off a tree in the coal owner's grounds.
The man was dismissed
and thrown out of his house.
That was the type of people that were
running the mining industry in Durham.
Some were related to the royal family,
of all people.
The Bowes-Lyons
were big coal owners in Durham.
Lord Lambton
was a big coal owner in Durham.
Lord Londonderry
was a big coal owner in Durham.
These people were there
for only one thing: Profit.
They made sure they got profit
and anyone who stood in their way
was treated very, very harshly.
When you look at Denaby
and Cadeby, what happened there.
They evicted all the miners
for withdrawing their labour.
The miners and their families.
Threw 'em out of their homes
just because they withdrew their labour
to increase the wages.
Them sort of people are despicable.
That is the right word, isn't it?
One of the ceremonies
marking the transfer of the ownership
of British coalmines
took place on the roof
of Lansdowne House in London
where Lord Hyndley, the chairman,
hoisted the National Coal Board flag.
And so the mines
passed into national ownership
on the first day of the New Year.
Though nationalisation is,
of course, a long-term policy,
January 1st, 1947, was undoubtedly
the day the miners had been waiting for.
We had these fantastic speeches
and the cheers were going up.
"At last we're going
to have safety in the mine."
'We're going to have water infusion
in the colliery."
"Safety is going to be
the key priority. We have won."
And I thought, "What a wonderful day."
And everybody was cheering,
laughing, crying, dancing.
Even the wives were up there as well.
At High Blantyre,
Lanarkshire, is Andrew McNulty,
veteran fighter for miners' rights
and contemporary of Bob Smillie
and William Small.
Above Dickson Pit
where his father and grandfather,
victims of two great disasters,
lie buried,
McNulty unfurls the flag
of the National Coal Board.
The ceremonies mark the taking over
of the mines by the nation.
When I was the youngest member
in 1947, they unveiled a plaque.
They just sent for us down there.
Never got nowt, like.
You had to still do the same shift.
My father had to come up with us.
My father thought
I'd done something wrong.
He said, "What have you been doing now?"
I says, "I haven't done owt wrong."
They took us up and unveiled the plaque.
They had the youngest member,
I was the youngest member,
and the oldest member,
somebody called Ford.
The atmosphere
wasn't quite the same this year.
For the first time,
the management was invited.
This was the first Durham rally since
the pits were handed to the people.
Coal Board representatives
took part in the celebrations.
The mines were now owned by the people
and run for and on behalf of the people.
The elderly miners, obviously,
it was their utopia.
They'd been promised this since 1919.
The whole country is watching
to see how this great new organisation,
this new adventure,
this new experiment, comes out.
The great experiment of socialism
in a democracy
depends on you.
The way nationalisation was done
was on a centralized system, top down.
The chairman of the National Coal Board
ran all the pits
in the way the private owner used to.
I'm not saying it wasn't
a better system, because it was.
But at the same time the idea
that people vino worked in industry
had any say in how the industry was run
was a completely foreign idea.
I got myself well annoyed
I'll tell you for why.
A leopard cannot change its spots.
We had officials at this colliery
that still had that in their mind,
you know, that they
would not pull their weight
the same as they would
under private enterprise.
In fact, at a meeting
of the consultative committee,
I accused them of indirect sabotage
of production
since the mines were nationalised.
And I say the best thing we could have
done when the mines was nationalised,
put them into a boat with a false bottom
and put them into North Sea
and let them swim back.
That's what they should have done.
Now, the first humiliation I ever got
was our own agent and manager.
I'm going to quote his name
on this incident.
He was called Major Brookes.
He was publicly denounced as a tyrant
by our own lodge officials
in the branch,
because of his attitude
towards the men. A tyrant.
And yet that man was made
chairman of the Regional Coal Board.
That was the first humiliation.
You can understand how I felt.
Who's put him there?
This was the Labour government.
Now, the second incident, I'm standing
against Manny Shinwell at Durham.
He was Ministry of Fuel and Power.
He gets up and he says, "I take great
pride in being the man responsible
for appointing Lord Hyndley
as chairman of the National Coal Board
Lord Hyndley spoke against
nationalisation, didn't believe in it.
I says, 'What sort of a nationalisation
have we got?"
"The same old hand back in power."
I think the rest
of the communities, the welfares,
the libraries, the reading rooms,
the miners' homes,
that was improved under nationalisation.
Dramatically improved
under nationalisation.
But in the pits, it was
still the same old struggle.
Our safety improved tremendously.
Safety committees were set up.
Investment went in,
which meant safety was more important.
It must have felt like it was
the beginning of a new world.
It succeeded
because you had central planning.
The capital cost of building
power stations and transmission systems
across the whole of the UK,
in current-day costings, you're talking
tens of billions of pounds,
so you needed central control
to be able to fund such an operation.
Most of the gas, water and electricity
was part of the local authority
council-run services.
There was no national structure to it.
Gas, electricity, water;
They tend to form natural monopolies.
They tend to be things
that can only be done efficiently
on a very, very large scale.
There's not much point building
two separate distribution systems
of water in a city.
You have one and everybody uses it
because it's the same stuff
that comes out of the tap.
If you allow private competition
to be that one supplier,
all the advantages that are claimed for
private enterprise suddenly disappear.
So you take it into public ownership
and that way you can set the prices,
you can set long-term investment
for the utility,
you can start to control and manage
how the thing's distributed.
At the end of the war,
we had two problems.
We had the inherited slums from the '30s
and we had the war damage.
We had millions of people coming home
from the war wanting to get married,
set up home and there was
an acute housing shortage.
So what the Labour government did
was to authorise local authorities
to build houses for rent
rather than for sale.
I think it's very hard on the young
people out of the forces, newly married,
who don't stand a chance at all.
I should be really very happy
when my husband comes home
and I have a house for him
to come to from Singapore.
Well, I only want to say
I put my application in in 1935
and I'm still waiting for a house. Why?
With repeated applications renewed...
Well, I've been married six years now.
Two children and in one room only.
One room for four. I think it's a shame.
It's about time something was done.
I used to go queue up at
the council offices every Monday morning
and there'd be a queue
about a mile long,
all the women grumbling, of course.
Everybody trying to get in there.
One particular morning,
this lady came out in a fur coat
and held up a key.
"I've got one," she said.
"I let him lock the door
and have what he wanted."
So I said, "Well, if that's the way
I'm going to get one, I'll go without."
Well, they told us we'd have
to have another 60 points at least
before we stood a chance
of having a place.
We'd always planned
to have four children.
So I said to Ben,
'Well, let's have another baby."
'We'll get a house then."
So after a lot of persuasion,
we decided.
We had another baby.
We got down there and they said,
'We're very sorry, Mrs Adams,
but about 300 other couples
did the same as you that night."
And we were back to square one,
in a worse position, really,
with another baby on the way
and, you know, no place to put it.
We had to find out everything
about this great city
we were planning to rebuild.
Everything about its history
and its geography,
its people and the way they live.
We had to find out how much of it had
been totally destroyed
and how much of it
was in such a bad state
that it would have to be rebuilt anyway.
And that didn't just mean
the bombed buildings.
The housebuilding
programme is enormous.
Target of 200-300,000 homes a year
constructed after the end of the war.
This is an economy
that is absolutely battered
as a result of six years
of total warfare.
So the scale of the ambition
of what was being achieved
is really quite unbelievable.
First, let's look
at one of the neighbourhoods
and see how that's arranged.
Here, near the centre,
is the junior school.
The people would live in streets
or squares of terraced houses,
each with its own private garden.
So it's not an inhuman plan at all,
but one that is designed to make life
better and pleasanter for all of us.
And so we started in 1945 with great
expectations, with great enthusiasm,
to try and build the new London, to make
good all the devastation of wartime,
to really provide a new London
for the people who deserved it,
trying to give them a better kind of
environment than they'd ever had before.
It was Bevan. He was
the Minister for Health and Housing.
He very much saw the need for housing
in terms of the knock-on effects
poor housing was having on health.
The need at the present time
is to build houses for poor people.
I am not prepared
to associate myself with a policy
where well-to-do people
can afford to build luxury homes
and poor people go without homes.
His attitude was, "Nothing but the best
is good enough for the working class."
'We are going to have
really good houses."
And he built really good houses.
The Labour government not only housed
people, they housed them well.
The broadest objective
was human welfare.
Human welfare in terms of health,
so that everybody could be healthy,
everybody could have a reasonable diet,
everybody could have
a reasonable space to live in.
There would be no illnesses
consequent on bad housing,
so obviously, housing
was the most important priority.
He insisted on certain minimum standards
which many at that time
thought were probably too good
for ordinary working-class people.
I shall never forget
the uproar that occurred
when he proposed
to put upstairs and downstairs loos
in order that the kids
didn't have to go upstairs
every time they came in from the garden.
Planning is absolutely important.
I mean, if you look at all the most
successful housing developments
where there are libraries and parks
and even a swimming pool
and all sorts of facilities
provided as part of the development
or whether it's the new towns.
The schools were being planned
alongside the housing
and the doctors' surgeries
and the employment.
So it was just perfect
for young families.
The new house had French
We laid in this room
on these mattresses.
When we woke up in the morning,
there was all this light.
There were stairs and a bathroom.
You know, like that.
So, yes, it were brilliant.
Me and my dad,
we set about building a garden.
You loved to get rocks
and make rockeries and do all that.
So yes, it were brilliant.
I moved into a council house
not long after I got married.
It was the best thing
that ever happened in my life.
To see a house with a bathroom in it
and a back garden...
I was completely taken in.
And the council houses for people
in them days
was the bat thing
that ever happened for them.
My grandfather started to hear
about the new-town proposals
after the election.
So, they applied for a council house.
He was offered work building the houses.
This arrived in April, 1947,
only a year after Stevenage
was designated as a new town.
"Dear sir, I am now able to inform you
that the house
will be ready for your occupation
about 19th of April, 1947."
"The rent will be, until further notice,
17 shillings and four pence per week,
including rates and water charges."
"Yours faithfully,
Clerk of the Council."
Ah, gosh!
And this is some photographs of him
with his workmates
building various things in the new town.
That's the bandstand that he built.
You say he carried this
round with him?
Yes, he carried it
in his wallet for the rest of his life.
There were only a few things
he carried in his wallet.
The telegram he received
when he was working in the West Country
to say my mother had been born
and the letter of commendation
he'd got from the Festival of Britain.
So it was up there in the sort of
great events of his life, I think.
I think the achievements
of that government
rank alongside the achievements of
any other government that's ever been,
anywhere in the world.
I think that took British people
from real, real poverty
where they didn't have any hope.
It brought full employment,
it brought housing,
it brought many, many opportunities.
The people who got that through should
be looked upon as working-class heroes.
They lifted us from an era
when poverty was rife,
when illness was rife,
and it allowed everybody to have
healthcare from the cradle to the grave.
And anybody vino tampers with that,
people should attack them
in as many ways as possible.
# Life is just a bowl of cherries #
# So live and laugh at it all #
I would just like to remember
some words of St Francis of Assisi
which I think are really just
particularly apt at the moment.
"Where there is discord
may we bring harmony.
'Where there is error,
may we bring truth."
'Where there is doubt,
may we bring faith."
"And where there is despair,
may we bring hope."
Along came Thatcher
and suddenly
it was all about the individual.
You know, the important thing was
let's get rich and it's all about me.
And the public services
really suffered under this.
British industry
had become uncompetitive
because of a lack of investment.
The second factor was that
there was a mass overcapacity
in the world's, you know,
production bases.
And suddenly it all came
to a crashing halt in the mid '70s
and then again at the end of the '70s.
And Britain and the world was faced
with trying to reduce
the industrial capacity.
But also in Britain in particular,
they tried to increase
the rate of profit.
And there's a real intellectual assault
on the ideas of Keynesianism,
of nationalisation,
of state intervention
which Margaret Thatcher
starts to carry through.
Buys into it wholesale.
So rather than the state being seen
in its traditional reformist role,
as something which controls industry
and is a partial barrier between the
working population and the free market,
it becomes something which facilitates
the influence of the free market
in privatising and deregulating
the economy,
and in generating
the dismantling of the welfare state.
It was driven really by people like
Milton Friedman and the Chicago School
who developed a model of capitalism
which said that capitalism
should be completely uncontrolled
that it should be
let rip in every direction,
every form of control removed,
and that it would find its own solutions
under its own momentum.
It meant
actually taking on the working class
to reduce their wages,
but also, you know, for the redundancies
that we saw in steel,
in shipbuilding, in the coal industry.
And it was a necessity of,
if you like, the private economy.
And that means
they have to break the unions.
It means they have to have
the ability to hire and fire.
It means they have to have the ability
to reduce wages and welfare.
These treble lines of blue
that escort the scabs
through the gates,
where the pickets cannot picket.
They cannot talk to them.
They cannot get to them.
They cannot get anywhere near.
Now, the police are not neutral.
That is very important.
The police have been shown to the
British people that they're not neutral
when the working class
decided to fight for their rights.
This is the thing you want
to be filming. It's a police state.
You saw yourselves. There was men
just standing on the car park.
The police came in
inciting, pushing men about.
If that's not police incitement,
I don't know what is.
# There are slanderous tongues #
# Always ready to wrong #
# And murder the fine reputation #
# Of the lads with big feet #
# Who by pounding the beat #
# Are protecting the peace of the nation #
They got me on the floor,
spread-eagled me,
a copper on each arm, one on each leg.
Then they started to hit my arms
and legs with a truncheon, methodically,
until I had no power
or grip left in my arms.
Then they just proceeded
to twist them straight up my back.
I think he wanted to take it home
for a souvenir.
Now why do police go in with such venom?
They seem to enjoy inflicting pain
and suffering on the working man.
Why? Who tells them
to go beat a picket's head?
Who tells them to inflict pain,
try to kill him?
Because that's what they're doing.
You stand there in the push
and all you feel, all of a sudden,
a fell a at the side of you
collapses in a pile on the floor.
'What's up with you?"
He's just been kneed in the groin.
I've seen police do it.
I've no skin left on my shins where
they've run their boots down your shin.
But if you look at him the wrong way,
you're nicked.
I want to know,
who gives them the power to do this?
Who tells them to beat me,
a working man, with a stick?
Who is it? I want to know.
I think it was a betrayal
of the British people
because the mines were owned
since 1947 by the government,
for and on behalf of the British people.
There's no work
whatsoever in these communities.
No industry is being brought in,
none whatsoever.
Without work, you cannot have dignity
and you cannot have respect.
At least in mining
it was rough and it was tumble,
but you got the comradeship.
You got discipline.
A lot of it was self-discipline
that you taught yourself.
You were reliant upon each other.
You were making sure
that anybody working with you
learnt how to do the job properly
because it could be your life at risk
and not only theirs.
Communities are full of drugs,
they're full of problems
of all sorts of types
that were never there
when the mines were working.
What that government done
destroyed all them structures
that you had,
all your nationalised industries,
and although
they always gave her fantastic credit
for giving working men and women
ownership of their own homes,
I thought one of the biggest disasters
was the selling off of council houses.
We all lived in crofts and avenues.
Nice houses, all, you know,
close to where you were working
on top of the docks in Birkenhead
where I lived.
But they were good houses, good houses.
And the people there were decent people,
good people, good neighbourhoods.
We're looking after
the people in Liverpool now.
Everyone else has deserted us
so well look after our own.
We are disgusted over it,
that that union is throwing
the towel in, and we're not.
We're not going to throw the towel in
yet, until we get a proper deal.
There's no such thing
as registered dockers now.
Anyone goes on them docks now,
they're just going there,
doing a job and then getting chased.
So that's it.
It's soul-destroying.
The situation we have now, you've got
maybe two generations in the family
who've never, never been in employment.
Because of the nature
of the trade union Labour leadership,
they've virtually capitulated.
There's been no serious opposition.
The miners were left in isolation.
The dockers were left in isolation
when they fought their last struggle
in the '90s.
And the trade union laws
prevent the trade unions
organising collectively
against political decisions.
Now, as far as I'm concerned,
the TUC should say, "Well,
we're not interested in your laws."
"Let's organise and defeat
these people." That hasn't happened.
When you start a debate,
'Will we be able to build the next stage
of massive power stations?",
I don't believe that the current
companies, one, can afford it,
and have got the ability
to actually coordinate and plan it.
They are all competing with each other
across the whole country.
They can't sit down and actually say,
"We need one power station in Scotland,
or, "We need a supplementary power
station in the east coast of Britain."
I think that's where
the historical planning of one body
that was responsible for the production
of electricity planning could deliver.
Within three or four years,
that had developed
into an absolute farce
and then a tragedy
with repeated fatalities,
large-scale loss of life
in a number of different train crashes.
Effectively in 2002, the government
was forced to step in
and take the infrastructure company,
Railtrack, back into administration,
because it had gone bust.
There's this huge and complex web
of financial debate,
argument and blame and recrimination
that goes round and round and round,
every week of every year under
the privatised railway in this country,
and it's a nonsense.
People were proud to be a railwayman.
Very, very proud to be a railwayman.
There was a public-service ethos
which was passed on to new people
who started in the industry.
Now, what happened after privatisation
is that a deliberate
and concerted attempt has been made
to erase that history
within the railway workers.
So, for example, somebody recruited
to work on the railway today
isn't even taught to think of themselves
as a railway worker.
We're losing an industry
that we invented in this country
and which people love
and which young people need.
I mean, we've got a million young people
unemployed in Britain today.
A million young people unemployed.
They should be being employed,
some of them at least,
learning how lo do railway engineering
skills, railway operational skills,
to deliver the kind of services
that this country needs
in order to develop a new, green
public transport system.
In 2003,
the market was liberalised.
Other companies could come in
and collect mail from businesses
who are posting it, sort it,
then pass it on to Royal Mail
to deliver. What that has done
is it's undermined Royal Mail's capacity
to provide a universal service
which is subsidised
by business postings.
The cost of the universal service
for everybody
is no longer supported to that degree
by what businesses do.
In simple terms,
people used to get their mail earlier.
Now they get it later.
They used to have two deliveries.
Now they get one per day.
The reform of the health service
is, of course,
to bring it back into the marketplace
and degrade it back again
into making healthcare a commodity.
So it's not reform at all.
It started when Margaret Thatcher
started contracting out domestics
and porters and laundry services.
Again just the process of administering,
asking people to bid for contracts
costs money in and of itself
to write the contract for what you want
rather than just have domestics
doing the cleaning.
But then to win the contract,
you have to put the cheapest bid in.
So, the ward I worked on at the time,
we had two full-time cleaners on
in the morning
and a part-time cleaner on
in the evening.
When I finished at the hospital,
they had a half a cleaner on
in the morning
and then one between about ten wards
in the evening.
It wasn't cheaper
when people get MRSA and infections
which then might cost the whole
of what you've saved on the contract
on one person
if they're in intensive care.
I mean, there was a real feeling of
ownership about the NHS when it started.
People felt they were
doing it themselves,
that it was their possession.
And they've lost that.
So, the cost of running
the health service,
the admin cost, was about six percent
before that started.
Then they moved up to about 12 percent.
Now they're heading in the direction
of American costs
for running the health service,
anything between 18, 20, 25 percent.
You can see the politicians have chosen
to waste a huge amount of money
on marketising the service.
I've got a big picture of Aneurin Bevan
I looked at every day.
I think, "Where are the people?"
And What he says is,
"All the time the people
have got the faith to fight for it."
We've been out on the streets and people
said, "They'll never privatise the NHS."
'Why are you getting so up the wall?
They won't do that."
And people just didn't believe
they would do it.
It seems to me
there's a sort of blindness
to the enormous advances
that have been made in British medicine
as a result of the NHS.
I mean, there are many things
that have taught the rest of the world
so far as the NHS was concerned.
This was a very inventive organisation
with lots of new initiatives.
I do hope
we don't go down the American system
whereby the first thing you met,
as you come in with broken legs
or whatever,
is someone with a clipboard
who says, "Are you insured?"
When there's money there,
the private sector is happy to be there
taking the cash, thank you,
and paying its shareholders.
When the money isn't there, as we saw
locally after only a couple of years
of involvement in primary care,
they were off.
People are ready to defend
the National Health Service.
They do know about it.
They do know the rewards of it.
They do know about the care
and the treatment they get.
They're all going there every day.
You can see it.
I can see it more than ever.
I've got a lot to be thankful for,
and so has my wife,
on the National Health Service.
I think it will happen.
I think they will understand
the situation on the NHS.
That is the one institution from 1945
that needs to be defended.
We've lost most of the others,
if not all the others,
but the National Health Service,
if they attack,
the right, Tories, Lib Dems,
attack the National Health Service,
if we don't understand
that we've got to do everything,
up to and including breaking the law
to defend the National Health Service,
then we're finished.
We were defending a flawed project.
This is the worm in the apple of 1945.
This wasn't workers' control.
This wasn't popular engagement
with the control.
This wasn't controlled from the base up.
There weren't committees in every
locality managing the council housing.
There weren't shop stewards running
the steel industry or the coal industry.
This was a set of state bureaucrats
replacing a set
of corporate bureaucrats.
Whereas socialists are talking about
the transformation of the economy
into a different type of economy
that's not driven by the market,
but driven by the common needs
of society.
I think that's the big difference
that we're seeing.
If there's a need
and there's no profit in it,
the need goes unanswered.
A caring capitalism.
Miliband is talking about
this socially responsible capitalism.
It's a bit like the Arabian phoenix,
isn't it?
Everyone's heard about it.
Nobody's ever seen one.
We have to face up to the fact
that, again, it's the market.
It's the system that says
that profit is the most important thing
that makes the world go round
that we have to...
that we have to take on.
It's a hard struggle,
but this system what we live under
is absolutely rotten and corrupt
as far as I'm concerned.
From top to bottom, it's rotten.
And the quicker it goes, the better.
In the face of the failure of the right,
if you like,
the neo-liberals and their assault
on the public services, their failure
terrible financial global failure
at the moment of the market,
we still are trying to make the case
that actually we should go back to
working together for the greater good.
And I think the NHS has been
a terrific example of that,
as have many things in this country;
Education and the welfare state.
What's so shocking is the people
who are dismantling this at the moment
are the people who grew up
and benefited from that system.
The idea of socialism
is weak in this country
and the idea of capitalism
is very strong.
Capitalism itself is not strong,
it's falling apart,
but the idea of capitalism
is very strong.
The paradox in the situation
is that the ideas which come together
and which have traditionally been
called socialism
exist in a sort of atomised way
right across the political spectrum.
When you see the Occupy people
say that they are anti-capitalist,
anti-free market,
the corollary of that is that you're
in favour of some kind of planning
even if that's not an articulated view.
They want some kind of
democratic control over the economy.
Thai is the essence
of the socialist idea,
whether or not you choose
to call it socialist
and whatever colour you paint it.
Well, I think we were hijacked.
The working-class organisations
were hijacked by the middle class.
That's my opinion.
Especially the Labour Party.
The Labour Party was a working-class
organisation at one time.
In no way, shape or form
can you call the Labour Party
a working-class organisation any more.
The working class
haven't got any big organisations
that can take the establishment on.
They don't realise that strength
they've got, do they'?
They don't realise
that power they've got.
The working class
can change the whole history.
As quick as... as quick as that.
They just don't realise.
They haven't grasped it.
One day, I think the dream
that those miners had underground,
before the war, will become a reality.
We will be able to take
real control of our own lives.
We will have a manufacturing industry.
The day when you see our kids
walking the streets of Caerphilly
and walking the streets of Abercynon,
18 years of age
and they've got their GCSEs,
and they've got their hands
in their pockets and their head down
and they seem as if they've got
no future and their eyes are dull,
I think those days
will one day come to an end,
coming out of the dream
that those miners had so many years ago.
I am absolutely convinced
that the older generation,
rather than being a burden on society,
has got an absolute duty to come forward
and join with young people
and talk to them and explain.
I say to pensioners,
turn off the television,
take their plugs out of their ears
and start talking about
what was the vision in 1945.
What did we want?
How did we see it progressing?
What did it mean,
"from the cradle to the grave"?
What did it mean
to have common ownership
and for sharing and communities?
What does it mean?
Start to rebuild that understanding
of what sort of life we want.
I think we've got a real chance
to do that.
Now, friends, this is the first time
in the history of this country
that a Labour movement
with a socialist policy...
I ask from you all... that we shall need
to carry us through, triumphantly,
through difficult years,
to the great era
which is opening before us.
# Blue skies around the corner #
# Walk round the corner with me #
# Just round the comer you'll see #
# Those blue skies #
# Blue skies, there's nothing wanner #
# Won't you feel happy to be #
# Sharing the sunshine with me #
# Under those blue skies? #
# Trouble may come but troubles will go #
# Don't you ever worry any more #
# Look at those skies #
# They're not telling Ya #
# That's what they were put there for #
# Blue skies around the corner #
# Everything's gonna be right #
# never a cloud
in those bright blue skies #
# Without rhythm #
# A train could never go without rhythm #
# A troop could never roll
without rhythm #
# The day would never go because rhythm #
# Is the thing that makes
the world go round #
# Without rhythm #
# A poet couldn't rhyme without rhythm #
# Could never tell the time
without rhythm #
# Wouldn't hear the chime because rhythm #
# Is the thing that makes
the clock go round #
# Without drums... #
# When we go strolling
in the park at night #
# All the darkness is a boon #
# Who cam if we're without a light #
# They can't black out the moon #
# I see you smiling
in the cigarette glow #
# Though the picture fades too soon #
# But I see all I want to know #
# They can't black out the moon #