As local media give prominence to commemorating the Sheffield Blitz, perhaps it may at the same time also prove apt to recall that during those dark days a movement spanning the social divide grew up, demanding that the aims of the war be determined and explicitly stated.
For, remembering the aftermath of the First World War, they wanted a People’s War whereby after it had been won there would be no return to the pre-war status quo; condemning the many to a life of abject subservient poverty in deference to the self – appointed chosen affluent few, but a New Order would be initiated as eventually represented by the Beveridge Report.
However, as Joshua Levine concludes in his book The Secret History of the Blitz (p314): “…time IS altering our relationship with the social benefits that grew out of the period”.
The Blitz was the dark crucible of the National Health Service, of free education for all, of the collective spirit that guided much of the last century.
Today’s politicians and policy makers were born long after these benefits evolved, and this, perhaps, is why they are now being allowed to erode.
It would be very sad if the true legacies of the Blitz were lost – because we fail to remember how they were won”.
So perhaps a new People’s War against austerity nowadays needs initiating and the majority of Parliamentary Labour Party MPs get with the programme rather than seeking to undermine their leadership all the time?
Robertshaw Crescent, Deepcar, Sheffield S36