From the Cradle to the Grave
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From the Cradle to the Grave

From the Cradle to the Grave

Here is a collaboration between myself, a local musician called Andy Selman and a local filmmaker called Jack Todhunter. Proper cottage industry. This piece came out of watching a brilliant film made by Ken Loach called The Spirit of ’45. It is a kind of hymn and eulogy to the Atlee government that won a Labour landslide straight after the war and founded the welfare state based on the Beveridge Report. The Liberal Lord Beveridge identified five giant evils besetting Britain – idleness, want, disease, ignorance, and squalor. I was really touched by the archetypal nature of these ills and his great prescription for the nation, that included the NHS. Andy came up with a soundtrack and Jack provided these great images. Given the state of the nation I am now trying to write five subsequent poems that paint a picture of the way these evils  are finding their way back into our national life. The style of the poem owes much to my daughter’s taking me to see the musical Hamilton!

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