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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