I served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and like many of the returning servicemen, I hoped for a socialist future. The Labour Party sensing the mood of the people, put forward a socialist programme to restore the economy. The major industries, transport, energy and all the main branches of the economy were nationalised. The welfare state of the National Health Service was started. Pre-fabs were introduced to ease the housing shortage. Scarce commodities were shared. We had our ration books, clothing coupons, petrol coupons etc. Nobody, but nobody talked about cuts. With control of industry we could plan out our future and provide better prospects for all.
Unfortunately the Labour Party was never a socialist party, as Tony Benn said, though there were many socialists in it. What started so promising deteriorated as private interests were allowed to regain power. The biggest industry of all, “the head fixing industry”- the media – was left in private hands and the millionaire owners ensured their interests were promoted in the sneaky way that has slowly eroded our democracy and impoverished millions.
I hope it won’t take a major global catastrophe before people realise that socialism is the only possible future for all.