Utopian ideal? Welfare State 1945 Poverty? ‘Make do and mend’

Utopian ideal? Welfare State 1945 Poverty? ‘Make do and mend’

What happened to the utopian ideal?
The brighter future of jobs, healthcare and homes for all
Envisaged before the 1945 Labour win
Rolling out the beginnings of the Welfare State

Plans (Beveridge Report) drawn up from 1942 to cushion the masses
Put everyone on a near equal footing
The possibility of free this and free that for all
Somehow this all went disastrously wrong

A system designed to support the poorest in society
But who now is the ‘poorest’?
Work hard, be a good citizen and suffer deprivation
Whilst struggling to get or keep a home and put food on the table

They Con us, Welfare State becomes denigrated
Undeserving are getting too much help, why aren’t we?
Take it away, make them work, lazy so-and-sos
Strange… it’s the government that allowed this fiasco

Good intentions originally, backfiring ever since
It’s insane that up to three generations or more
Exist on welfare while hard work does not pay enough
What lesson is that teaching us? Not the right one

I’m not Labour bashing, not a Con either
But where will it all end?
Not in a brighter utopian future that’s for sure
Just more broken election promises through the ‘power’ of the ballot

Of course there is the significant point that
Funding WWI and WWII left this country financially struggling
Not easy to recover from such an enormous dent
WWIII looms on the horizon, nothing learnt from past mistakes

Maybe we should lose the next WW
Those who surrender seem to have built a better future
Whilst our country struggles, the government ‘quantitative eases’ and racks up debt
If we and the allies won, why are others lending us money and telling us what to do?

I almost forgot what sparked off this poem, it was a local paper saying
that a quarter or even more of children now lived in poverty locally in the UK
Neither my grandmother or mother would have considered themselves as in ‘poverty’
Yet the Welfare State didn’t exist until after WW2… they had to ‘make do and mend’

(c) 2015, Lesley Saine

[Just for interest:
– heard on The Wright Stuff in October 2015: £375 billion in ‘quantitative easing’ in UK (printed money) – where did it go?! Also Osborne borrowed 12 billion from Chinese.
– Guardian article from 2001 on politics: 1945-51: Labour and the creation of the welfare state http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/mar/14/past.education
– Brave new world – The Welfare State: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/brave_new_world/welfare.htm%5D

I should also thank John White (https://doubleupoet.wordpress.com/) for his tip of ‘free-writing’ – writing whatever comes into your head]

Advertisements