An Inspector Calls

After World War 2, it was no surprise the welfare state emerged and, with it, a whole load of new money distribution schemes. Setting the scene, there had just been a major war, and the people of the UK were weary. After all, what had they got out of it? There had to be something back in return for their sacrifices, didn’t there? That was what led to the ousting of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the installation of a new Labour PM, Clement Atlee, in 1945.

“An Inspector Calls” is a 1945 play by J.B. Priestley, but based in Edwardian England, around 1910. There’s a poignant scene in which a poor commoner goes to the local poor council to ask for needed funds as she has lost her job and is pregnant. The unpleasant Mrs Birling, the wife of a well-to-do local industrialist, sits on the council and decides that this woman is undeserving of help, totally on her own personal whims. The woman dies later. Or does she? If you’ve not seen this play or film dramatisation, it is highly recommended. Priestley presented this scene to support the introduction of a more socialist regime in the UK.  Espousing free universal healthcare, regardless of circumstances.

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