The Spirit of ’43

Mark Perryman from Philosophy Football explores a year when the tide turned against Fascism

Ken Loach’s recent film Spirit of ’45 brilliantly celebrates the triumphant mood that delivered a Labour Landslide election victory at the end of World War Two and the establishment of both the Welfare State and nationalised public utilities. What is made less obvious was the essential anti-fascist character of the war which contributed so significantly to Labour’s victory. Perhaps, for entirely understandable reasons, this is because the Left finds it difficult to celebrate war, any war, whatever the cause. Yet to understand ‘45 we also need to account for 1943, the year the tide turned against Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Labour’s victory was only made possible because people, including crucially those in the armed services, knew what was at stake in the battle they were fighting. Continue reading