‘We had the golden age of the Eagle and the Beano together. No other generation had them combined.”


Streptomycin Molecule

I was born in August 1947 and I reckon that it’s true that  then or 1948 was the luckiest birth year. We had  the warm blanket of the NHS from cradle to grave, we had no world wars and were too young for conscription, many had new social mobility owing to state run grammar schools and the luxury of university grants,we had welfare benefits and the birth of teenager with all the new freedoms that went with it. When I was a kid children looked just like their parents and life seemed to be over at 50. Now 80 is the new 20! (honest guv). If it hadn’t been for the recent discovery of streptomycin I’d have died as a tot.Yes – I hold my hands up – I’ve been a lucky fucking lad.



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12 responses to “1948 – THE LUCKIEST YEAR TO BE BORN IN

  1. Mad Freddie

    Noble gratitude. I like it!

  2. Trot

    Interesting to see an anarchist supporting the NHS, considering it’s run by the state…

    • Anarchists all appreciate the NHS; it’d be shit to have a medical system reserved for the rich. Anarchist societies; where the economy is run by the workers; like the Basque country during the revolution; have hospitals too. Opposing “the state” doesn’t mean opposing hospitals; that’d be stupid; it means opposing bastards like your name sake. When the workers went on strike his response was to steal their children:

      “The Trubotchny mill workers have gone on strike. In the distribution of winter clothing, they complain, the Communists received undue advantage over the non-partisans. The Government refuses to consider the grievances till the men return to work. “Crowds of strikers gathered in the street near the mills, and soldiers were sent to disperse them. They were Kursanti, Communist youths of the military academy. There was no violence.
      “Now the strikers have been joined by the men from the Admiralty shops and Calernaya docks. There is much resentment against the arrogant attitude of the Government. A street demonstration was attempted, but mounted troops suppressed it…
      “Many arrests are taking place. Groups of strikers guarded by Chekists on the way to prison are a common sight. There is great nervous tension in the city. Elaborate precautions have been taken to protect the Government institution. Machine guns are placed on the Astoria, the living quarters of Zinoviev and other prominent Bolsheviki. Official proclamations commanding immediate return of the strikers to the factories . . . . and warning the populace against congregating in the streets. “The Committee of Defence has initiated a ‘clean-up of the city.’ Many workers suspected of sympathising with Kronstadt have been placed under arrest. All Petrograd sailors and part of the garrison thought to be ‘untrustworthy’ have been ordered to distant points, while the families of Kronstadt sailors living in Petrograd are held as hostages. The Committee of Defence notified Kronstadt that ‘the prisoners are kept as pledges’ for the safety of the Commissar of the Baltic Fleet, N. N. Kuzmin, the Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, T. Vassiliev, and other Communists. If the least harm is suffered by our comrades the hostages will pay with their lives.”

    • Dora Kaplan

      Last time I checked it was run on the basis of clinical evidence. I’ve never met an anarchist advocate of private medicine, though I suspect almost everyone might object to an NHS run by a Trot state: goodbye genetic medicine and serous research, and welcome to a referral system based on reporting your neighbor’s health problems (Sheridan health line) and a palliative care system based on calls for the ‘trade union leadership’ to ‘take action’ in terminal cases!

    • warneford

      … sadly, in case you hadn’t realised it, the state is currently in the process of destroying the NHS not continuing to provide it. Like a lot of things the NHS isn’t really a state-run activity, it’s the remains of a social service the running of which has been forced upon the state by its fear of a revolutionary response if it openly leaves the poorer members of the society to sicken and die.
      Now, having got away with the Staffordshire Hospital Trust scandal, the state is exploring the possibility of scrapping the whole of the welfare state. If 1947-48 really were the best years to have been born then this is only because the immense working-class struggles mounted in the 1930s secured conditions better than mere survival and forced the state to compromise for a while. I’m afraid to say that on all fronts, that period of compromise is now coming to an end.
      Anyway, I’ve always felt Aneurin Bevan was a bit of a welsh anarchist at heart, and if that’s going too far then he was certainly a class warrior. And a bit of a surrealist poet too, for example when asked what he thought of Hitler and the nazis in the 1930s he turned to the journo and simply said “that’s not a government, it’s the future refusing to be born”, sublime.

      • Voice from the back

        I share your sentiments about Aneurin Bevan but at the risk of sounding like a vulgar marxist I don’t think the NHS is funded to avoid a revolutionary response to the sick and dying. Rather it is to supply a healthy supply of workers to help capitalism run more smoothly.

  3. Motley

    Trot i think you find thats called pragmatism .

  4. Just to say that Mark ‘Mozaz’ Wallace, who used to post on here as ‘Project Sheffield’ passed away in the early hours of this morning due to complications brought on by a bout of pneumonia.

    One Love brother. You will be sadly missed x

  5. Tough Love

    I’m a child of 1948 and am grateful for all the reasons that Ian states, except I was born a few months before the NHS so cost my parents a couple of weeks wages to be born (Mother was unwell having suffered many privations in occupied Europe during the war) – a sacrifice they were willing to make, and no welfare benefits for just breeding.

    As a libertarian and extreme antistatist I resolve the dilemma of having a health service available to all based on clinical need by imagining some woolly mutual aid-type of service and am just glad the need to implement it will never arise in my lifetime.

    Interesting to hear the mention of Grammar schools as lost engines of social mobility. I know all the arguments against them and selection, but no sane person can argue that Comprehensive Education has been anything other than a total disaster for children and only an uncaring parent would send their kids there if they had another choice. All the counties which score higher on educational achievement than the UK have their own versions of Grammar and Technical schools and a selection process to identify aptitudes for each, they just had the foresight to build many more of them, increasing the percentage of children who got all the opportunities the nation’s commonwealth could afford – certainly more than the Comprehensive system and it’s marxist architects promised in the 70’s.

    Don’t get me started on the EMA …. seeking education is the responsibility of the individual and their parent(s) – what the fuck has the state got to do with bribing people to get it? Teaching state dependency to a teenager seems a cruel thing to do.

    • alex

      That’s right, tough love. You take away our EMA and deprive of us of our lifeline to continuing education. Wouldn’t want to teach us state-dependency after all. While you’re at it better take away the DLA and housing benefit. housing and health are the responsibility of the individual, after all, in fact why the fuck did my parents feed me as a kid, I hate them for teaching me all that dependence, how cruel

  6. The Beano is still going strong. My ten year old loves it. As for the NHS, it’s a bloated ill-making machine selling American drugs. GlaxoSmithkline and Pfizer love it.

  7. Trot

    Climate Action – thankyou for providing me with that completely unbiased testimony from someone with no axe to grind whatsoever against the Bolsheviks. Conclusive evidence if ever there was any.

    Dora – that’s clearly exactly how the NHS would function in a Trotskyist state. Thanks for that valuable input.

    Motley – I think you’ll find a workers state is pragmatic, but anarchists oppose that too.

    Tough Love – “As a libertarian and extreme antistatist I resolve the dilemma of having a health service available to all based on clinical need by imagining some woolly mutual aid-type of service and am just glad the need to implement it will never arise in my lifetime.” A textbook example of why I rejected anarchism. Impractical, unrealistic, internally contradictory, and even many of its advocates prefer not to explain how it would actually work in practice.

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