Social democracy on the home front in Britain during the Second World War
The politics of neighbourliness: social
democracy on the home front in Britain
during the Second World War
We found out in this war as how we’re all neighbours. And we haven’t gotta forget
it when it’s all over. (The Dawn Guard, 1941)
In the early days of 1941, projected on the screens of Britishcinemas, two home
guards shared their visions of the future. Roy Boulting’s film The Dawn Guard
lasts just five minutes – one of many short propaganda pieces distributed by the
Ministry of Information during the Second World War, dropped into cinema
Germans as aliens in post- war British popular culture
( Oxford : Oxford University Press ).
Colls , Robert ( 2002 ), Identity of England ( Oxford : Oxford University Press ).
Dummett , An n and Andrew Nicol ( 1990 ), Subjects, Citizens, Aliens and Others: Nationality and Immigration Law ( London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson ).
Falcon , Richard ( 1995 ), ‘ Images of Germany and the Germans in British Film and Television Fictions ’ in Cedric Cullingford and Harald Husemann (eds), Anglo-German Attitudes (Aldershot: Avebury ), pp. 67 – 89 .
Geraghty , Christine ( 2000 ), BritishCinema in the
Auteurship and exploitation in the history of punk cinema
1 R. Sabin, ‘Introduction’, in R. Sabin (ed.), Punk Rock: So What?: The Cultural Legacy
of Punk (London: Routledge, 1999), p. 5.
3 See R. Bestley and A. Ogg, The Art of Punk (London: Omnibus Press, 2012); J.
Kugelberg and J. Savage (eds), Punk: An Aesthetic (New York: Rizzoli, 2012); and M.
Sladen and A. Yedgar (eds), Panic Attack!: Art in the Punk Years (London: Merrell,
4 K. Donnelly, ‘British Punk Films: Rebellion into Money, Nihilism into Innovation’,
Journal of Popular BritishCinema, 1 (1998), 111
Britain. Given there were five thousand Britishcinemas in operation and
Chaplin released twenty films from the introduction of the so-called
McKenna Duties on imported luxuries in September 1915 to the end of
the war, the economics of keeping Chaplin out of uniform and in the
studio were again obvious.
Both Chaplin’s capitalism and his early political thoughts are worth
teasing out partly because of the consistently pro-Communist views
opponents in America would later attempt to pin on him. Despite his
Charlie Chaplin’s war 177
wealth by the early 1920s
Film, television drama and the Northern Irish conflict in Britain
Kosminsky, Stephen Frears, and British television docudrama’, Journal of BritishCinema and Television, 10:1 (2013),
31 For further discussion, see R. Barton, Jim Sheridan: Framing the Nation (Dublin:
The Liffey Press, 2002).
DAWSON 9780719096310 PRINT (v2).indd 259
Culture and representation
32 A. Roberts, ‘“The spine of the story is true and responsible”’, The Times
(8 February 1994), p. 34.
33 For a discussion of this issue, see M. McLoone, ‘In the Name of the Father’,
Cineaste, 20:4 (1994), 44–7.
34 R. A. Rosenstone (1995), Visions
complexities. For example, many of the key figures in New Labour
had a history on the left which they never formally renounced.59
This subject lends itself to exposition in a tragic mode. The labour struggles
of the 1980s have provided subject matter for a wave of populist Britishcinema: Brassed Off (1996), Billy Eliot (2000), Pride (2014). Lacking a name,
this genre celebrates the decency of ordinary humanity and evokes a sense of
solidarity that appears poignant because it is fast disappearing in contemporary
Britain. These films show how far we have come. The 1980s
The psychogeography of sectarianism in Northern Irish photography
58 Quoted in Alan Clarke ed. by Richard Kelly (London: Faber, 1998), p. 198.
59 Michael Walsh, ‘Thinking the Unthinkable: Coming to Terms with Northern Ireland
in the 1980s and 1990s’, in BritishCinema, Past and Present ed. by Justine Ashby and
Andrew Higson (London: Routledge, 2000), p. 295.
60 Susie Linfield, Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 2010), p. 164.
61 Azoulay, The Civil Contract of Photography, p. 14.
62 Quoted in Kelly, Alan Clarke, p. 197.
63 Ibid., p. 199.
64 Quoted in Shinkle
M. Luckett, ‘Travel and Mobility: Femininity and National Identity in
Swinging London Films’, in J. Ashby and A. Higson (eds), BritishCinema
Past and Present (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 115 – 33; interview with
Interview with Alan Woodward.
Interview with Bob Light.
11/12/14 2:28 PM
A rightwards turn and the coalescence of the extreme right, 1964–70
. Society’s ills presented
problems for a broad-church party that included progressives and reactionaries
because morality was often at the heart of debate. Films, books, and newspapers
made it difficult to ignore the fact that society’s trends had changed and continued to do so. In the Oscar-winning Darling (1965), Julie Christie portrayed
an amoral single woman who used sex to achieve success. Murder and, for the
first time in Britishcinema, full-frontal female nudity, were the main features
of Blowup (1966). Teenage marriage, domestic abuse, and a life degenerating