Austerity, abundance and race in post-war visual culture
David C. Wall
(London: Thames and Hudson, 1986), p. 191.
T. Crow, The Rise of theSixties:
American and European Art in the Era of Dissent (London:
Lawrence King Publishing, 1996), p. 44.
Crow, The Rise of theSixties , p
’ thesis has been broadly shared
by British cultural historians dealing with the post-1945 era, who have
tended to interpret their subject through the multifaceted prism of the
Cold War, the post-war consensus, austerity and affluence, the rise of
welfarism, the demise of deference, ‘youth culture’, and
angry young men who never had it so good as they swung into thesixties.
In this spiralling array of
Secretary, wrote a policy document called The State of the Party,
in which he linked Labour to science and modernisation. Phillips hoped that this
would divert members from arguing over Clause IV and prove the party’s contemporary relevance. The document was presented to the National Executive
Committee (NEC) in July 1960 and was even debated at the party conference
that year, although it was overlooked because of the row over unilateralism
(Haseler, 1969). However, the document eventually evolved to become Signposts
for theSixties and then expanded to become a series of
Patrick Wright called ‘the historicized image of an instinctively conservative
establishment’.12 Cultural historians have argued that the popularity of period
drama in the era, notably the series of Merchant–Ivory films, belongs to the
same mood of English museology. But, in the particular context in question,
a different engagement with the past is especially crucial. This is the denigration of the 1960s, and a corresponding revaluation of the 1950s. ‘We are
reaping what was sown in thesixties’, Thatcher proclaimed: ‘The fashionable
theories and permissive
any moment in which the point of view (the enunciation) of the director, who in
this case is the middle-class outsider, stands out from the supposedly objective
narrative of the film.
C. Mello, ‘Everyday Voices: The Demotic Impulse in English Post-war Film and
Television’ (PhD dissertation, University of London, 2006).
N. Cohn, Awopbopaloobopalopbamboom: Pop From the Beginning (London:
Pimlico, 2004), pp. 63–4.
R. Hewison, Too Much: Art and Society in theSixties 1960–75 (London: Methuen,
1988), pp. 66–7.
Bobby Scott, who was the musical director of Broadway
-modern revolt in 1980s pop. He argues that the 1960s were the
main reference point: ‘And where all these ideas (in the indie pop of the 80s)
converge is in two (very much linked) periods – childhood and theSixties.
TheSixties are like pop’s childhood, when the idea of youth was still young.’34
An important element, therefore, of The Smiths’ Englishness was its link to
a childhood spent in Manchester in the 1960s and the 1970s. The theme of
rootlesness, related to Morrissey and Marr’s Irish background, connected
The Smiths to the ‘romantic outsiderism’ of pop
The roots of 1960s activism and the making of the British left
on Tyneside in the Late ’Fifties and Early ’Sixties (Pontypool: Merlin Press,
2007), p. 66; John Charlton, interview, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, 2 June 2009.
55 John Charlton, interview.
56 P. Shipley, Revolutionaries in Modern Britain (London: Bodley Head, 1976),
5 7 I. Birchall, ‘Building “the Smallest, Mass Revolutionary Party in the World”:
Socialist Workers Party, 1951–79’ www.marxists.org/history/etol/revhist/
orthordox/smp/smp1.html, accessed 13 May 2009.
58 A. Marwick, TheSixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy and the
Crucially, the changing developments in party organisation and identity in thesixties are the link between the moderate slippage in support then and the start
of the dramatic fall in the seventies. The desire of the party elite to rid itself of
a putative sectarian image led to what may be termed, the throwing out of the
baby with the bathwater. A crucial aspect of Unionism was an ability to appeal
to powerful symbols in Scottish culture which gave the party a Scottish identity
irrespective of its stance on devolution. This the Conservative boo-word could not
(1993), pp. 346–54.
14 Wilson, Government, pp. 988–9.
15 A. Alexander and A. Watkins, The Making of the Prime Minister 1970 (1970),
16 Boldleian Library, Conservative Party Archive, CCO 130/11/4/7, J. Douglas,
The public opinion polls in the 1970 general election, 19 November 1970;
The Times, 3 August 1970.
17 D. Butler and M. Pinto-Duschinsky, The British General Election of 1970
(1971), pp. 342, 345–51, 386–93.
18 Report of theSixty-Ninth Annual Conference of the Labour Party (1970), p. 324.
19 Mitchell Library, Scottish Labour Party papers, TD 1384
, whether old or ill.
I hope this letter reaches you safe and legible. Many warm greetings
and kisses. Your mother.
There follows a short paragraph from Fanny Maier to her family, telling
of thesixty-hour unbroken train journey. Poignantly she says that
the thought of seeing their loved ones soon lightens their stay, and
that they don’t let their courage fail. She reports that there are visiting
hours with the men, in the neighbouring barracks. This, I assume is the
Fanny Maier from the Offenburg photo. She was to remain Leonie’s
close companion through the following