Local Opinion – Hard Times: Reconstruction and Opposition to war by leading politicians

Local Opinions

Our newest community reporter Spring Heeled Jack has written a series of short articles which we will share over the next few weeks.

Here is the latest installment of Hard Times.

Opposition to war by leading politicians

Harold Wilson was the Labour Prime Minister during the 1960s and 1970s and he was born in 1916, lived through World War 2 and he didn’t want another world war to happen again.

Similarly Ted Heath, the Conservative Prime Minister in the 1970s was an army Major (officer) and he was involved in the conflict at close quarters in France.

Denis Healey, former Labour Chancellor was an army Major who was involved in fighting in Italy and he too was opposed to any further conflicts and the horrific experiences suffered in the name of war.

These senior politicians wanted a closer relationship with other European countries where political, social and economic unity would create closer political integration, improve social relations and encourage trade, thus preventing further conflicts.

It was Ted Heath who fought so hard for Great Britain to enter the European Common Market in January 1973 in order to facilitate closer links with other European countries.

Liberation and reconstruction

At the conclusion of World War 2 with liberation there also has to be reconstruction.

Liberation for servicemen and women meant being demobbed, but many had no homes or work to return to-because many buildings in several British cities and throughout Europe had been bombed and destroyed during the air blitz.

Millions of people had to also face their personal physical and mental demons such as being incarcerated in foreign prisons, left hungry and malnourished, often underweight with poor physical health.

Rationing continued until 1954 in Britain where people struggled to find decent food to eat, often using allotments or growing their own food to supplement their rations.

Make do and mend remained the order of the day for clothing, so this didn’t change for many years after World War 2 in 1945.

It was the mental demons above all that people had to confront and deal with, where ordinary people had what is now termed post-traumatic stress disorder, but at that time there was no counselling or talking therapies as of today.

In political, social and economic terms, there were no homes for heroes and Winston Churchill, Prime Minister during World War 2 subsequently lost the 1945 general election to Clement Attlee, who then became the Labour Prime Minister.

Article submitted by Spring Heeled Jack.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not the Digital Sentinel.

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