TV doesn't get any better than this. During the 1970's there was a golden age of TV drama which produced some magnificent series. I Claudius, Fall of Eagles, the Glittering Prizes and the very naturalistic Days of Hope which was more of a fly-on-the wall style of drama. For the first time regional accents were not confined to the lower working class, simpletons, maids, char ladies and criminals, but were spoken by real people. The class struggle of the working class to obtain a better life and not be used as cheap labor and serfs by the upper classes, who seemed to think that they had a right to superiority and that the underclass should be grateful for their guidance, and the ultimate betrayal of their struggle is shown in this drama which begins in WWI where the poor were cannon fodder, and ends with the general strike of 1926. It may seem shocking to modern audiences, but the men returning from WWI faced wage cuts combined with longer hours as their wages were tied to the commodity price of their production. For many there was only unemployment. There was no national health care. Wages were subsistence. Housing was tied to employment, lose your job and out on the street you go. There was no further education for the children of the poor, in fact at 12 they went on half time, half the day at school and the other half in the mine or the mill.
It would not be until after the second world war that they would begin to rise above poverty and inferiority and be treated as individuals. Just as the returning soldiers from WWI were betrayed by the politicians, as were the countries of the middle east and far east which were divided up as spoils of war, the working men and their families were treated as a disposable commodity by the ruling class. Even in the 60's a regional accent was a barrier to advancement in employment or society, and the class system definitely still existed.
The sad thing today is seeing how the descendants and beneficiaries of the labor movement have abused and taken for granted the fruits of the struggle.
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