Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/427/5013

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2006

40 years after 'Cathy Come Home':

The housing scandal

JEREMY SANDFORD'S drama, Cathy Come Home, about a young family who slide into homelessness and poverty was a defining moment in 1960s television, demonstrating how far drama could influence the political agenda.

Karl Cross, Leicester

BBC1 screened it in 1966, within the regular Wednesday Play slot, as a 'drama-documentary' concerning homelessness and its effect upon families, directed by Ken Loach. It has subsequently been released on DVD.

The success of Cathy Come Home established Loach as a politically committed filmmaker standing apart from the commercial mainstream. Only a few years after Harold Macmillan pompously declared to the British nation: "You've never had it so good", Loach chokes the government by ramming these words down its throat.

While the nation was basking in the glory of England's 1966 World Cup success, 4,000 kids were being separated from their families and bundled into care because their parents were homeless.

The play follows young lovers Cathy and Reg from the optimism of their early married days through a spiral of misfortune that follows Reg's accident at work, leading to eviction and separation.

The film culminates in what remains one of television's most memorable scenes - a hysterical Cathy has her children forcibly taken away by Social Services.

The controversy generated by Cathy Come Home led to public outrage at the state of housing in Britain. Its impact was unprecedented, eliciting widespread censure and enquiries in the Houses of Parliament.

In the same month it was broadcast, the housing charity Shelter was launched.

The programme has become a British TV classic, regularly referred to by critics and researchers as well as by programme-makers themselves. This is partly due to the quality of the script, direction and acting, but also the way the film mixed dramatic with documentary material and showed the power of television in highlighting social problems.

It just goes to show that for tens of thousands, the 1960s were a distant cry from sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.


Related links:

Housing:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleTory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

triangleThem & us

Council:

triangleNew ebook: Liverpool A City That Dared To Fight

triangleBristol libraries safe - for now - as council caves to pressure

triangleKirklees bin workers ballot for strike over schedule and bullying

triangleBirmingham bin workers win!

Homeless:

triangleThem & us

triangleHomelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

triangleGrenfell fire compounded by overcrowding: build more council homes now

Leicester:

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

US:

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2