Queen’s Park Ward Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg has written a new book, Building the New Jerusalem: How Attlee’s Government Built 1 Million New Homes
The book explains how Labour went about its task of building homes and fulfilling post-war housing aspirations; how it dealt with the post-war scarcity of materials and labour and how it dealt with the dire economic situation and other ‘events’.
The book also includes suggestions as to how a future Labour Government might go about the task of rebuilding Britain’s housing infrastructure following the next General Election.
Paul Dimoldenberg says:
“Labour’s historic 1945 General Election victory was founded on promises to meet the everyday needs of millions of working-class and lower middle-class voters across the length and breadth of Britain. Their most important needs were homes, jobs, access to health services and education and a ‘safety net’ when times were tough.
It was this ‘bread and butter’ approach to the post-war agenda that accounted more than anything for Labour’s landslide election victory. Labour’s manifesto, Let us Face the Future, focussed on the delivery of the fundamentals of everyday life.
For many of Labour’s leaders, their task was much more than building new homes, schools, factories and hospitals. Their version of socialism was to create a ‘new Britain’. Nowhere was this ‘evangelical’ mission more evident than in Labour’s housebuilding programme where Labour’s leaders invoked Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ and pledged to build William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’.
With Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan at the helm, Labour built over one million new homes between 1945 and 1951. In addition, over 150,000 ‘prefab’ homes were constructed and many hundreds of thousands of war-damaged homes were repaired. Eighty per cent of the one million new homes were Council houses and flats and for many, the period represents a ‘golden age’ of council house building.”
The book is available in paperback and Kindle format
All royalties from sales of the book will be donated to Foodbanks in Westminster.