Several years ago musician and labour advocate Tom Juravich reminded us that popular culture can be a means of comprehending an issue at a much deeper level than traditional political discourse.
Tom’s comments came to life while watching the new BBC series Call The Midwife. The six episode series has recently become available on DVD and BluRay in Canada.
Based on the 2002 memoirs by the late Jennifer Worth, it deals with a group of midwives working amid incredible poverty and ruin in London’s East End in the late 1950s. We are continually reminded that without the UK National Health Service (NHS), that the lives of these women and children would be considerably imperiled.
While this scenario would likely not have received the green light of any Hollywood producer, the series has been a runaway hit in the UK, prompting a Christmas special and a second season. Maybe it was all those babies. The final episode pulled in more than nine million views in Britain – more than that other famous export Downton Abbey.