In the Shadow of the Poor Law
Britain has been a high inequality, high poverty nation for most of the last 200 years.
Shortly before the 1979 general election the Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan presciently warned of a ‘sea- change in politics’ in favour of Margaret Thatcher’s anti-welfare agenda. Today there is much speculation of a similar shift away from the small state, austerity politics of the last decade. With hikes in levels of public spending and taxation, the Guardian has talked of the emergence of a ‘new variant of capitalism’ and the New Statesman of a ‘new Toryism’.