The last time the nation recognised that “we are all in it together” was during World War 2.

That spirit carried over into the following years when the Labour government was elected to reduce the divisions in our country, which it did by by bringing in the welfare state:- the NHS (universal health care), national insurance (pensions and sickness insurance for all), secondary education for all (previously only primary education), and they built thousands of homes.

The war had left the country with an enormous debt necessitating huge austerity.

But the government achieved all these reforms by applying rationing to everyone.

They brought in a much more equal society.

Over the years this equality has gradually been rolled back.

Inequality has risen and risen so that the gap in wealth and in consequence in power has grown inexorably so that we are now one of the most unequal of developed countries.

Further, as we have seen during the Covid-19 crisis many of the most essential jobs for the well being of our society have been progressively valued less and less.

Let us hope that the spirit of togetherness this time leads to a similarly reforming government, which restrains the excessive inequality in our society and reforms our biased democracy.

Tony Hamilton