Why was the UK so unprepared for the pandemic, suffering one of the
highest death rates and worst economic contractions of the major
world economies in 2020? Hilary Cooper and Simon Szreter reveal the
deep roots of our vulnerability and set out a powerful manifesto
for change post-Covid-19. They argue that our commitment to a
flawed neoliberal model and the associated disinvestment in our
social fabric left the UK dangerously exposed and unable to mount
an effective response. This is not at all what made Britain great.
The long history of the highly innovative universal welfare system
established by Elizabeth I facilitated both the industrial
revolution and, when revived after 1945, the postwar Golden Age of
rising prosperity. Only by learning from that past can we create
the fairer, nurturing and empowering society necessary to tackle
the global challenges that lie ahead - climate change, biodiversity
collapse and global inequality.
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