Thursday, 9 January 2014

'Life After The State': what you got taught in the 1970s

Reading Life After The State got me thinking about what I was taught at school in the 1970s.

The author Dominic Frisby doesn't like the State. He sees Britain's economic and social problems resulting from the growth of the State.

Reading the book is a direct contradiction of what I was taught at school.

The assumption in history and politics was always that government should intervene. In the history of Victorian Britain there was barely a mention of Friendly Societies and their impact on the lives of the poor. Lloyd George's 'People's Budget' was framed as a triumph of reform against reaction instead of a well meaning policy that led to dependency and decline. The establishment of the Welfare State, and in particular, the NHS was talked of in glowing terms. There was never any mention of the health gap widening between rich and poor.

No doubt the teachers didn't think they were biased. They were simply telling the story of Britain. As in war, it is the victor who gets to write the history. The Left, or the policymakers who support the State, won and they were not about to discuss anything that might undermine that victory.
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