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The socialist nirvana was Attlee's post-war government, which created the NHS, expanded the welfare state and state housing, built new schools, and did all the things we were think of socialist now.

It wasn't much of a nirvana considering much of the UK was rubble and post-war austerity was actually necessary, but it was more of a nirvana than anything seen earlier.

After that the UK bounced between successive Tory govs which tried to privatise as much as possible - mostly rail - and Labour govs which tried to un-privatise all the things that had been privatised.

Wilson is underestimated. He helped create the Open University, funded other new universities and made them accessible to working class and poorer middle class kids, supported technology and engineering, and developed the NHS.

Jobs were plentiful, and the result was real prosperity and freedom.

But "the markets" didn't like all this spending of money on the public, so they "punished" him with a forced devaluation. Then we had the 70s oil shocks, which - conveniently - legitimised the notion that we couldn't afford prosperity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 09:49:47 AM EST
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