Blair’s golden age?

Prospect Magazine

Blair’s golden age?

/ / Leave a comment

New Labour has combined growth with social protection. It’s a lot better than the 1960s

I was walking with my 23-year-old daughter on London’s South Bank the other day when she asked me whether I had ever lived in a “golden age.” I immediately recalled the 1960s, when all the world (and I) was young and full of vivid colours and beautiful people.

But then I remembered my studies as an economics undergraduate in the 1960s. These were dominated by the travails of the British economy: big balance of payments deficits, sterling crises, GDP per head below that of most countries in western Europe and falling back on most social indicators too. A little later, when I’d completed my studies and was attending conferences abroad as a jobbing economist, I always found myself apologising for Britain, and trying to explain what had gone wrong.

My daughter was waiting for an answer. I looked around. We were standing by the Globe, near Tate Modern, looking over

You need to be logged in to see this part of the content. Please either subscribe or Login to access.

Leave a comment


Julian Le Grand

Julian Le Grand is the Richard Titmuss professor of social policy at the LSE 

Share this

Most Read

Prospect Buzz

  • Prospect's masterful crossword setter Didymus gets a shout-out in the Guardian
  • The Telegraph reports on Nigel Farage's article on Lords reform
  • Prospect writer Mark Kitto is profiled in the New York Times

Prospect Reads

  • Do China’s youth care about politics? asks Alec Ash
  • Joanna Biggs on Facebook and feminism
  • Boris Berezosky was a brilliant man, says Keith Gessen—but he nearly destroyed Russia