'Never had it so good'
In the 1950s following the period of austerity imposed by Clement Atlee's Labour government Britain went through a period of high and rising living standards.
Such an example can be seen in the 500% rise in the ownership of cars, in the average weekly wage rising from £8.00 to £18.00, in the 1.7 million homes built, in the high availability of credit and in the 6,000 new comprehensive schools built by successive conservative governments. Harold MacMillan, Prime Minister 1957 - 1963 declared that Britain had "Never had it so good".
Sounds great, doesn't it? That's because it was, but this prosperity did not continue through the 60s and 70s. Unemployment began to rise to previously unseen levels, strikes made energy need to be rationed and the power of unions grew. This happened because of the problems that were lying low in the British Economy because of a failure by successive conservative governments from 1951 - 1964 to secure an economic base in Britain.
While in power the conservatives achieved so much, but a failure to invest in the new economy, in textiles, and upcoming businesses led to Britain suffering right through until the middle of Thatchers tenure.
Why Is This Relevant?
Some would quite rightly wonder why this matters with respect to my article.
This matters because the failure to secure an economic base out of the economic shock and crisis which followed the second world war was why Britain suffered to compete next to its European counterparts for so many years.
When we look at the economic situation we are facing in the coming years I think that before all the talk about how to deal with that directly we need to be fully aware of the dangers posed by not securing an economic base to build on in the future. Failing in this would be a betrayal to our children when so much could potentially be achieved with our recent departure from the European Union.
We must therefore learn from our history, that after all is why we remember it, why we study it and why we teach it to our children.
Where Can We Start?
I think the best way of providing a strong economic base to build on as we come out of this economic crisis is firstly to think about how we can link up our United Kingdom. We should all be greatly encouraged that the Prime Minister is so keen to invest in this area. Connectivity and infrastructure after all drive not just investment and jobs but growth.
Boris Johnson we know is keen on this kind of investment, with the launch of the national bus strategy this week, spearheaded by the Prime Minister and transport secretary Grant Shapps which will seek to modernize the bus system, from ticketing to information boards as well as cap fares and simplify the mystifyingly complex system that is buying a bus ticket in 2021.
Not only should we look to invest in infrastructure and transport, but we should also look to invest in the up-and-coming industries, chiefly the green industry. The Prime Minister has promised to "Build back better" and make Britain the "Saudi Arabia of wind". This would be great for Britain, it would provide high-paying, high-skilled jobs across the country and aid in securing a strong economic base to launch off from.
The attitude of the government currently is encouraging and is acting to fulfill their promises, lets hope this continues and Britain can bounce back better!
MG Singh from UAE on March 15, 2021:
I quite agree with what you have written but there is a problem in England and that is the lack of natural resources. They can turn to nuclear energy but that's a double edged sword for a small country and it's not the solution. The problem is England is too small and if Scotland breaks away it'll be pretty bad.