The ten years from 2010 have been devastating. A decade of austerity and paralysis nurtured contempt for leaders, institutions and fellow citizens and fertilised the ground for a rebellious Brexit. It has been a decade characterised by national tragedies from Grenfell to Windrush, and food banks to the property crisis.
But, as Adam Smith said, ‘there’s a great deal of ruin in a nation’. No truthful portrait of an era can be monochrome. Bright spots included the rise of renewable energy, lower crime rates, legalisation of same-sex marriage and the creative industries continuing to punch well above their weight in spite of cuts.
In The Lost Decade, Polly Toynbee and David Walker offer the definitive survey of this most tumultuous of periods in British history and look to what lies ahead for us. This is the anatomy of a dark decade, bringing hope for better to come.