Professor David Garland on how growing up in a welfare state inspired him to write his new book

Growing up in a welfare state, basically
I was born into a family where my parents were both working-class. My
father was a bus driver, my mother was a school cleaner and my educational
prospects were completely unaffected by that background, because schooling
secondary and primary schooling universities, my master’s degree, my PHD, all of these were fully funded not on the basis of merit but having never
been admitted in a university, tuition was free for everyone, and in fact there
was also government support for your board and lunching if your parents
couldn’t afford to pay. So, essentially you could come from a poor background,
and go through the whole you know higher education system from masters, LLB,
masters, PhD without having to pay anything so there was no inhibition to
me to pursuing further education. The background welfare state assumptions
began to get questioned- began to be questioned in the UK when I was I guess
in my 20s 30s, the the advent of Mrs. Thatcher and new labor and the
phenomenon of kind of free-market policies being reintroduced left many
people with the view that well the well-fare state didn’t work, or the welfare state
was always problematic, or what the welfare state was then kind of post-war
phenomenon but now we’re into a different phase of the world. So, what I
wanted to do having seen how New Deal institutions work in this country having
known about continental and scandinavian welfare states too, was to try and
introduce some as it were fact-based sense into the conversations about what
welfare states are.

Daniel Yohans

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