Remember the heady days of 2010, when bell-bottomed high fives and the free love of ideas were the talk of the campaign trail? The old New Labour order was creaking under the strain of a “bigoted woman” and a dour Scot with a smile as warm as a deep-space penguin. We were told that politics would be changed forever. A new generation of sexy politicos with friendly names like Andy and Anna were waiting at the door. “[C]onsumers who are used to a significant level of choice […] are demanding the same in the political realm,” wrote Mark Penn about this new political reality for The Times shortly before that general election. That choice was embodied by fresh-faced youth who wore breezy suits of brighter hues and were happy to shake things up with a friendly bob of their post-Blair quiffs.
We all hear about the crisis engulfing the NHS but experiencing it first-hand hammers home just how drastically things have escalated.