The Second World War for the general population was an experience that was more extensive and indiscriminate than 'f any previous conflicts. Previous wars had mostly been fought far from Britain. The Blitzkrieg, the war by air, changed this. It destroyed millions 'f homes and forced people from the cities to flee to the countryside, bringing together people from different classes and backgrounds. It had been an intense and traumatic time for the entire nation but also a realisation that misfortune and tragedy were not restricted to the disadvantage alone. The task 'f re-building the state needed to take place at every level, as well as the re-building 'f lives:
This led to a great expansion in the role 'f Government in society. Historically British social policy had been dominated by the Poor Laws. But now there was widespread support for reform and expansion 'f the welfare system. Development 'f such reforms would owe much to Fabianist beliefs and the Beveridge Report 1942. William Beveridge was appointed by the wartime Government to review Social Security Policy. His report concluded that the state should meet collective welfare needs and provide positive freedom to individuals by removing the Five Giant Evils. In 1945 Labour began addressing Beveridge's evil through state action introduced reforms:
'Our po'The National Health Service was set up to combat Disease.
Full Employment to combat Idleness.
State Education to fifteen to combat ignorance (actually introduced by the war time government).
Public Housing to combat Squalor.
National Insurance and Assistance Schemes to combat Want.' (Jones, 1991 p.126)
'Our policy was not 'f reformed capitalism, but progress towards a democratic socialism...the war had shown how much could be accomplished when public advantage was put before private vested interest. If that was right in wartime, it was right in peacetime' (Jones, 1991 p.117)
To describe the social policy reforms, press at the time coined the phrase 'from the cradle to the grave'. Alcock describes the social policy proposals as:
'The social policy response to the depravation 'f depression' (Alcock, 2003 p.220)
Prior to the NHS, health care was not a luxury everybody could afford. Access to a doctor was free to workers but this did not cover their families. Poor people often went without medical treatment, relying on home remedies or on the charity 'f a doctor. For the Government to fund the NHS and other evils economic growth and full employment were essential. Maynard Keynes advised the government to spend its way out 'f a recession by lowering taxes and investing more in projects and programmes. Government began to use Keynes theory 'f demand management and in 1946