There’s no sign that ministers will use the twin shocks of the pandemic and Brexit to fix a broken system that is failing too many people
When the UK entered the coronavirus age in March, state resources and collective commitment were mobilised on a scale not seen since the second world war. Decades ago, Britain had revealed itself, thanks in part to being able to marshal the industrial might of the empire, to be a formidable world power. Its economy was energised with breakthroughs in radar, atomic power and medicine.
Although the story of the pandemic has not yet ended, there appears to be no such transformation in sight under Boris Johnson. Rather depressingly, familiar trends of greed, incompetence and cronyism are reasserting themselves. This is bad news for an economy where there has been a collapse of socially useful innovation. Britain’s lack of hi-tech manufacturing capabilities, notably in medical diagnostic testing, was cruelly exposed by the pandemic.