NHS was established on the basis that there should be free medical care to the entire population. Back in 1948, it was the first such scheme in any Western country, funded by the taxpayer and from no other source. But now the NHS is a euphemism for privatisation, cuts to services and the retrenchment of benefits. So what has happened?
When we talk about consumerism, the emotive arguments for and against are always black and white. Consumerism is painted as unnecessary and low or no growth is seen as the optimum state for people and planet. But what if acquiring objects and possessions is intrinsic to human nature? What if, in reality, the consumerism argument is far more nuanced, which should make us rethink how we spend, what we buy and which things are most important to us. Joining us to work out where next for consumer spending and give historical context to the rampant consumerism we seem to love is the author of ‘The Empire of Things’, Professor Frank Trentmann.