chapter  4
An Era of Exclusion: Polarisation and Division
Pages 7

At the end of the Second World War, there had emerged a level of consensus that social rights had to be extended so as to create a more inclusive society and bring the social exiles, or those too poor to participate in the community, into ‘the fold’. The war itself-as indeed the First World War had-brought the different classes into closer contact than ever before, but this time massive change followed (Channel 4 1999). In 1945, the electorate, several million of whom (men and women) were involved in the war effort, voted massively for a Labour government and for radical change, with all Britons, regardless of status or class having ‘a home fit for heroes’. The mood of the country in 1945 was thus for change, and a Labour administration set about creating a new order through such measures as the welfare state and education reforms. Sociologist T.H.Marshall (1950) saw the extension of social rights as a major means of class abatement and the culmination of over two centuries of struggles for different forms of rights.