When schools close early, we are surely back in an age of decline | David Olusoga

Millions of lives are being slowly suffocated by remorseless Tory cuts that have deliberately undermined the pillars of a once-civilised society

To millennials, 1980s nostalgia consists largely of themed nights at nightclubs, a disturbing revival of synth-pop and the return of shoulder pads. With house prices pushing home ownership beyond the reach of those without private wealth, and students leaving university with average debts of more than £50,000, no one in their right mind would call young people fortunate, but they are blessed in having no other associations with the 1980s. Small comfort, I know.

For the generations who were around to experience it, the 1980s is a decade that comes with baggage. In 2019, as car manufacturers announce layoffs or transfer investment overseas, as waiting times go up and satisfaction in the NHS heads down, and with the formation of a new centrist party – the gang of 11 – the past few weeks have increasingly felt like a trip around a 1980s theme park. The brief but ghastly reappearance last month of Derek Hatton – the ghost of recessions past – felt as apt as it did sick‑making.

Related: ‘It’s dangerous’: full chaos of funding cuts in England’s schools revealed

Public buildings, built from the rates and taxes paid by past generations, are being auctioned off by impoverished councils

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