Johnson promised to ‘level up’ – instead the UK’s wealth divide is worsening | Polly Toynbee

Sensible policies that would effect the necessary changes exist. But they are anathema to most Conservatives

“Levelling up” was always a slippery slogan. If the civil war was Boris Johnson’s period of history, he might have shunned its potential association with the Levellers and the Diggers, who dug up the fences of enclosures for the landless to plough and sow.

Their most famous digging, in the year of Charles I’s execution, was St George’s Hill in Weybridge, Surrey, now in a gated and guarded enclosure including a grand golf club where nearby house prices reach £5m. Stand there and ponder what levelling up can possibly mean to Surrey Tories and their MPs.

Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist

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