Over much of this period, Britain had been governed by the Conservatives, the party of the ruling class, and paradoxically it was the Conservatives who either oversaw, participated in or originated much of the restructuring of British society. Neither Churchill nor the Conservative Party objected to Beveridge in principle - war on the 'evils' of want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness appealed to patrician old-school Tories who wanted to see their tenants as healthy and productive as their livestock.
But when Labour won its landslide on this day in 1945, it was not so much a revolution but a debt called-in. The whole nation had bled and died, gone hungry, been bombed to buggery, and the lessons learned from the '20s and '30s were that a settlement of this particular national debt was long overdue.
The price paid by the ruling class for the preservation of our nation was a permanent loss of power and status and inroads on accumulated wealth. And I for one don't regret this one little bit; I'm of the Yeoman breed, not the County set. They go to Eton, we go to local Grammars and obscure Independents languishing in the bottom half of the HMC league. They study Greats at Cambridge, we go to Cirencester and Camborne. They're on first-name terms with the Lord Chamberlain and still form part of the Court; we're the solicitors, land agents, small businessmen, farmers, vets and vicars who may ride with them on the hunt but depend on our fee income and P&L accounts rather than tenants' rents to pay for the broadcloth.
So (heresy) had I been around on 5th July 1945, I suspect I would have voted Labour. In doing so, I would have been putting one of my own Yeoman class into Parliament. This really was the end of Lord Tollemache, Lady Paul or Lord Rous having a say in whether I could hang my shingle in their bailiwick. No regrets, no looking back; on this day sixty-five years ago we completed the process that had started in August 1914, the making of modern Britain.