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In May 2010, a general election in the United Kingdom produced a coalition government headed by David Cameron's Conservatives and (nominally) the Liberal Democrats under deputy PM Nick Clegg. The coalition (still in power in 2014) quickly plunged the nation into a period of postcrash austerity the likes of which had not been seen for generations. When I landed at Heathrow in June 2012 to start a new job at Queen Mary University of London, the ground was thick with casualties—and getting thicker. Significant challenges to the U.K. welfare state have been launched before, of course: most visibly and famously under Margaret Thatcher, perhaps more insidiously and tenaciously under Tony Blair. Blair, having learned the lessons of Thatcher's blunt brutality, was a consummate salesman of the public–private partnership, but in 2010 the facade of “feel good” neoliberalism was almost instantly in danger of cracking. Shortly after the election, Clegg backtracked on his promise not to raise tuition fees, allowing the government to triple university students' annual bills to £9,000. By the end of that year protests had taken over the streets; Brits of all social classes were struggling, and angry.