Thanks for all your replies. I am not ignoring them. Just haven't had the time to write individual responses.
My sense is this:
This country runs on self interest. Top to bottom.
For the UK this is not at heart a problem driven by hard-wired thinking linked to a book of idealogical rules. It may get dressed up as such but the core of this is simply about the distribution of national resources. It is about greed on the one hand and a moral humanist duty to one's fellow citizens on the other. The tug of war between the two has been going on for more than 100 years. Thatcher's regime represented one brutal extreme of self-interest but the idea that she was an ideologue is absurd. Other than her very personal battle with the unions she over-turned very few of the benefits of post war socialist thinking. They were pruned and starved but not broken at the root. Given her power she could have done so much more for the Tory right and yet didn't. Why? Because it was all about the money not the ideology. When she became an ideologue she fell.
Half the the wealth of this nation is going absolutely no where regardless of who is in power or what pressure is brought to bear on governments from without. Barring a bloody revolution, a miltary catastrophe or a nationalisation of personal assets that is not changing.
Regardless as to how we define the conflict, lets be clear here whatever the regime the rich always stay rich and the impoverished tend to remain essentially impoverished. For the poor to enjoy a slightly better standard of living it is the middle income citizens that will pay for it. Regardless of the government.
So we collectively are arguing about the balance, the 40 - 50% of GDP that goes into public spending.
In order to maintain the funding of the things that I think we primarily care about - healthcare, education and adequate benefits and protections for those in need - you have to convince middle income tax payers to dig deeper into their pockets and to convince them to pressurise the goverment at the ballot box to allow them in turn enough leaway to be be able to afford the higher taxation that will allow that to happen.
The price of power in the UK is cutting the middle classes enough slack that they will vote for you. A right wing Tory government will squeeze the poor to relieve the middle class. An Old Labour government will do the reverse and have the rich pay for some it. The centerists, such as we have had since Major, try and do degrees of both to the chagrin of neither the rich nor the middle income groups. The poor don't vote runs the thinking.
Which brings me back to my original point.
Historically the street protests of the late 60s and onwards have been of little or no interest to working people except in the case of those directly related to industrial action. People with real jobs have by and large neither the time the money or the energy for much more than keeping their shit together. Street violence might frighten people in power but most of London simply went about their business that day. It was a sideshow. A piece of grotesque theatre with some unexpected consequences. Remember even the far left of the Labour party came out against it. As did the union movement. It was viewed as an anarchistic aberration.
The riot helped tip the balance and maybe sped up the process a little but it wasn't decisive. Thatcher was already on her way out. The Tories were already planning for the succession. The Poll Tax was her Custer moment and one she had been preparing for since 74 but what killed her was a decade of zero trickle down and no moral upside. People ultimately voted with their wallets first and conscience a close second. As they always do. Major allowed those that benefited from Thatcher to feel less guilty about it. Blair allowed them to positively celebrate it. Thatcher's error was introducing an ideological element and cutting off her own escape route. Like any ideologue she was not for turning so she got drowned by the tide of opinion as it roared back the other way.
So what is required is a grass roots re-education that demands that people register their views at the ballot. Self interest will do the rest. Make it ideological and people will run a mile.