Britain is at a historically important crossroads, facing a choice between decline or renewal, the leader of the TUC will say on Monday.
Outgoing general secretary Brendan Barber will launch a scathing attack on the Government, saying the coalition's policies were driving the country deeper into recession.
He will tell the TUC Congress in Brighton that one of the legacies of the Olympics should be to show what could be achieved when there was the courage to do things differently.
"Rejecting those who say we have to do things on the cheap, and instead doing things right. Engaging trade unions as partners; giving workers as well as business a voice.
"Let's not forget how it all started, with that wonderful opening ceremony. Politicians have struggled for years to define what they mean by Britishness.
"Danny Boyle got it at his first attempt. It's about our shared history. Our struggles. The suffragettes. Trade unions. The Jarrow marchers. The Windrush voyagers. The visionaries who, in the aftermath of war and amidst austerity, built our NHS.
"Those summer weeks were a time when we really were all in it together. Not because we were told to be. But because we wanted to be. Athletes, workers, volunteers, spectators, residents, communities - all pulling together."
Mr Barber, who stands down as general secretary at the end of the year, will say that nowhere is the case for change more urgent than on it economic policy.
"It's clear that austerity simply isn't working. There has been no growth since the Government came to power over two years ago. In effect the economy has become a gigantic laboratory."
Mr Barber will say Britain was at a crossroads. "In one direction is decline, depression and despair. In the other is recovery, regeneration and renewal."
Parts of Britain had boarded up high streets, pawnbrokers and food banks.
"A Britain of stratospheric inequality, hopes denied for millions of our young people.
"Our society is becoming more fractured as benefits are cut for the poor and taxes slashed for the rich."