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HomeNewsTed Bromund: From Butskell to Camerband – Britain’s unstable consensus

Ted Bromund: From Butskell to Camerband – Britain’s unstable consensus


This article was originally published in The Weekly Standard, to read the full piece please click here.

“The problem with politics today”, Gisela Stuart complained over coffee in the House of Commons cafeteria, “is that there’s no passion, no big ideas. No wonder the public’s not inspired.”

An iconoclastic Labour MP for Birmingham, Stuart herself is inspiringly intense, but her diagnosis is a common one: Locked together in a mutual embrace of managerialism, Britain’s political parties stand for nothing more than the quest for a triangulated victory.

This view contains an element of truth, though Britain is not the only democracy in which a majority of the votes are to be found close to the center. But since the last general election, in 2010, Britain has debated austerity (without really practising it) and rejected both proportional representation (firmly) and Scottish independence (barely). Its third party, the Liberal Democrats, has collapsed, as has Labour’s support in Scotland.

Together, the U.K. Independence party (Ukip), the Scottish Nationalists (SNP), and the Greens now poll a quarter of the vote. This is not a politically placid nation.

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Ted Bromund
Ted Bromund
Ted is a Senior Research Fellow in Anglo-American relations at the Heritage Foundation.

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