“A general election campaign is meant to offer vision for the road ahead but Labour and Tories are both blocked by a lack of originality and too much nostalgia.”
Theresa May’s constant insistence that Britain needs strong and stable government is banal, since no party in history has campaigned with the intention of forming a weak and insecure one. In the same platitudinous spirit, all parties’ manifestos talk about the future as a place of hope and opportunity for all. The Conservatives encapsulate this idiom in the title of their 2017 prospectus: “Forward, together”. The alternative – “Backwards, apart” – was presumably rejected early in the drafting process. And yet, despite the obligatory claims by all parties to be visionary, the campaign feels bleakly anchored to the past.
This cultural flinch is in keeping with the genesis of Mrs May’s project. It professes to be ambitious for Britain’s role in the world, trading freely on the open seas of the global economy, but its foundations are reactionary and protectionist, rooted in the 1950s.”