Ideology in politics: reflections on Lady Thatcher's legacy

Published Mon 8 Apr 2013
To mark the death of Margaret Thatcher, Juncture is republishing an essay written in 2009 to mark the 30th anniversary of her 1979 general election victory. In it, Sunder Katwala considers her legacy, both for David Cameron's 'Progressive Conservatism' and for Labour and the left.
Juncture: Online only

A spectre is haunting British politics: the shadow of Thatcherism. Fully three decades after Margaret Thatcher entered Downing Street, the waves of creative destruction unleashed by the most radical premiership of the 20th century are even now revealing themselves.

At the moment of Thatcher's defenestration in 1990, her record appeared dominated by battles fought and won. She had sought to vanquish British socialism and the accommodationist 'wet' Tory elite. She claimed to have reversed British decline: economic, geopolitical and psychological. Having embraced the Soviet description of her as the Iron Lady, she could celebrate victory in the Cold War, too. It was now the Anglo-American New Right which was certain that history was moving inexorably its way.

Two decades on, history has referred the case of Margaret Thatcher back to the court of appeal. Yet the now commonplace observation that the financial crisis of autumn 2008 closes the era begun by the Winter of Discontent 30 years earlier remains unproven. After all, if true, this must require somebody to convincingly articulate what will or should come next. There is little sign of that happening yet. The great ruptures caused by Thatcherism remain a large part of the reason why that is missing.

What is striking is how neuralgic the Thatcher legacy remains. The 30th anniversary of the 1979 election is a natural moment to take stock of economic, social and political change. Partisans once again contest the prosecution and defence with passion. Yet neither the government nor opposition frontbench has seemed able or willing to contribute contentfully to this season of retrospectives.

That British politics remains in Maggie's shadow can best be seen in how both the Conservative and Labour parties remain, in crucial respects, unable to publicly articulate their full, frank and honest accounts of the Thatcher legacy. Until they can do so, any governing project that seeks to give birth to a post-Thatcherite politics is likely to remain stillborn.

The legacy of Thatcherism

British politics has been shaped by Thatcherism, and by reaction and adaptation to it. It is not that Thatcher's successors have been Thatcherite, at least not straightforwardly so: to claim that is to caricature each of them. What is true is that none has yet been able to escape the consequences and contradictions of the post-Thatcher inheritance.

John Major's attempt to reassert broader conservative traditions were destroyed by a newly ideologised party in a civil war whose pathologies owed much to the traumatic regicide of 1990.

So Tony Blair rose to public prominence with a communitarianism that spoke to widespread public unease in the mid-1990s at the social consequences of market individualism. Yet Blair believed too that New Labour's permission to govern depended on leaving largely intact the economic settlement whose social consequences he sought to reverse, or at least mitigate.

Gordon Brown, who provided much of the domestic social democratic content of New Labour's Blair-Brownism, similarly staked his Croslandite egalitarianism on the finance-led growth which could pay for investment in public services, and modest redistribution. That the reckoning came with Brown in Number 10 dramatised the Faustian nature of the pact.

Meanwhile, Thatcher's legacy had proved more troubling still for her own party. Since the hapless Austen Chamberlain, every Tory leader for seven decades had made it into 10 Downing Street. Now John Major's three successors each came up blank. Its presumptive right to govern disrupted, the Conservative party still failed, for a decade, to begin any serious inquest into its successive failures. The party's traditional ruthless instinct for power, at whatever price, lost out to new found Thatcherite and Eurosceptic convictions.

David Cameron seeks, pragmatically, to return his party to power. He has successfully decontaminated the Conservative brand even while pulling back from any direct challenge to the core beliefs of his party's right. A lack of clarity about Thatcherism has been central to Cameron's masterclass in political ambiguity. According to audience and mood, 'progressive Conservatism' is presented as both corrective to and continuation of the Thatcher legacy.

Thatcherism as the politics of creative destruction

Margaret Thatcher was a politician: ideology can never be served neat in power. Inevitably, there are Thatcherism-sceptics. It could never be difficult to find compromises and contradictions in 11 years of government. It has been argued that there would have been Thatcherism without Thatcher (with Healey and Callaghan converted to monetarism by 1976); that Thatcher was never as Thatcherite as her supporters believed; that the strands and tensions within Thatcherism made it more of a cluster of beliefs and gut instincts as an ideological project.

Up to a point, each claim captures partial truths. Yet, if we are to allow that ideology can play a role in the real world and not only in the political theory text, then Thatcher must stand as an ideological politician who headed, and by some distance, the most ideologically-motivated British government of the 20th century.

What drove the Thatcher governments was the New Right's attempt to challenge and overturn the post-war consensus that dominated British politics from 1945 to 1975. Thatcher was clear that consensus was 'the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies'. So Thatcherism may be best understood as a politics of rupture and creative destruction. Yet Thatcherism failed in most of its central objectives. Its legacy was not that which Thatcher intended and its most profound consequences were unintended.

Smaller government? The free economy and the strong state

Andrew Gamble anatomised perhaps the core paradox of Thatcherism: the extension of state power to pursue the project of the free economy (Gamble 1988). In this respect, the neoliberal project of 'rolling back the state' bears an uncanny resemblance to Marxism: as power is used to pursue the ideological project, the utopian withering away of the state never quite arrives.

Even in the social and economic sphere, Thatcher did much more to transform political discourse about the state than to shrink its role. The state did withdraw from owning most public utilities, though retaining a significant regulatory role. But the core social commitments of the post-Beveridge state proved harder to roll back. She slowed public spending, yet still with real-terms increases. Thatcher did more to redistribute taxation - from direct to indirect taxes, and from higher rate taxpayers to middle and lower earners - than to reduce it. Public spending was 44.7 per cent of GDP in 1979/80 and 41.8 per cent in 1995/96 (HM Treasury 2008) - a level similar to that of the early 1970s. If less state and more freedom was a powerful message, its practical implications were never popular.

Protecting our way of life? The creative destruction of the market

There were two New Rights. Thatcherism was championed by both the Hayekian market liberals of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute, and by the social conservatives led by Roger Scruton at the Salisbury Review. This uneasy alliance brought Thatcherism a breadth of intellectual and political support which a more coherent economic and social liberalism could not have emulated, and could make common cause in reducing union power.

But what John Gray has described as 'the power of unfettered markets to unravel traditional forms of social life' made Thatcher's anti-conservative market radicalism increasingly prominent (Gray 1996). Social conservatism won the odd eye-catching skirmish - 72 Tory MPs rebelled to throw out the government's Sunday trading bill in 1986 - but economics dominated. With the rhetorical commitment to Victorian values, Ministers produced no concrete ideas to make the family central to social policy. Economic productivity meant encouraging more women to work. Impotent to challenge rising divorce rates or the rate of birth outside marriage, ministers railed against 1960s liberalism, never acknowledging that their vigorous promotion of market individualism reinforced it.

A property-owning democracy? The concentration of wealth

Thatcherism's flagship domestic projects of selling council houses and extending share ownership from three to nine million made the 'property-owning democracy' her central theme. Yet the Thatcher era was marked by an unprecedented concentration of wealth. Phillip Blond notes that the share of non-property wealth and assets of the bottom 50 per cent of the population fell from 12 per cent in 1976 to just 1 per cent in 2003.

If compassionate conservatives claim that increased inequality was an unfortunate and unintended by-product, that is not what was argued at the time. Thatcher made an explicit public case for greater inequality: 'the pursuit of equality itself is a mirage ... I would say, let our children grow tall and some taller than others'.

Thatcher had a class politics of redistribution. Supporting the deserving silent majority against scroungers and shirkers in practice meant prioritising the top 40 per cent of the income range against the rest. Maggie knew that these were 'our people': so did many of them. Yet Thatcherism's cultural politics insisted on seeing the old class distinctions as increasingly irrelevant.

This was primarily a triumph in 'framing' public and media discourse. Public attitudes stubbornly insisted that class still mattered: in 2007, 89 per cent of Britons believed that people were judged by class, and 55 per cent believed they were working-class. Tony Crosland in The Future of Socialism (1956) had asked why Britain retained such a high degree of class consciousness despite greater post-war socio-economic equality. Thatcherism reversed the paradox. Class disappeared from mainstream political discourse, precisely as rising inequality and reduced mobility saw opportunity depend more on entrenched advantages of wealth, income and family background. The dilemma for those concerned to reduce class disadvantage was how to sustain the cross-class political coalition needed in order to do so. 'Progressive universalism' offered a quiet strategy to make incremental progress but concern about social mobility, fairness and inequality ultimately depended on bringing class back in.

In defence of the Constitution? Tested to destruction

Margaret Thatcher believed in the innate superiority of the Westminster model of democracy. The Anglo-Irish agreement had, uncharacteristically but far-sightedly, accepted that the Westminster model could not apply to Northern Ireland. After the poll tax, it could not apply in Scotland either. Devolution was necessary to save the union.

Thatcher tested the British Constitution to destruction, refusing to believe that untrammelled parliamentary sovereignty would survive only if majority governments were restrained in its use, proving herself wrong in the counter-reaction she provoked. The gradual half-revolution in British constitutional governance of New Labour's first term was a Thatcher legacy too, though it remains unfinished and some way short of the new constitutional settlement that is needed.

In Europe, having won the British rebate with her handbag in 1981, Thatcher seemed to recognise the consequences of her own policy only at the end of the decade, after the Single European Act. Her rage at becoming the prisoner of her cabinet over the exchange rate mechanism led directly to her downfall. The depth of the subsequent Tory civil war over the Maastricht treaty reflected that it was only after 1990 that her supporters could pursue the purist sovereignist argument which she had, in office, tacitly recognised was incompatible with the governance of Britain as a member of the European Community.

Sound money? Setting the financial system free

The gut instincts of Thatcherism owed more to Methodism than monetarism. The Grantham shopkeeper's daughter cycled miles to chapel and back to attend services four times every Sunday. Her anti-Keynesian homilies on household economics and sound finance captured a deeply felt lifelong aversion to debt. Yet these non-conformist values were swamped in the consumerism that market individualism unleashed. A project rooted in the morality of 'sound money' never anticipated the consequences of financial deregulation, symbolised in the 'big bang' of 1986, which stands indicted as a root cause of the deepest economic crisis for several decades.

* * *

Thatcherism's legacy is increasingly defined by its unintended consequences. 'The project failed in almost all of the main goals of its positive agenda,' as John Gray wrote back in 1996. Yet that could not prevent Thatcherism having profound, transformational effects on British politics.

Progressive Conservatism after the Thatcherite rupture

'It was only in April 1974 that I was converted to Conservatism. I had thought that I was a Conservative but now I see that I was not one at all.'

- Keith Joseph, quoted in Denham and Garnett 2001

'Are you a Thatcherite now is a meaningless question. Thatcherism wasn't now.'

- Oliver Letwin, Demos progressive conservatism launch, January 2009

Revolutions devour their own children. Amid the chants of '10 more years' in May 1989 or as John Major won the first post-Thatcher general election in April 1992, how many could have imagined that the principal political victims of the Thatcher revolution might be the Conservative and Unionist Party?

Thatcher gave the political right an ideology to believe in. But what makes Thatcherism the great rupture in British Conservativism was that the ideology came wrapped up in something else: a 'betrayal' thesis, as Keith Joseph declared with enormous clarity that post-war Conservatism had been apostasy and heresy.

High Tory wets like Ian Gilmour could argue convincingly that Joseph's statement demonstrated the opposite of what it claimed. Surely had Salisbury or Disraeli, icons of the Tory nationalist and one nation traditions respectively, been asked whether the compromises necessary to hold office were a price worth paying, neither would have understood the question. Thatcherism had ditched the pragmatic arts of conservative statecraft to become intoxicated by neoliberal ideology. As Joseph and Thatcher anointed Friedrich Hayek as high priest of Tory thinking: did not Hayek's famous personal essay of 1960 'Why I am not a Conservative clinch the point?'

Yet this argument that Thatcher was not truly a Conservative cannot ultimately be sustained. However coherent as theory, it was disproved by events. Thatcher changed Conservatism, bringing the Tory nationalist tradition back to the mainstream and became the most prominent icon in the modern Conservative pantheon. Why did she win her argument with the Tory wets about what conservatism was for? It was surely because - particularly as 1945 receded from view, and the Macmillan/Heath generations were supplanted - Tory political restraint had become primarily about prudence, not principle. If the opportunity arose - through economic crisis and the collapse of a divided opposition - for a New Right revolution, then the party in Parliament and the country was for it.

If the party could win on that ticket, it would rather do so. Yet the regicide of 1990, like the peasant's revolt of 1975, showed that the party's ideological preferences were heavily contingent on what was thought electorally sellable. That same tension today illuminates why the Thatcher rupture still presents a substantive as well as symbolic dilemma for the Cameron generation. A decade of defeat has shown that right-wing attempts to revive Maggie's winning formula can be a very unpopular populism. Yet most thinking in the party remains rooted in the core New Right idea that 'less state' means 'more freedom' while alternative accounts remain opaque, and primarily electoral.

The reading of David Cameron offered by David Marquand is that the Tory leader stands in the adaptive tradition of the Tory Whigs (see also Marquand 2008). But progressive Conservativism, being conservative, has a past. Can Cameron be said to substantively inherit the tradition of Baldwin, Macmillan and Heath if he remains publicly unwilling to say so, and claim the legacy?

What have the 'progressive Conservatives' had to say about Thatcherism? The broad answer is 'as little as possible'. It is, however, possible to identify at least one unequivocal repudiation of a Thatcher policy. Indeed, a front-page story in the Observer reported David Cameron's 'ditching of a key Thatcher legacy' and 'most forceful break yet with the Thatcher years'. The headline? 'Cameron: we got it wrong on apartheid'. Sixteen years after Nelson Mandela's release from prison, this was archetypally conservative in being willing to adapt to change after the event. Is the broader acknowledgement of social liberalism substantially different?

Cameron on Thatcher remains a master class in shades of political ambiguity. 'There is such a thing as society; it is just not the same as the state' was designed to sound like a decisive break with Thatcher's most notorious public statement. But was that not precisely what she was herself trying to say in that infamous Woman's Own interview of 1987? Cameron did not think up his most famous Thatcher-distancing soundbite for himself. It is revealing to discover his source. ('To set the record straight -- once again -- I have never minimised the importance of society, only contested the assumption that society means the State rather than other people.') Cameron's Davos speech of 2009, his most important on the future of capitalism, won headlines for being inspired by Thatcher's vision of a property-owning democracy and for breaking with Thatcherism to remoralise capitalism.

Those frontbenchers reputed to have multiple brains talk animatedly of the need to 'rediscover' pre-Thatcher conservative traditions, yet ignore the elephant in the room. The Joseph-Thatcher rupture makes it impossible for Cameron to connect to pre-Thatcherite traditions without an account of Thatcherism itself. Perhaps they claim that Cameronism inherits the Tory tradition of Disraeli, Baldwin, Macmillan and Thatcher too. If that might be trivially true, such a smoothing out of history amounts to the claim that Joseph and Thatcher were mistaken: there was no breach with the Tory past; perhaps Thatcherism itself was not really about anything much at all. That would return the role of the state to a pragmatic, empirical question of 'what works' rather than smaller government being a matter of ideological preference. Oliver Letwin does indeed argue for agnosticism, 'not dogma', about the state (Letwin 2009).

Can the party accept - and state - that 'the era of minimal government is over?' Even now, Cameron does not. Instead he insists that the state has failed - and must inevitably fail - in pursuing the progressive ends he asserts. This enables him to carefully pitch to both Guardianistas and Hayekians, though the means by which he might 'roll forward society' are enormously opaque. David Cameron is not an unreconstructed Thatcherite. He is attempting to construct a high Tory Court politics, where all will have his ear and none his allegiance, where the lack of coherence can be presented as a pragmatic, pluralist, non-doctrinaire Toryism where, once again, much will depend on Events.

This is why Cameron has gone out of his way to give airtime for exotic new species of Green and Red Toryism which would barely exist in the party without his patronage, and which are likely to remain marginal even with it. A true-blue-deep Thatcherite would never do this.

Cameron is practising deft opposition politics and preserving maximum room for Tory statecraft to respond pragmatically to events. Yet if Cameron appears to have a conscious strategy to avoid becoming the prisoner of his party's right, he has also taken care not to break substantively with either Thatcherism (and still less with Euroscepticism) and the right retains, by some distance, the most significant share of voice.

In response to the economic crisis, the Conservative leadership has itself shown a strong tendency to 'default' to both the public narratives and economic philosophy of Thatcherism's 'household economics', re-emphasising their distance from the European centre-right. This also suggests that any future Conservative government would include strong internal pressure to adopt a gradualist strategy to pursue a traditional small state, low tax agenda over time ('Thatcherite ends by Fabian means?') - particularly if it were to find itself relatively unconstrained by either parliamentary arithmetic or facing weak opposition. Rehabilitating that agenda might or might not be a project favoured by the party leadership, but defaulting to a pragmatic 'Thatcherism lite' seems a likely outcome unless the leadership were to attempt to pursue a different substantive direction of its own.

So 'Progressive Conservatism' will remain primarily an exercise in political positioning until it does find something coherent to say about Thatcherism. The risks in whether or not to do so are not only on one side. Failing to make any substantive attempt to reframe the internal arguments within the political right will sow the seeds for a future 'betrayal thesis', which might be fuelled by the infrastructure of the right's new 'movement politics' through advocacy groups and the blogosphere. Whether or not Progressive Conservatism does seek to emerge from Maggie's shadow - particularly by attempting to offer a substantive New Tory account of the role of government - is the central test of whether it can stake a more significant claim to be taken seriously as a contentful rethinking of the political right.

The left after Thatcher

'I think Lady Thatcher saw the need for change. And I think whatever disagreements you have with her about certain policies ... we have got to understand that she saw the need for change. I also admire the fact that she is a conviction politician.'

- Gordon Brown, August 2007

The left first misunderstood Thatcherism. Labour's instincts that Margaret Thatcher would prove too shrill to be elected, or too right-wing to be re-elected, underestimated her. The Bennite reading that Thatcher could be defeated by emulating her ideological fervour brought Labour to a near death experience. Labour returned to the centre-left mainstream and the long road back to electability.

Perhaps had Thatcher won a handful more votes against Heseltine in 1990, she would have made it to the general election and lost. But, serially defeated, the centre-left came to occupy post-Thatcherite politics first. Yet Labour never truly worked through the terms of its adaptation to her political success.

No Blair, Brown or Mandelson speech has ever substantively attempted a frank audit of Thatcherism and the response to it. Neither yet has any of New Labour's next generation, though that would have to be foundational to their emerging analysis that the 2008 crisis makes it possible to revisit and rewrite those terms. Ed Miliband (Miliband 2009) and James Purnell both offered versions of that argument at the Fabian new year conference in 2009, leading columnist Steve Richards to write: 'ministers spoke like liberated prisoners emerging from the darkness'. This amounts to an acknowledgment within New Labour that while it had a mandate for some significant policy shifts, it neither achieved (nor attempted) a deeper realignment of British politics. 'Thirty years of hurt never stopped us dreaming' is not, apparently, a song that exists only in the hearts of the party's left.

So Labour, too, offers different arguments about Thatcherism according to mood and audience. To party supporters, the social costs of Thatcherism are emphasised. Publicly, there is tacit acknowledgement that some modernisation was necessary.

And the public unravelling of the Thatcher legacy may make it too easy for the left to evade the more difficult questions. Why did Thatcherism get its chance to shape British politics? The answer is that the social democratic post-war settlement collapsed. The Beveridge-Attlee welfare settlement remains the greatest domestic achievement of any British government, though it can be said to have done more to solve the problems of the 1930s than the 1960s (Hennessy 1995). But the centre-left failed to entrench, deepen or defend its achievement. The unions, emboldened by the retreat of Wilson and the destruction of Heath, made fatal miscalculations in exerting power which exceeded their public legitimacy in both the crisis of 1978/79 and Scargill's confrontation with Thatcher.

The taxpayers' revolt and retrenchment of the 1970s were common currency across the market democracies. But the British, Thatcherite response was the most ideologically defined and harshest of any western democracy, with the (partial) exception of Reagan's US administration.

What now remains elusive is the content - perhaps even the contours - of a progressive politics after New Labour which is not a 'restorationist' attempt to cleave either to the politics of 1997 nor to restore the pre-Thatcher social democratic settlement as it was.

A 1990s revisionist account of social democracy did form part of the motivation of the third way. But political positioning dominated, with ambiguity even to whether the triangulation was between Old Left and New Right, or between the New Right and social democracy itself. If New Labour has not done this, the charge against those of us offering a challenge from its (inside or outside) left might be that the critique has often been clearer than the alternative.

Above all, the centre-left can escape the shadow of Thatcherism only by ceasing to understand its accommodation with markets as a forced consequence of political defeat. Instead Labour must work through in its own social democratic terms the model of the market economy which it wants to advocate - in order to meet economic, social and environmental objectives - as part of its mission of greater equality and opportunity; and the political arguments and strategy for constructing a majority coalition to make that possible. After all, Thatcher may have won, but the historic achievement and mission of social democracy - achieved by both Attlee and Roosevelt - was to reform and so save capitalism, rather than to achieve a fundamental break with it. This can only be a centre-left moment if that is understood to be the animating goal.

Thatcherism as ideology in politics

The consequences of Thatcherism reflect the content, and flaws, of the particular ideology she sought to impose. That is a separate issue from her effectiveness as an agent of political change in pursuing that agenda. So perhaps Thatcherism stands, finally, as a case study in both the potential and perils of ideology in politics. This enabled her to be among those who did most to reshape British politics, yet the increased urgency and over-reach of her third term also led also to the hubris of her downfall, and the long Tory hangover beyond it.

Her record shows that translating ideology into practical politics is more often a question of public mission and direction of travel than an impossibilist demand for consistency. (Perhaps counterintuitively, this could make effective ideological politics easier in government than opposition.)

The political strength of Thatcherism was three-fold. Firstly, the values, instincts and prejudices of Thatcherism offered a clear enough framework to give the government an overall mission and agenda. Junior ministers, or civil servants, not sure how to address any policy issue could always use 'less state' as a ready reckoner about which policies might win favour. By contrast, a commitment to 'reform' does nothing to discriminate between five possible reforms, while 'what works' depends on what objectives are being pursued. New Labour did have a clearer strategic framework in its commitment to 'progressive universalism': this addresses both the policy content and politics of support to improve opportunities and narrow inequalities. Neither this nor the means of an 'enabling state' was effectively translated into a defining public mission for the government.

Secondly, the Thatcher governments were able to mobilise social constituencies who felt that the government was on their side, not least because they knew who it was against too. Thatcher's willingness to choose enemies was often effective, framing her first term against General Galtieri and her second against Arthur Scargill. The choice of Jacques Delors for her third term played to the Sun, but split her cabinet, by which point a scattershot selection of targets (Scotland, the North, the universities and professions, minorities who did not cheer for England, and middle England's sense of fairness over the poll tax) united a broad coalition against the government. Being clear about who you are against is not everything in politics. But, after New Labour backed away from Tony Blair's assault on the 'forces of conservatism', the leaderships of both parties now seem willing to go on the offensive only when they can agree on a target, as with Sir Fred Goodwin's status as the face of greedy, irresponsible banking.

Thirdly, Thatcher understood that effective political change depended not just on electoral success, but on a longer-term project to shift the environment in which elections are held. Like Reagan, she often ran against the government she headed, making public-facing political arguments to shift discourse to the right. By contrast, New Labour in government too often continued to seek public definition by contrasting itself with traditional Labour instincts, closing down progressive space ahead of government. This is partly about public argumentation, and also about how policies and public institutions could reshape political sociology. She sought to challenge Attlee's universalist legacy through the use of council house sales and privatisation to reinforce demographic change.

Perhaps, as Norma Desmond complains in Sunset Boulevard, it was the movies that got small. Politicians cannot easily hope to emulate a Lincoln, Roosevelt or Thatcher in ordinary times. Yet we now have a deep economic and political crisis. The nature of the crisis sees an international battle of ideas fought on centre-left territory. But neither left nor right is prepared for it in the way that the New Right was ready in the late seventies. And if British politics remains in Maggie's shadow, perhaps this is because even those who recognise the scale of her political achievement have taken the primary lesson to be that ideas in politics can be a very dangerous thing.

This article was first published in issue 16(1) of PPR, now Juncture, IPPR's journal of politics and ideas.

References

Denham A and Garnett M (2001) Keith Joseph, London: Acumen

Gamble A (1988, 1994) The Free Economy and the Strong State, London: Macmillan

Gray J (1996) After Social Democracy, London: Demos

Hayek F (1960) 'Why I am not a Conservative', In The Constitution of Liberty, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

Hennessey P (1995) Never Again: Britain 1945-1951, London: Penguin

HM Treasury (2008) 2008 Pre-Budget Report, London: HMT

Letwin O (2009) speaking at Progressive Conservativism launch, Demos. See also 'Will the Red Tories spill blue blood?', Liberal Conspiracy website, 23 January 2009

Marquand D (2008) Britain since 1918: The strange career of British democracy, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Miliband E (2009) speech to Fabian New Year Conference 2009

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