Enoch Powell once said, "All political lives end in failure", and what is true of individual politicians seems to be true of governments as it is also often said that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. We all know how the Callaghan government lost power for Labour the last time ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ back in the 70s. We also know that Labour has lost the next election too, alienating so much of its support, people like me – for example – who can now never vote for them again, despite having voted for them at every election (local and national) since I became old enough to vote back in 1977.
However, what has surprised me was reading this:
The root trouble was really the wider disaffection of middle opinion (not necessarily middle-class opinion) against a programme of ‘consolidation’ which at best was drab and puritanical, and at worst illiberal and restrictive of individual choice.*
This quote doesn’t refer to the current government, although it could well, do, nor does it refer to the Wilson/Callaghan era of Labour governments either; it does in fact refer to the infamous post-war Labour government just before it lost the 1951 election.
So, what I think is interesting about this is not the fact that the Labour governments end up losing an election at some point (as – I suppose all governments must do eventually), but the fact that they seem to end up losing them for the same reason each time.
It seems the world over (except the
If the people are lucky, though, they can – like the
*Pge:104 Britain Since 1945: The People’s Peace – Kenneth O. Morgan OUP.