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The shredding of political convention started with austerity, not Brexit

The coalition’s radical right-wing economic agenda flouted basic norms and inflicted immense harm in the process 

By Chaminda Jayanetti  

David Cameron and George Osborne, the architects of austerity. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

There has been much talk since 2016 about how Brexit has wrecked Britain’s political norms—with the disregard for truth and evidence, the conspiracist attacks on democratic institutions, the lack of concern for the national interest, and the support by leading politicians for a policy they know will cause harm.

It is true that the post-referendum attacks on judicial independence by Paul Dacre’s Daily Mail were well outside the norms of British politics, and sought to drive public discourse to…

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