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The dirty little secret of British politics

By David Goodhart   October 2009

Amid the din of the party conference season it is easy to forget the dirty little secret of British politics: that the underlying differences in philosophy and even policy between the three main parties remain narrower than at any time in the modern age. All parties, reflecting majority public opinion, want a regulated market economy flanked by decent, tax-funded public services (with the state spending 40 to 45 per cent of GDP, once normal economic service is resumed), and all parties—following the Tories’ leftward shift—lay claim to the term “progressive,” aiming to improve the life chances of those at the…

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