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John Major: It’s time to turn our backs on “spin” and “soundbites”

The former prime minister argues that we need a real engagement with democracy, not the meaningless platitudes around which politics now operates

By John Major   December 2017

As a boy, in the 1950s, encouraged by close friends, I cut my teeth as a public speaker on a soapbox in Brixton Market. Even in a crowded and busy market, some took time to stop and listen or question. No one seemed to resent me or my views. No one was hostile, although many must have disagreed with what I said. Today—as politics has become more rancorous—I have often thought back to that time, and wondered how we lost that tolerance of opposing views.

Certainly, tolerance was missing from the…

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