Latest Issue

Pluralism v populism

Britain is sleepwalking into a constitutional revolution. There has been little Britain-wide debate on the rationale or implications of the changes. Nor has the pluralist logic of the new system of checks and balances been fully accepted by a New Labour government with centralising, populist instincts

By David Marquand   June 1999

As the Scots and Welsh have shown, the constitutional revolution on which this government nervously embarked two years ago has already gone further than most London-based commentators expected. It is, however, a very British revolution. It is a revolution without a theory. It is the muddled, messy work of practical men and women, unintellectual when not positively anti-intellectual, apparently oblivious of the long tradition of political and constitutional reflection of which they are the heirs, responding piecemeal and ad hoc to conflicting pressures-a revolution of sleepwalkers who don’t know quite where they are going or quite why. But muddle and…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect