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The right dialectic

Despite the appearance of consensus between the two main parties, the contest between equality and liberty has not disappeared. Instead, it has become a dispute about who owns the ground of "fraternity" and whether the state (Gordon Brown) or the individual (David Cameron) will lift its banner there

By Danny Kruger   September 2006

St Stephen’s chapel, in the royal palace of Westminster, is a collegiate foundation. Like college chapels everywhere it has pews facing each other, rather than facing forward to the altar as in a parish church. So when St Stephen’s became the home of the House of Commons, the seating plan came naturally: friends sit together, and face their enemies across the aisle.

Today it is common to hear that the labels “left” and “right” have lost their meanings. And yet the terms stubbornly persist. All attempts to overcome them—by the practical expedient of a horseshoe-shaped parliament or by the more…

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