The Tories’ decade in power is remarkable for the hollowness of their vision | Andy Beckett

Past governments have inspired imitation – but Keir Starmer shouldn’t look to this one for an ideological steer

One of the dirty secrets of politics, in democracies as well as dictatorships, is that if a party is in power long enough, its enemies adopt some of its outlook. Sometimes, Margaret Thatcher’s government persuaded some on the left that individualism and free markets were forces that no realistic politician could challenge. Tony Blair’s government persuaded some Conservatives that they needed to make concessions to social liberalism, such as accepting same-sex marriage.

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