Douglas Carswell

08 JUL 2016

British politics is ripe for renewal

It's extraordinary how Britain's political establishment has been turned upside down. David Cameron's lame-duck government is pointless. Chilcot has taken Tony Blair to task. Labour is in crisis. Even the Greens are holding a leadership contest.

We're witnessing the decapitation of a political class – and it's exactly what Britain needs.

For years, this country has been governed by a cosy clique. In recent decades, there has been nothing to choose between the big parties. Too many assumptions have gone unchallenged – from the size of the State, to monetary policy, to immigration.

Parliament, which once facilitated a contest between different visions, has collapsed into a narrow technocratic consensus. As the referendum revealed, the real dividing line in British politics today isn't between parties. It's between the Westminster bubble and the electorate.

It's fashionable in certain parts of the commentariat to bemoan the "uncertainty" of the current political climate. Many seem to want this exceptional period to end as soon as possible.

I think that attitude is a mistake. This is the first chance Britain has had in decades to have a genuine, wide-ranging political debate. We shouldn't be afraid of it. We should be embracing it.

The political class now has a rare moment to pause and reflect. To challenge failed political orthodoxies, and present alternatives. To stop imposing ideology on the country from the top down, and start listening to what British citizens actually want.

This could be the start of a political renaissance. Let's not squander the opportunity.

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