One of the features of the post-election that has struck me is its similarity to themes that emerged in the Thatcher years in the UK. For example, Miranda Devine’s claims about youthful support for the Liberals, taken down here by Don Arthur, reminded me of talk about the young fogeys who were redefining cool in the Tory mould. These people would have been in their twenties then, and in their early forties now, but, while some of the individuals who set the tone are still around, the generation they were supposed to symbolise is lost to the Tories. According to Wikipedia, the average age of Tory party members is 65.
This post by Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber makes the point that the Tory attempt to remake Britain in a free-market mould was a catastrophic failure, at least in party political terms.
. By crushing unions, privatizing state industry, trying to shift the North England economy from manufacturing to retail commerce, introducing market reforms to the welfare state, and flogging off public housing, the British Conservatives systematically tried to create a new class of Tory voters that would permanently marginalize Labour. The result was the transformation of the Conservatives into a near-permanent minority – thirteen years later, British voters still don’t trust the Conservative party anywhere near the public services.
Those engaging in triumphalism on the conservative side of Australian politics ought to learn from this lesson