Social democracy seemed close to being the natural order in 2000. Almost all governments in the western world were in the hands of broadly moderate left-of-centre administrations.
More than anything else, the result of the 2019 general election highlighted the huge divide between London and the rest of the UK. Government policy is now heavily focused on trying to close the gap.
Labour’s heavy defeat needs to be set in the context of the difficulties which left-of-centre political parties have experienced well beyond the borders of the UK.
It is not only Extinction Rebellion who say the UK should no longer try to get our growth rate up. The Green Party and many others are inclined to agree. But there are very strong reasons for believing that this is not the right approach – even for people worried about the world’s environment.
In the year 2000, almost all western countries had either social democratic governments or they were run by coalitions with large social democratic components. Now, this is true of hardly a single country in the West. What has gone wrong?