Forty years ago, Britain could be described as a vibrant democracy. Our parties lived up to their names: a conservative Party believed in conserving things, a Labour Party represented the interests of working people and a Liberal Party was liberal.
We had a mixed economy, in which majority interests were put first, a sensible foreign policy – we pursued detente with the Soviet Union – and didn’t seek to go around the world trying to stir up conflicts. The only foreign “wars” we got involved with in those days were the so-called “Cod Wars” with Iceland.
Today, it’s a very different story. Our political parties have converged around what author Tariq Ali has labelled “the extreme center.” The range of views which can be freely expressed in Britain without adverse personal consequences ensuing is narrowing by the day.