The Guardian view on broken Britain: it wont be fixed with the status quo
The gap between the political narrative and life as experienced by the average voter is widening dramatically. The United Kingdom faces serious economic, environmental and social crises that will deepen without shifts in policy. Yet there is little sense of impending doom among the countrys politicians.
A decade of upheaval has produced not radical change, but a renewal of a failed consensus. This suits the Conservative party, which, after 13 years in power, offers the dead weight of bankrupt intellectual habits. However, Labours U-turn over one of its rare transformational policies, to spend 28bn a year from day one of being in office on green investment, leaves it looking pusillanimous and complacent about its poll lead.
Significantly, there is now a shared understanding, whatever the differences between political parties, that austerity is acceptable and budget deficits unthinkable. Given that this risks condemning the country to a lowgrowth, carbon-intensive economy with stagnating wages, one must hope that this is a strained compromise that only holds for so long.