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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > April 2017 > The deplorables fight back

The deplorables fight back

Brexit exposed a complacent liberal consensus, argues Maurice Glasman
© MATT HERRING/GETTY IMAGES

The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart (Hurst, £20)

There are many reasons to be grateful to David Goodhart. He established this magazine in 1995 and was its editor until 2010. It was a sterile period of political and cultural thought, with a Labour Government uncritically cheerleading globalisation, and a Conservative Party that could not reconcile itself to the generosity of the times.Prospect offered a gentle form of intellectual dissent in these years of “progressive” hegemony—daring to suggest that, perhaps, things don’t only get better. It probed particularly on the question of exactly who benefits from economic success, and it grappled with the thorny but then-unfashionable politics of identity.

Goodhart cut through the stupor with his 2004 Prospect cover-essay entitled “Too Diverse?” He questioned the orthodoxy that immigration and multiculturalism were unconditional benefits. Approaching the issue from an essentially Fabian perspective, he argued that a too culturally diverse nation would undermine the national solidarity required to sustain a tax-funded welfare state. For this he was denounced in forceful—even hateful—terms by some liberals, confirming the paradox that there is no one more exclusive than the person who upholds inclusivity.

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In Prospect’s April issue: Ross McKibbin, John Curtice and Lisa Nandy examine the state of the Labour Party and question its survival at the next general election. McKibbin takes a long view and suggests that the party’s problems started long before Jeremy Corbyn, Curtice argues that breaking the party is unlikely to go as well as some may think and Nandy argues that tackling unaccountable power could help restore faith in the party. Nicholas Timmins says the NHS has always experienced financial crises so is this time any different? Lucy Wadham charts the rise of France’s Front National. Also in this issue: Owen Hatherley explores Edinburgh’s architectural conundrum, Freya Johnston on Jane Austen and Avi Shlaim on the tragedy of Yitzhak Rabin—the last best hope for peace.
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