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date: 21 January 2022

p. 11. The Britishness of British politicslocked

p. 11. The Britishness of British politicslocked

  • Tony Wright


What makes the British political system distinctive? ‘The Britishness of British politics’ explains Britain’s long and remarkable history of stability. Despite relatively late universal suffrage in 1918; the bitterly adversarial politics of the 1970s and 1980s; and ongoing reluctance to engage with the legacies of Empire, immigration, and Northern Ireland, Britain has ‘muddled through’. This may no longer be enough in the face of demands for greater government accountability. Since the 2008 financial crash, British politics have been ‘wild and unruly’ including a peacetime coalition, elections without majorities, leaders ousted by their own parties, and rising nationalism and populism, culminating in the 2016 referendum.

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