What future for the parties as we know them? The 2005 general election marked a turning point in British politics. It revealed the emergence of a new and more volatile electorate and signalled the collapse of traditional voting patterns, a situation that had been a decade in the making. "The End of Politics" traces the devastating impact of this radical shift and examines the often confused reactions of political parties struggling to adjust to unfamiliar and unpredictable circumstances. At the core of this challenging and provocative book is a detailed treatment of the paralysing effects of the Blair 'project' on British political discourse. The avoidance of ideology, the preference for a managerial style and the supremacy of 'triangulation' are the hallmarks of the 'New Politics', which, although first pioneered by New Labour, continues to dominate the outlook of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. "The End of Politics" assesses each party's capacity to react to a changing environment and their prospects among electors clamouring for a new political message.
As the drama unfolds, the authors demonstrate that the bland individualism and economic liberalism towards which each of the major parties is drifting is unsuited to the pressing demands of the future. But, this book is not concerned just with the three major parties. In a scholarly discussion of minor parties and independent candidates, "The End of Politics" warns of the potentially disastrous social effects of this process and argues strongly for a new, communitarian outlook. A powerful and eye-opening work supported by careful research, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in politics. 'Readable and profound' - Matthew Parris. 'Time invested in reading "The End of Politics" will be time well spent...Every page has something worth reading.' - Daniel Finkelstein. 'Refreshingly jargon free, the book brings the insights of social science to contemporary political reality and the result is a stimulating challenge to the Blairite (and Brownite!) modernisers' - Polly Toynbee.
Timothy Stanley stood for Parliament as Labour Party candidate for Sevenoaks at the 2005 General Election. He is currently researching contemporary American politics at the University of Cambridge. Alexander Lee has been a Conservative Party activist for many years and continues to be outspoken in his contributions to policy debate. Educated at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, he is engaged in research into political thought.