For all the talk of the ‘Osborne supremacy’ a few short years ago, liberal conservative hegemony was never as embedded as many pundits liked to think. That much has become self-evident recently.
Now that Theresa May is the prime minister and David Cameron feels like a long-lost uncle from a PG Wodehouse novel, it is easy to forget that very recently triumphalist screeds were being penned to mark the passing of Tory social conservatism into the wastepaper basket of history along with similarly redundant creeds like Butskellism.
Yet while the ‘nasty party’ might have been buried, the coffin stayed decidedly empty. Cameron may have been issuing liberal platitudes from Number 10 not long ago, but judging by the zeal with which the party has subsequently embraced Brexit it was evidently Nigel Farage who was calling the shots on the Tory backbenches.
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