Mrs May’s political cross-dressing

Theresa May isn’t a socialist. Her approach reflects a particular tradition in conservative thought which has much in common with European Christian democracy. As she has said, she explicitly rejects both “the socialist left and the libertarian right”. She is instead a statist, wedded to top-down paternalism (or perhaps more appropriately here, maternalism) and the beneficent role of activist government intervention.

The rival “libertarian” or neo-liberal right makes a fetish of individual liberty and the free market, disdains tradition and devalues the importance of preserving social and cultural bonds.

What is remarkable is that both these strains of conservative thinking are identical to values on the left.

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