Developments in British Politics 3 by Patrick Dunleavy, Andrew Gamble

By Patrick Dunleavy, Andrew Gamble

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34 Ideology What prevented it occurring was the ex1stmg structure of capitalist society with its intrinsic privileges and 'irrational' inequalities. The role of the state is to replicate the theoretical equilibrium of perfect competition without socially wasteful profit and the private ownership of resources. State managers, responding to market-led consumer demands, would replace entrepreneurs. Leaving aside the technical problems of this model, it is easy to see why it has attracted some socialists: it eliminates socially unproductive 'profit', the traditional target for the egalitarian, while maintaining freedom of choice in consumption and occupation.

In short, nothing in the general model lS redundant. But there is too much in the general model to discuss all at once; so we can use the partial models as a useful way to focus attention on different parts of the general model in turn. Sociological Model The basic claim of the sociological model is that social groups will vote for the party that serves their interests. Individuals as completely independent decision-makers do not exist. What voters' claim to be their own carefully thought-out political attitudes may simply reflect the interests of the group to which they belong.

The second is that the various possibilities for change sketched above may not be alternatives but complementary forces triggered together. The stability of the 1980s may be deceptive, disguising the subterranean cumulation of pressures for change. In which case a change of Prime Minister or of the party in power could go along with the public ditching of much of the New Right project and the substitution of a new public agenda in guiding public debate. PART ONE The Political System 2 Ideology NORMAN BARRY During the last ten years political debate in Britain has experienced a remarkable transformation.

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