The middle has fallen out of British politics

This headline comes from The Economist, which accurately reflects my own view of the two main parties in the upcoming UK election:

Both Mrs May and Mr Corbyn would each in their own way step back from the ideas that have made Britain prosper — its free markets, open borders and internationalism. They would junk a political settlement that has lasted for nearly 40 years and influenced a generation of Western governments. Whether left or right prevails, the loser will be liberalism.

The paper concludes by (grudgingly) endorsing the Liberal Democrats

Backing the open, free-market centre is not just directed towards this election. We know that this year the Lib Dems are going nowhere. But the whirlwind unleashed by Brexit is unpredictable. Labour has been on the brink of breaking up since Mr Corbyn took over. If Mrs May polls badly or messes up Brexit, the Tories may split, too. Many moderate Conservative and Labour MPs could join a new liberal centre party—just as parts of the left and right have recently in France. So consider a vote for the Lib Dems as a down-payment for the future. Our hope is that they become one element of a party of the radical centre, essential for a thriving, prosperous Britain.

It’s a slim hope, but it’s about all we’re left with after this depressingly illiberal contest.

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