Politics in Minutes (2016)

The future of the right

Since the 1970s, the neoliberal policies espoused by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher (see here) have been adopted by governments around the world. Strictly laissez-faire economic policies, combined with a right-wing social agenda, seemed to be a recipe for success, and at the turn of the century business was booming under these capitalism-friendly policies. In 2007, however, the cracks began to show, and the following year came a massive financial crash followed by years of global recession. The principle of minimal state interference in the markets had to be waived, as governments were called upon to bail out financial institutions that were ‘too big to fail’. The majority of governments in the West believe free-market economic policies encourage growth and innovation, and rather than tax and regulate business to effect a recovery, imposed aggressive ‘austerity’ measures to cut public spending. The right, it seems, is moving further from the centre both economically and socially, and whether this has the desired effect remains to be seen.