John Harris

Journalist & Author

Disruption, destruction and chaos has become the new way of governing | John Harris

For the right, exploiting prejudices is all that counts. The things that used to be avoided are now being actively encouraged

At the heart of power, there used to be a distinction that allowed onlookers to make at least some sense of what was going on. For the most part, a government’s day-to-day business revolved around outwardly serious plans and policies – presented, however cynically, as being of benefit to the public – and responding to events. But, politics being politics, this solid core was inevitably accompanied by much more superficial stuff: distraction, spin, the kind of things Tony Blair once termed “eye-catching initiatives”.

Now that division seems to have crumbled. In the US, Donald Trump is standing for a second term as president without a meaningful policy platform, after a four-year riot of performance and provocation. Here in Britain, there are signs of something comparable: a new politics largely untethered by coherence and practicality, and a sense that we too have no real idea where we might be heading.

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