This is the best description I've come across of the ideological hurdle David Cameron must leap to win the election. DC is hamstrung by a blanket mistrust of free market capitalism and his party's historical bond with that system, writes Larry Elliott in the Guardian. You might think that the biggest loser after a recession of this size would be the government that presided over it. But the polls show that voters are still a little nervous of a return to small state politics.
"Cameron is in the diametrically opposite position to Margaret Thatcher in 1979: she was helped by the crisis of Keynesian social democracy in 1976; he is hampered by the crisis of laissez-faire. The events of the past three years have made it much harder to argue for a small state, market-knows-best approach to economic management, and the Conservatives have not yet found a plausible alternative.
"They have tried substituting the Big Society for the Big State, but it doesn't really address the fundamental weakness for the right: the ideological advantage is with those supporting more state intervention to tame the market."