In an article for the New Statesman Martin Bright examines the up-and-coming generation of MPs – particularly Cameron, Clegg and
"Born within 18 months of each other, they form an oddly homogeneous
group of fortyish, Oxbridge-educated politicians more remarkable for
their similarities than their differences."
..and compares them to Adrian Mole who, born in 1967, is a character in the ongoing series of books by Sue Townsend (Britain’s bestselling author in the eighties):
"If we widen the circle further, it is possible to identify a swathe of
senior politicians who have recently turned 40 or are just about to:
David Laws and Lembit Opik in the Lib Dems, Michael Gove and Boris
Johnson in the Conservatives, and Labour’s Ed Balls and Douglas
Alexander all fall within this age bracket."
Maybe politics isn’t such an old man’s game anymore. The ‘yoof’ of today are not necessarily any more politically engaged than that of yesterday, but politics is becoming more of a career direction rather than something you fall into.
It’s not just the age of the generation that will supplant the baby-boomers that is interesting, but their ideological alliance. Consensus should be welcomed in some ways, but it may have more to do with careers and polls than principles:
"it could become an amorphous grouping of polite, if ambitious, young
men if it fails to provide the radicalism and political definition to
inspire disengaged voters."
This (non-)ideological alliance is generally economically liberal and sympathetic to localism, although it can be very socially liberal.
The Notting Hill set have got their man as leader, the Orange book ‘Young Turks’ are biding with Menzies Campbell for a term, and odds have fallen on leadership contenders to Brown.
Filed by Sam Coates, Deputy Editor