1) In the long read (A Zombie Party, 28th May 2019), Beckett argues that ‘conservatism’ is in decline and decay. But, Beckett ignores and does not mention that only after 2016 Presidential election, we see Conservatives and Republicans (2016-Present) run both sides of the Atlantic for the first time in twenty five years.
Since 1992-2016, there has never been a year when ‘conservative’ governments controlled both sides of the Atlantic. The pairing since 1992 is: Conservatives and Democrats (1992-1997); Labour and Democrats (1997-2000); Labour and Republicans (2000-2008), Labour and Democrats (2008-2010); and Conservatives and Democrats (2010-2016).
If Beckett’s argument is correct, that political conservatism is in decline, then we would not see, for the first time in twenty five years, ‘conservative’ governments on both sides of the Atlantic. Beckett does not resolve, explain or even mention this contradiction.
2) Beckett argues that even when conservative governments have won, their victory is either narrow, or suspect. Beckett says that the ‘partisan supreme-court ruling’ aided Bush in 2000, Cameron relied on the ‘last minute coalition’ in 2010, and ‘Russia assistance’ aided Trump’s victory. Even if we assume these assertions to be correct, what about 2004 when Bush won a majority, or 2015 when Cameron won a majority. For Bush’s victory, Beckett uses a quote from Karl Rove, Bush’s strategist: ‘We [the Bush administration] create our own reality’. For Cameron’s victory, Beckett suggests that it was ‘in part because the Conservative disregard for the facts was shared by much of the right wing press, and by the wider public.’ I think these two reasons are very weak explanations. Especially because, these two reasons can be used to explain any victory, without relying on any historical context.