Peter Hitchen’s thesis in The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost its Way is that Britain’s political parties have become almost indistinguishable, that all subscribe to the same broken-down failed leftist ideologies. A self-serving political class dangerously out of touch with reality and regarding the aspirations of ordinary people with contempt is concerned more with maintaining power by sleazy back-room deals than with anything approaching real democracy.
Britain’s political parties have betrayed their own grass-roots organisations and have become increasingly centralised and undemocratic.
He is equally critical of the media. He makes the point that to see public opinion polls as reflecting public opinion is getting things around the wrong way – the purpose of public opinion polls is to manipulate public opinion.
Hichens combines all this with a kind of autobiography documenting his own increasing disillusionment with the leftist politics of his youth.
Hichens’ analysis has relevance also to countries like Australia where politics is headed in the same direction, dominated by the same self-serving elites and just as out of touch as they are in Britain.
An excellent and very provocative book.