A decade ago, the issue of immigration was something that those thugs in the British National Party kept raising. It was a subject the mainstream parties and the media treated with kid gloves for fear of being politically incorrect. The shadow of Enoch Powell’s “river of blood” speech, made nearly half a century ago, had cast a long shadow. Not anymore. Communities which have seen their neighbourhoods change out of all recognition have demanded to be heard. Under pressure from UKIP, all the parties now want to clamp down on immigration but don’t really know how to do so or whether it is a good thing to do.
Euroscepticism is on the march. Although it is still not in the top ten of most people’s priorities, the Murdoch press, an obsessed group of Tory MPs and UKIP have succeeded in panicking the Prime Minister into a referendum promise that could well see us out of Europe in the next decade.
It has been a decade when opinion has generally moved to the right. Take climate change. The bold pronouncements ten years ago that government was going to take effective action through carbon taxes and renewable energy have faded. This is due to a number of factors including customer resistance to high energy prices, planning objections to wind farms and scepticism that climate change is happening despite the evidence of a decade of extreme weather.