Politicians tend to become grandiose when they are trying to sell us an idea. The rhetorical use of the concept of 'nation' to corral us together under a conveniently high-sounding label has, in recent months, tried to sign us up to being both 'one nation' and an 'aspiration nation.'
With 'the big three' parties all singing from the same austerity hymn sheet and promising cuts in social security that differ mainly in degree, says Simon Barrow, it is surely the most vulnerable in society who are set to be the biggest losers from the conference season political jamborees.
The Occupy protests, environmental movements and civic revolutions across the world are suggesting that there is a whole world of politics available outwith the narrow party perspectives that still dominate the electoral machinery of Western democracies, says Simon Barrow. Party posturing is looking increasingly irrelevant. A spirit of change is in the air.