My ferociously anti-Tory friend, Johann Hari, lobs another rhetorical grenade at the Etonian facade of the New Tories. Johann thinks Thatcherism is about to make a come-back:

The council here told people that if they took away services like this, there would be volunteers; if the state withered away, people would start to provide the services for each other. But nobody opened their home to Jane, or volunteered to feed Debbie, or started a new youth club on their own time and with their own money. The state retreated and the service collapsed. It's a rebranding trick. The Conservatives know that shutting down public services sounds cruel, while calling for volunteerism sounds kind – but the effect is exactly the same. It's as if Marie Antoinette called in Max Clifford, and he told her to stop saying "Let them eat cake" and start saying: "Let them form a workers' co-operative to distribute cake on a voluntary basis."

Meanwhile, Britain's debt piles higher - because 13 years of Labour's reckless spending has neither solved the country's social problems nor stabilized the country's economy.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.