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Older Britons don’t want to return to a “golden past”—but they do want to press the “stop” button

Whether political leaders can deliver this for them is uncertain

By Sophie Gaston  

Oxford Street in the 1960s. Photo: Clint Mann

Ever since the seismic shock of the 2016 referendum, Westminster has been preoccupied with defending the “will of the people”—with both sides asserting a supreme interpretation of citizens’ deepest impulses. This hyper-consciousness of public opinion deepens a process that had been developing over many years. But this especially rabid modern tendency to justify or condemn political actions around the perceived expectations of the people obscures this fact: the electorate has never felt more difficult to read.

One reason for this is…

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