Jeffrey Simpson writes that, in what used to be called "The White Commonwealth," Margaret Thatcher's children are in charge:
Mrs. Thatcher’s children, intellectually speaking, are prime ministers in four countries: Tony Abbott in Australia, Stephen Harper in Canada, David Cameron in Britain and John Key in New Zealand.
They are obviously not carbon copies of the Iron Lady, as their respective countries’ different political and economic circumstances require different approaches. But these conservative prime ministers are Thatcherites at heart. They see the state more as an impediment to growth and social progress than an asset, they think tax rates are too high and they believe the private sector can run most things most efficiently.
None of these leaders are what we used to call "moderate conservatives:"
In Australia, if one goes back a few conservative leaders, one recalls Malcolm Fraser and Robert Menzies. Canada had Robert Stanfield, Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. In the United States, there were the northeastern “Rockefeller” Republicans. And in Britain, there were Mrs. Thatcher’s “wets,” who she replaced, banished or marginalized – men such as Edward Heath, Michael Heseltine and Francis Pym.
Like the Iron Lady, they believe that "there is no such thing as society." And so, they don't look to government to solve problems; nor do they have the vision to solve them.
With the future of the planet in the balance -- as Britain floods and Australia burns -- they have no solutions.