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Ferdinand Mount

British political philosopher and constitutional commentator, former head of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's policy unit, editor of the London Times Literary Supplement, editor of the respected collection of essays on communism entitled Communism (1993), author of Subversive Family (1992) and other works

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The Subversive Family (1992)
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What the world needs now is more Americans. The U.S. is the first nation on earth deliberately dedicated to letting people choose what they want and giving them a chance to get it. For all its terrible faults, in one sense America is still the last, best hope of mankind, because it spells out so vividly the kind of happiness that most people actually want, regardless of what they are told they ought to want. We criticize, copy, patronize, idolize and insult but we never doubt that the U.S. has a unique position in the history of human hopes. For it is the only nation founded solely on a moral dream. A part of our own future is tied up in it and the greatest of all gifts the Americans have given us is hope.

Jul. 5, 1976 - from an editorial in the London Daily Mail, quoted by Ronald Reagan in his radio address of Sep. 21, 1976
There is ... genuine virtue in the relative poverty of our political parties and the relative independence of their constituency associations. I cannot help believing that both the poverty and the independence would wither under most systems of Proportional Representation (PR). At the same time, the management of government under a PR system also has an introverted quality, which amounts to a further kind of centralisation. It is not simply that the electors cannot foresee and have no control over the policy trading between the parties which negotiate the virtually inevitable coalition after the election. If the coalition is to prosper, the eyes of its leaders must be constantly on the mood of their junior coalition partners, rather than on the mood of the nation; by contrast, a British Prime Minister or an American President in their simpler systems will be paying close attention to what the voters as a whole are saying. The conversation between governors and governed is more straightforward, more transparent.

May 11, 1992 - from "The Recovery of the Constitution", a lecture sponsored by Britain's Charter88 organization