Professor Martin Smith
“The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?”
Her rejection of consensus is seen as a reflection of her leadership and her ability to stand by principles, unlike the modern day political leaders driven by opinion polls and focus groups. Indeed, for Tony Benn her saying and doing what she believed was an indication of her authenticity as a leader. Yet, in all this approval of her forthright beliefs little or no thought has been given to the democratic and, indeed, policy implications of this approach. What her approach illustrates is the problematic relationship of the British political system to democracy.