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How do you know the Tories are finished? There’s not a single person left to defend their record | Owen Jones

This stretch of Conservative rule has been so destructive that even allies have called it ‘the worst government ever’

And so ends a unique failure in British democratic history. Any political incumbent can expect to have passionate detractors. They can normally count, however, on having equally committed champions. Not so for this Conservative reign. The party will leave government with even the most tribal Tories struggling to champion its successes. This era will be recorded by history as one of failure, whatever political standpoint you look at it from.

No other party has left office so lacking in true believers. Take New Labour, which claimed to marry social justice and market capitalism. The criticisms of its record practically write themselves. Public services were undermined by the private finance initiative, which saddled NHS trusts with lasting debts. There was the bloody turmoil in Iraq, the rolling back of civil liberties, and what Gordon Brown later admitted was a “big mistake”: the government’s approach to bank regulation in the run-up to the 2008 financial crash.

Owen Jones is a Guardian columnist

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