Britain Invitations to the Dance

As the new third force in politics, Liberal Democrats may end up as partners to be wooed in national life

At his 1961 Inauguration John Kennedy proclaimed that the torch of leadership had passed to "a new generation of Americans, born in this century." In 1992 Britain's torch is passing decisively to a new class of Britons, brought up without an elite schooling or the right accent. Britain has had leaders of humble origins before, but next week's election is a milestone. For the first time, none of the chief standard-bearers are products of those ancient mills of correct breeding, Oxford and Cambridge. Of the Cinderellas awaiting the nation's hand, moreover, none looks likelier to dance all night than a newcomer...

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