MORALISM, EXPERIENCE AND POLITICS The crisis in the mid-1970s and the abilities of Thatcherism in the 1980s to take a moral and political initiative have brought much rethinking and openness on the Left. People are beginning to talk to each other. There is less of the sectarian grip. People are more openly confused about how Thatcherism has managed to construct such a lasting political hegemony while the Left had seemed blind to the implications of widespread structural changes. Somehow people are ready to ask more basic questions, especially under the influence of the women’s, gay, lesbian and ecology movements. It is when people find themselves in a ‘political situation’, like a conference, that the old sectarian reflexes seem to operate.