We suspected it, now political lobbyist Dr Stuart Thomson, who grew up in Tenterden, has published a book claiming that Socialism in Europe is dead.
The Social Democratic Dilemma, published by Macmillan, details how social democratic parties in Western Europe have converged towards a single model that has at its heart, the unregulated market economy.
Dr Thomson disputes the distinctiveness of such parties in the modern environment, writing that there is little that separates them from their right wing competitors.
Research involved talking to a range of top politicians, policy advisers, academics, journalists and think tanks.
The book is being published in Britain and America.
Dr Thomson is a government relations expert who works with DLA Upstream, an international association of law firms.
He has also been installed as an honorary research fellow at the University of Aberdeen, and this work forms the latest in a series that includes the Dictionary of Labour Quotations.
He says: “The results of this work have a number of direct implications for social democratic parties.
“The nature of their policies, how they retain their core electorate and how they work with their European sister parties are all thrown into question.
“These parties have a lot more in common than they care to admit.”
Dr Thomson went to Homewood School from 1983 90 and studied for GCSEs and A levels.
He worked on Saturdays in Potters of East Cross, the television and hi fi specialists.
Then he went on to study at the University of Aberdeen, completing his degree in Economics and Politics MA Hons, before gaining a PhD in Political Science – the research for his doctorate formed the basis of the book.
He was awarded a small grant from the Tenterden Charities during that time, which enabled him to undertake a field study of the French Presidential Elections in 1995.
His parents live in Tilden Gill Road, Tenterden.
Lord Tim Clement Jones, head of DLA Upstream, says: “Work of this type is very important in the development of political parties.
“There is insufficient work being undertaken into the aims and values of the modern Labour Party – Stuart’s work helps to bridge that gap.”
Kentish Express, August 10, 2000