Big business can no longer take the support of conservative parties for granted.

The 1990s saw a great uncoupling between left-wing parties and big labor, with President Bill Clinton embracing free trade and Wall Street and Prime Minister Tony Blair ditching Clause 4 (which committed the Labour Party to nationalization) and tea and sandwiches in Number Ten with trade union bosses. Are we now witnessing an equally momentous change on the other side of the divide: an uncoupling between conservative parties and big business?

In America, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has dismissed the Chamber of Commerce as irrelevant — “I didn’t even know the chamber was around anymore” — while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has criticized big business for trying to act like a “woke parallel government.” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has lamented the way that “business profits have become increasingly estranged from production and employment”; Jeff Sessions, a former senator for Alabama, has argued that the belief that business leaders “understand the economy best” and have “America’s national interest at heart” is “flawed and dangerous”; and J.D. Vance, a would-be senator for Ohio, has tweeted that the legacy of Reaganite-Thatcherite conservatism is “the rise of China, the decimation of the American family, and a lot of tax cuts for the rich.”

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