Like What a Carve Up!, The Rotters’ Club (2001) and The Closed Circle (2004) involve social and political satire and can be regarded as state-of-the-nation novels. The Rotters’ Club portrays England in the 1970s, in particular the dismantling of post-war consensus, the shift towards capitalism, the crisis in the car industry, the stifling of trade unions — which still ‘had real power in those days’ (176) — as well as the growth of ultranationalist and neo-fascist organizations. The Closed Circle deals with the disillusionment provoked by the New Labour of Tony Blair in the 2000s, when most people ‘still believe that they’ve voted in a left-wing party. Whereas really they’ve just voted for another five years of Thatcherism. Ten years. Fifteen, even’ (130). Both novels show that Coe resents the economic ideology people have come to take for granted in Britain: ‘Thatcherism, Majorism, Blairism, Brownism — it doesn’t matter how you label it’ (2013d).
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