Sometimes it helps to approach politics from a sideways direction - from a different perspective you can see the old political issues - why was the British Labour government from 1997 to 2010 so awful in so many ways (only of course to be far surpassed by our current Tory-Lib Dem nightmare)? - in new ways.
Owen Hatherley in A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain approaches from the direction of architecture, and very enlightening, if depressing, that direction turns out to be - helped by a wry, not infrequently laugh-out-loud dry sarcasm and a minimum use of professional jargon. He's on form on the Science Centre in Glasgow - "If we really need these comprehensive redevelopment-trailing enclaves of titanium tat housing interactive experiences to patronise pre-teens (and I see no reason why we do), then this is one of the better examples."
Despite the general lack of jargon, I did, however, learn a new term, Googie, for architecture that originated in American Forties to Sixties roadside diners and coffee shops, designed to catch the eye of passing motorists, and which Hatherley traces through "radical" architecture to the typical boring but "enlivened" by weird roof shapes and odd bits poking out or off kilter that characterises a mean and poky "luxury flat complex" that's bound to be located near you - "its forbears are in the aesthetics of consumption and advertising, its forms designed to be seen at great speed, not in serene contemplation. It should not surprise us that a style of consumption would return under neoliberalism, but the formal affinities of Pseudomodernism with this aesthetic offers an alternative explanation for what often seems an arbitrary play of forms. By drawing on the futurism of the McCarthy era, the architecture of the equally conformist neoliberal consensus establishes a link between two eras of political stagnation and technological acceleration. It also allows us to reinterpret what purports to be an aesthetic of edification as one of consumption.... The architecture once described as deconstructivist owes less to Derrida than it does to McDonald's."