It may sometimes be tempting to dismiss the Conservatives in Britain as, at heart and in gut, a radical, government slashing, tax cutting, culturally reactionary party committed to dismantling everything about the welfare state and the social market. There are certainly some Tories who flirt, and more, with such ideas, though most of them don't have much influence in government. But in most of the party, sometimes uneasily, these impulses are held in check, especially at the top, by overwhelming political and economic realities.

If, though, you want to see a party that really is all these things and proud of it, look across the ocean to the US Republicans, who meet in Tampa this week, tropical storms permitting, to endorse Mitt Romney as their challenger to Barack Obama in November. If it's radical rightwing politics you want, then the Republicans of the post-Tea Party era embody them. Politically speaking, it's a different world.

Going into their 2012 convention, the Republicans are a party in which there is no significant internal division over the claim that taxes must be slashed, that all government programmes other than defence must be cut, that the government economic stimulus should be undone, the federal pension system privatised, the federal healthcare insurance law abolished, that climate change is a hoax, that a high wall should be built along America's southern border, that abortion in all but the tiniest exceptions should be a crime, that gun control laws are a threat to freedom, that civil partnerships and gay marriage should be outlawed, that Iran's nuclear programme should be destroyed and more Jewish settlements encouraged in the occupied Palestinian territories. Oh, and a lot of them still think Mr Obama isn't really an American too, while Mr Romney is a member of a church that believes Jesus travelled to America.