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The new politicsLiberal Conservatism or same old Tories?$
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Peter King

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428547

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428547.001.0001

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Reacting to change

Reacting to change

(p.63) Three Reacting to change
The new politics

Peter King

Policy Press

UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron justified modernizing his party on the basis that it needed to appeal to Britain as it was, and not how it used to be or how the party might wish it to be. This is therefore merely a form of reaction, of responding to circumstance, even if the outcome is to claim a progressive agenda. A politician would find little support when they claim to be in favour of transition, or a dislocation, or to suggest that people should remain in that nether state between two points. But this is what change or progress actually amounts to. This chapter discusses the reaction and traditionalism as a political idea. It looks at the idea of conservation and assesses whether reaction has any appeal at all. It opens up the question of whether what David Cameron is doing is really the polar opposite of reaction. It examines how far the decision to form a coalition was based on a shared progressive agenda and how much was actually a reaction to circumstance.

Keywords:   conservative, Britain, progressive, reaction, politician, transition

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