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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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The same old Tories

The same old Tories

(p.111) Five The same old Tories
The new politics

Peter King

Policy Press

The Conservatives in the 1970s and 2010 called for change, but they did this without articulating an overarching vision. It has also been observed that the Conservatives in 1976 and 2010 sought to restore faith in politics. This chapter compares David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher, and more specifically, the pitches they made in their first election campaigns. These two politicians were the last two Conservative Prime Ministers to take over from a Labour government; 1979 and 2010 were the last two occasions when the two main parties switched between government and opposition. This chapter presents three key documents relating to the Cameron government: the 2010 Conservative Election Manifesto (Conservative Party, 2010a); A Contract Between the Conservative Party and You (Conservative Party, 2010b) and the Coalition Agreement (Cabinet Office, 2010). These documents contains some sense of what the coalition is about, what they intend to do, and how much of this comes from the Conservative side of the arrangement. It also presents two other documents published by the Conservative party in the period prior to the 1979 election: The Right Approach (Conservative Party, 1976) and the 1979 Election Manifesto (Conservative Party, 1979). These documents will allow for a similar consideration of what the Conservatives intended prior to 1979. This chapter contends that successful Conservatives can appear to offer a new politics while remaining the ‘same old Tories’. It argues that that such as model of pragmatism fits entirely within the conventional view of conservatism.

Keywords:   Conservative, election, 1979 election, David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher

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