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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 new Tories

The same new Tories

(p.139) Six The same new Tories
The new politics

Peter King

Policy Press

Conservatism is seen as an attempt to preserve what is valuable, but the British Conservative party now consider themselves to be both liberal and progressive. Conservative Party leader David Cameron has sought to distance his party and himself from more traditional rightwing ideas, much to the disgruntlement of some media commentators and party members. Most offensive of all has been the forming of a coalition with an apparently left of centre party and then claiming to represent a new politics that leaves behind narrow party interest. The Conservative–Liberal Democrat government led by Cameron is the only form of Conservative government on offer: the die-hards might not much like what they got in May 2010, but the alternative was more of the Labour party. This chapter makes conclusions on the nature of Conservatism and what to make of Cameron's new politics. It concludes that Cameron does represent a new politics, but this is what is expected from the ‘same old Tories’. It argues that despite the considerable complexity of its effect: politics is always new. The Conservatives in 2010 are the same old Tories, and the new politics of the coalition with the Liberal Democrats merely proves this.

Keywords:   Conservatism, coalition, Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat, Labour party, politics

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