Search results

Lord Parkinson

Commentary 1 Lord Parkinson The reform of the Conservative Party The reform of the Conservative Party Lord Parkinson When William Hague appeared on the platform at the 2001 Conservative Party conference, he was greeted by a wave of sympathy which extended far beyond the audience at Blackpool. This was more than the usual reaction to a plucky underdog: it was a well-deserved testimony to the dignity which had marked William’s conduct since the 2001 general election. Perhaps the public had begun to appreciate some of William’s qualities. The pity is that the

in The Conservatives in Crisis
The Tories after 1997
Editors: Mark Garnett and Philip Lynch

The Conservative Party's survival as a significant political force was now open to serious question for the first time since the crisis over the Corn Laws. The Labour Party has commanded a fairly consistent level of attention, whether in office or in opposition. But it seems that the Conservatives are fated to be regarded either as unavoidable or irrelevant. This book presents an analysis that suggests that the party leader plays a less important role in Conservative recoveries than a distinctive policy programme and an effective party organization. It examines the Conservative position on a series of key issues, highlighting the difficult dilemmas which confronted the party after 1997, notably on economic policy. New Labour's acceptance of much of the main thrust of Thatcherite economic policy threw the Conservatives off balance. The pragmatism of this new position and the 'In Europe, not run by Europe' platform masked a significant move towards Euro-skepticism. The book also traces how the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Parties adapted to the creation of the Scottish Parliament, exploring the re-organisation of the Scottish party, its electoral fortunes and political prospects in the new Scottish politics. It examines issues of identity and nationhood in Conservative politics in the 1997-2001 period, focusing on the 'English Question' and the politics of 'race'. The predictable results of the Conservatives' failure to develop an attractive, consistent narrative are then analysed. Right-wing populist parties with charismatic leaders enjoyed some electoral success under the proportional representation systems in 2002.

A comparative analysis
Stuart Ball

1 Stuart Ball The Conservatives in opposition, 1906–79 The Conservatives in opposition, 1906–79: a comparative analysis Stuart Ball The experience of being in opposition for a lengthy period is not one which the modern Conservative Party is used to, and it has tended to find it difficult. Since the 1880s, the Conservatives have grown accustomed to being seen – and to see themselves – as the party of government. They have been in office for so much of the period that exercising power has seemed to be the natural state of affairs, and this adds to Conservative

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Peter Dorey

7 Peter Dorey Conservative policy under Hague Conservative policy under Hague Peter Dorey The Tories have published any number of pre-manifesto documents, only to rip them up and start all over again in the manner of a panic-stricken student sitting an exam that he knows he will fail.1 The Conservative Party encountered considerable difficulty in crafting a coherent package of policies once in opposition after the 1997 election defeat. Much of this difficulty derived from the ideological uncertainty which afflicted the Conservative Party during this period

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Open Access (free)
Mark Garnett and Philip Lynch

appeal at the disillusioned voters of ‘Middle England’. The Conservative Party’s survival as a significant political force was now open to serious question for the first time since the crisis over the Corn Laws. John Major resigned as Conservative leader immediately after the election and a number of potential successors lost their seats in the landslide. By electing William Hague as leader, Conservative MPs handed the daunting challenge of restoring the fortunes of a shattered party to the youngest and least experienced of the leadership candidates. This volume

in The Conservatives in Crisis
So, no change there then?
David Broughton

and flogger’ 2 – provides incontrovertible evidence of a party in turmoil. For these reasons, amongst others considered elsewhere in this volume, the current state of the Conservative Party remains one of inherent and considerable interest as the party slowly mounts a recovery effort under Iain Duncan Smith. There appears, at last, to be a degree of recognition within the party leadership at least that the terrain of successful electoral politics in Britain has changed radically since the halcyon days for the party in the 1980s. With a very different terrain, the

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Ideology and the Conservative Party, 1997–2001
Mark Garnett

6 Mark Garnett Ideology and the Conservative Party A question of definition? Ideology and the Conservative Party, 1997–2001 Mark Garnett In the wake of election defeats in 1970, 1974 and 1979 both the Labour Party and the Conservatives held prolonged inquests into the reasons for their apparent failures in office. These debates – which were often extremely bitter – focused on the underlying principles which had informed the performance of each party. In each case critics claimed that governments had been guilty of ideological betrayal. In 1970 and 1979 Labour

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

conservatism from its intellectual and cultural roots in the eighteenth century to current developments in the early twenty-first century. Considerable attention is given to the historical experiences of conservative parties, especially in Britain, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, experiences that have been at least as significant in the development of conservative ideology as particular individual

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Open Access (free)
The Conservatives in crisis
Philip Lynch and Mark Garnett

Philip Lynch and Mark Garnett Conclusions Conclusions: the Conservatives in crisis Philip Lynch and Mark Garnett Recent British political history has been, to borrow Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown’s beloved phrase, one of ‘Tory boom and bust’. The change in the fortunes of the Conservative Party since 1992 is remarkable. Holding office alone or in coalition for two-thirds of the twentieth century, the Conservatives were considered the ‘natural party of government’. Even when they met serious setbacks in 1945, 1964 and 1974 (twice), they managed a rapid return

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Richard Kelly

. As Alan Clark MP noted, ‘the Conservative Party is now like a defeated and invaded country, where the old power structures are shattered and the old currency useless’.1 The lessons of 1997 After the 1997 defeat, Conservatives were inclined to argue that faulty organisation – particularly in respect of their extra-parliamentary wings – formed a key reason for the dismal showing. This is not to say they discounted their shortcomings in government or the advent of New Labour, but there was a clear sense that the enormity of the defeat could have been avoided had the

in The Conservatives in Crisis