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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.

From disaster to devolution and beyond
Peter Lynch

September 1997, so that Conservative opposition to a Scottish Parliament became an anachronism and devolution was set to become a reality. The party’s prospects took an upward turn when it gained seats in the new Scottish Parliament in the May election of 1999 and from then on, it has faced a radically different political environment to that which existed previously. After 1999, bereft of Westminster representation, the devolved parliament was the only show in town for the Tories north of the Border, with an untested leader, a weakened party organisation, declining levels

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

it was expected that the people would embrace devolution enthusiastically, there was to be a parliament with extensive legislative powers. The Scots were also to be offered some control over taxation. In Wales, where approval was not ensured, it was decided that legislative power could not be devolved and there was to be much less financial flexibility there. This proved to be a wise device. Nothing less than a Scottish Parliament would do for the nationalists there, but the Welsh might certainly be frightened off if too much power were offered. The second

in Understanding British and European political issues
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

Scotland, to establish political union. But it was English power that brought about this union. After the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, King James I of England (and VI of Scotland) frequently used the term ‘British’ to describe his new realm. After the union of the English and Scottish parliaments in 1707 the terms ‘British’ and ‘British nation’ became increasingly

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Open Access (free)
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

Parliament MSP Member of the Scottish Parliament PR Proportional Representation STV Single Transferable Vote USA United States of America USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Political parties ADR/CADJ Action Committee for Democracy and Justice (Luxembourg)/Aktiounskomitee fir Demokratie a Gerechtegkeet; Comité d’Action pour la Démocratie et la Justice AGALEV

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Geoffrey K. Roberts and Patricia Hogwood

both houses and obtain royal assent. The House of Lords may delay legislation by up to a year. The prime minister may ask the monarch to dissolve Parliament at any time. Following legislation enacted in 1998, a system of devolution was introduced to the UK with the election of two new chambers in May 1999: the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. UK devolution is open-ended and is expected later to

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

represents a huge shift in power away from London. The Scottish parliament became a centre of power away from London which had not been seen in Britain since it had last been abolished in 1707. The Welsh, meanwhile, had never had a true government of their own, so this was a unique political development for them. Devolution of power to Northern Ireland was part of the wider Good Friday Agreement of 1998. It was essential for the possibilities of a long-term peaceful settlement there. All the sectarian groups needed some political representation and this was provided. At

in Understanding British and European political issues
Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Emma Jackson and Roiyah Saltus

Westminster imposition on (a more welcoming) Scotland. The Herald newspaper published an editorial that argued: ‘The Scottish Parliament should make clear that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable in Scotland. Perhaps it's time to tell the UKBA to “Go home” ’ (Herald View, 2013 ). This is just one example of how the campaign was used to distinguish between a punitive British state and a possible alternative Scottish approach, one that

in Go home?
Philip Lynch

matters when English MPs had no say on equivalent matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament? – undermined the Union and raised the spectre of an English backlash. Hague believed that an emerging English political identity might be productively harnessed, but was wary of both breaking too sharply with the party’s Unionist tradition or lurching towards an extreme English nationalist position. A review of policy on constitutional reform would explore four options: strengthening local government; reducing the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster; restricting the voting

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

now a serious problem to the Tories, who had benefited historically from their image as a patriotic party defending the British nation state. In addition to their internal troubles on ‘Europe’, the 1997 general election left the Conservatives without a single seat in Scotland and rendered their opposition to legislative devolution untenable. Peter Lynch 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

in The Conservatives in Crisis