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The politics of modernisation and manipulation

This book provides a new and distinctive interpretation on the political strategy of David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. Rather than offering a chronological overview of his leadership, or a policy-based approach, the book assesses Cameronism via two themes – modernisation and manipulation. In terms of the modernisation the book will examine the following. First, how Cameron attempted to detoxify the negative image of the Conservatives. Second, how Cameron sought to delegitimise Labour as a party of government by deflecting the blame on austerity onto the legacy of Labour in office. Third, how Cameron used the Big Society narrative as a means of reducing the perceived responsibilities of the state. In terms of manipulation the book will evaluate Cameronism in relation to coalition government, and the exploitation of the Liberal Democrats will be examined, notably in relation to austerity, tuition fees and electoral reform. Cameronism will also be examined in relation the challenges to the existing political order by considering the demands for Scottish independence, and the rise of UKIP and the case for a referendum on continued European Union membership. Through this dual emphasis on modernisation and manipulation the book will provide an exploration of the key events and issues that defined the premiership of David Cameron, and a clear overview of his successes and failures as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. The book will be essential reading to those interested in British party politics and prime ministerial leadership.

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Introduction The political likeness attained a remarkable popularity and cultural resonance between 1830 and 1880. Portraits and political cartoons were produced commercially on an ever-increasing scale. The proliferation of likenesses was not simply due to the exploitation of new visual technologies, but clearly answered a very real demand. This book examines the role of political likenesses in a halfcentury that was crucial for the political modernisation of Britain, in which the electorate gradually expanded, a two-party system began to take shape and

in Politics personified
Portraiture, caricature and visual culture in Britain, c. 1830–80

This book examines the role of political likenesses in a half-century that was crucial for the political modernisation of Britain, a two-party system that began to take shape and politicians became increasingly accountable and responsive to public opinion. Political language, especially electoral rhetoric, has been accorded considerable weight by recent studies in building broad coalitions of political support in popular and electoral politics. The book studies political likenesses, the key mode of visual politics at this time, as part of a nuanced analysis of contemporary political culture and the nature of the representative system. It examines a diverse range of material including woven silk portraiture, oil paintings, numismatics and medals, banners, ceramics, statuary and memorials as well as items printed on paper or card. After an analysis of the visual culture spawned by the reform bills of 1831-1832, the book shows how Conservative and Liberal/Reformer identities were visualised through semi-official series of portrait prints. The pictorial press, photographs and portrait testimonials, statues and memorials, MPs were venerated as independent representatives and champions of particular localities, trades, interests or issues, and not party hacks. Depictions of Lord Palmerston and his rivals, including Lord John Russell and Lord Derby, in the 1850s and 1860s often underplayed in pictorial representations to emphasise physical and political vigour. The role of political portraits and cartoons in the decade after the passing of the 1867 Representation of the People Act is also discussed.

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The introduction identifies the significance of the political leadership of David Cameron to our understanding of contemporary British politics. It will argue that the politics of Cameronism can be seen through the dual lens of political modernisation and manipulation. In terms of political modernisation, the introduction will identify the importance of the following: first, how Cameron sought to detoxify the negative image of the Conservative Party and promote a more socially liberal brand of modern Conservatism; second, how Cameron sought to apportion blame for the economic crash on the Labour Party to delegitimise them; and third, how Cameron sought to utilise perceptions of economic and social decline to make the case for a shift from Big Government and towards a new narrative of the Big Society – which amounted to a form of depoliticisation. In terms of political manipulation the introduction will identify how understanding Cameronism requires an examination of the coalition relations in terms of policy, personnel and legislative behaviour. It will also identify the challenges facing Cameron caused by the rise of multi-party politics – i.e. the Liberal Democrats and electoral reform, the Scottish National Party and Scottish independence, and UKIP and continued membership of the European Union.

in Cameron
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Radicalism and renewal 1959–64

This chapter considers the responses of liberal nationalist opinion to the debacle of the 1959 Westminster election. It looks at the establishment of National Unity and its attempts to promote nationalism as a broader progressive secular movement which would reach out to Protestants. The clash between these reformers and the Nationalist Party orthodoxy is examined. The chapter also discusses the changed political context of the 1960s, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which gave grounds for National Unity’s increased optimism that a new era of political modernisation was possible. It argues that despite the novelty of the moderate language of the respective premiers North and South (Capt Terrence O’Neill and Sean Lemass) the potential to displace the more traditionally entrenched and regressive positions of Irish Nationalism and Ulster Unionism was less likely than it appeared. It concludes that by the mid-1960s the Nationalist Party was faced with a rising tide of disillusioned young Catholic professionals who were increasingly vocal in their criticism of the Party’s failed and dated strategies.

in The politics of constitutional nationalism in Northern Ireland, 1932–70

internal divisions and tensions. The two series were one of the ways in which the visual image of politicians was refashioned in a more respectful and positive way in the 1830s. Miller_PoliticsPersonified_Printer.indd 52 23/09/2014 11:54 Party politics and portraiture 53 Party politics and political modernisation, 1832–41 Although historians have long debated the impact of the 1832 Reform Act in areas such as voter enfranchisement, there is now something of a consensus that it led to the ‘political modernisation’ of England: that is, the creation of a two

in Politics personified

When the forces of economic and political modernisation of the late eighteenth century began to take hold in Ireland, the urge to articulate a distinct and competitive national cultural history fuelled a discourse on the distinctiveness of Ireland’s ‘ancient music’. Giraldus’s observations became a touchstone for further elaboration. Works such as Charles O’Conor’s Dissertations on the History of Ireland (1755), Joseph Cooper Walker’s Historical Memory of the Irish Bards (1786) and Charlotte Brooke’s Reliques of Irish Poetry (1789) pioneered the engineering of an

in Are the Irish different?
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helping those less fortunate than oneself.24 In the case of Britain, from the late 1800s onwards, Anglican liberal politics comingled with Whiggish party politics as a key force in political modernisation (Brent, 1987). Secondly, there is Britain’s liberalism, articulated initially through ‘pragmatic’ thinking about civil society, order, and the market in writing by thinkers such as Adam Smith, J. S. Mill, Jeremy Bentham; and subsequently by politicians, campaign organisations, cultural producers, and the media (Mehta, 1999; Muthu, 2003; Pitts, 2005). Writers such as

in The African presence

Party of Working People) in 1942 resulted in a more inclusive communist movement that adopted enosis , pushing the right/nationalists into the inflexible ‘ enosis and only enosis ’ position, which led it to reject British constitutional proposals. 22 This lack of representative institutions (since they were suspended in 1931 and rejected in 1946) and the halt to political modernisation in Cyprus partly explains the recourse to violence in 1955 by EOKA – the political elites in Cyprus had no experience of

in Comic empires
Setting the scene

declarations. Commitment to material development, human rights and social or political modernisation assumed that they were universally applicable and desirable goals. It shaped the politics of postcolonial states, international agencies and professional, largely western, ‘experts’. Confidence that knowledge and reason should be the basis for improving lives in any society, and that ‘prosperity’, ‘justice’ or ‘progress’ were, or should be, the same everywhere, reached back to eighteenth-century European thought on progress and human needs. Of course, many reformers

in Empire and history writing in Britain c.1750–2012