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The Tories after 1997
Editors: and

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.

Open Access (free)
Mark Garnett
Philip Lynch

for the 1997 landslide. As Dorey shows, New Labour’s acceptance of much of the main thrust of Thatcherite economic policy threw the Conservatives off 4 Mark Garnett and Philip Lynch balance; as a result, instead of outbidding New Labour on the ideological right, or returning to a One Nation position which jettisoned the tax-cutting agenda, they tried to face both ways at once. ‘Europe’, particularly the question of British membership of the single currency, was for many Conservatives the most significant issue facing the party. Hague quickly ruled out British

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Richard Hayton

focus on public services could sit alongside a fundamentally Thatcherite economic policy – quickly died a death as the party (from the leader downwards) did not yet have the stomach for its possible implications. 2001–5: neo-Thatcherism continued Iain Duncan Smith’s tenure as leader of the Conservative Party is an important (and underanalysed) phase in this thirteen-year period of opposition, as it saw a more determined effort to begin the process of policy renewal and strategic reorientation. As noted in Chapter 3, some important steps were taken in this regard

in Reconstructing conservatism?
Abstract only
Lez Cooke

Midlands, of the English Regions, was downgraded, and it was never the same again. The people that followed didn’t have the power to manage their own budgets, to make their own choices, to develop their own talent and it was like a Golden Age that came to an end then.4 Industrial circumstances were beginning to change in the early 1980s, in television as in other industries, as Thatcherite economic policies began to take effect. As Philip Martin highlights, subsequent Heads of Department at English Regions Drama ‘didn’t have the power to manage their own budgets, to

in A sense of place
Martin Steven

introspection. The obvious candidate to succeed Major had been Kenneth Clarke, the likeable and experienced former Chancellor. Interestingly, it was not Clarke's views on socio-economic policies that prevented him from being elected; he had, after all, been in charge of government departments in the areas of both health and education that had introduced internal markets and a business model to schools, universities and hospitals for the first time, putting him very much in the frontline of delivering Thatcherite economic policies. Rather, it was the fact his views were

in The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR)
Joseph Oldham

British television dramas of the early 1980s. This dramatised the plight of a group of unemployed Liverpool labourers, examining the effect of Thatcherite economic policies on the industrial north. Although situated within a fundamentally different genre to Bird of Prey, Boys from the Blackstuff in many ways explored the flipside of the same political concerns, exchanging Jay’s professional white-collar perspective on the corruption of global finance for a more grounded perspective on how such economic shifts affected the working class. Through these productions

in Paranoid visions
Dave Rolinson

one of Clarke’s most political films. After documenting the effects of Thatcherite economic policy on the dispossessed, Clarke now portrays the thought processes of those who shared their world-view, making The Firm his most overt Rolinson_AC_04_Chap 3 140 17/5/05, 9:07 am Form and narrative in the 1980s 141 allegory of popular Toryism. This reading was grasped on the set: Philip Davis argued that the hooligans were ‘the result of Thatcher’s Britain … they weren’t kicking against the system or the bosses, they were kicking against each other’, adding that ‘it

in Alan Clarke