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Union, England and Europe
Author: Arthur Aughey

This book focuses on the idea of the nation in Conservative Party politics. It represents an attempt to make sense of the way in which flows of sympathy from the past help to shape the changing patterns of Conservatism in the present; it does so by examining one of the party's preoccupations: its claim to be the 'national party'. The first three chapters are concerned mainly with flows of sympathy within Conservatism, the currents of which can still be traced today. The character (or political culture) of the Conservative Party is explored and the significance of the nation in its self-understanding is discussed. The book considers the interconnection of party and patriotism by revisiting one of the key texts for a previous generation, Andrew Gamble's The Conservative Nation. Andrew Gamble believed that Conservative leaders have always been uneasily aware of the fragility of the political raft upon they sail on democratic waters. The book assesses the changing influence on party competition of class and nation, especially how this influences the Conservative Party's electoral identity. It also reflects the impact on the Conservative nation of the British, English and European Questions. A postscript considers the impact of the 2017 general election and makes some final reflections on the party.

Author: Mark Pitchford

This book reveals the Conservative Party's relationship with the extreme right between 1945 and 1975. It shows how the Party, realising that its well-documented pre-Second World War connections with the extreme right were now embarrassing, used its bureaucracy to implement a policy of investigating extreme-right groups and taking action to minimise their chances of success. The book focuses on the Conservative Party's investigation of right-wing groups, and shows how its perception of their nature determined the party bureaucracy's response. It draws on extensive information from the Conservative Party Archive, supported by other sources, including interviews with leading players in the events of the 1970s. The book draws a comparison between the Conservative Party machine's negative attitude towards the extreme right and its support for progressive groups. It concludes that the Conservative Party acted as a persistent block to the external extreme right in a number of ways, and that the Party bureaucracy persistently denied the extreme right party assistance, access to funds and representation within party organisations. The book reaches a climax with the formulation of a ‘plan’ threatening its own candidate if he failed to remove the extreme right from the Conservative Monday Club.

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Conservatives and Conservatism
Arthur Aughey

Prelude: Conservatives and Conservatism Students of Conservative politics are well served today by a talented generation of scholars who have produced an impressive body of work on the party. The Political Studies Association’s Conservatives and Conservatism Specialist Group, through able leadership past and present, has encouraged this research as well as providing a useful forum for its discussion and dissemination. It is no exaggeration to say that, in the diversity and the range of contemporary publications, the study of the Conservative Party has been

in The Conservative Party and the nation
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Conservatism confounded
Arthur Aughey

Postscript: Conservatism confounded It was supposed to be glad, confident morning again on 9 June 2017 as the Conservative Party under Theresa May expected to be returned with a large or even landslide majority. All the signs were there to suggest that the wonders of a new Conservative nation would come to pass. One commentator (Goodman 2017a) thought that May understood well the psychology of the electorate and had pitched her message such that all divisions in the country would be folded into the party. This was not only Whig plus Tory and working class plus

in The Conservative Party and the nation
Arthur Aughey

-national party’ and his justification for doing so has an interesting contemporary echo, one explored later in this book. The reason, argued Disraeli, was that the Whigs relied on Scottish and Irish votes and lacked a natural English majority (Vincent 1990: 24). If Pickthorn thought that the word Conservative was not a natural winner, Disraeli’s biographer Lord Blake (1985: 362–3) believed that the party’s appropriation of the patriotic card – at least when it could be played with any relevance – certainly was a winner. It enabled the Conservative Party to assume its own ‘halo

in The Conservative Party and the nation
Arthur Aughey

power, meaning that, from the beginning, it has always proved difficult, Conservatives and the European Question 129 though not impossible, to generate emotional commitment to European institutions within either the Conservative Party or the country (Butler and Kitzinger 1996: 279). Here was another ‘split in the mind’. It was understood to be an issue of high politics, involving grand strategic calculations of Britain’s ‘role in the world’ and more traditional Tories were generally persuaded that this was a matter best left up to the leadership – in the words of

in The Conservative Party and the nation
Arthur Aughey

5 Conservatives and the British Question Michael Oakeshott (1991: 61) thought that a ‘tradition of behaviour’ is a ‘tricky’ thing to get to know. National identity also can be taken as a tradition of behaviour and is an equally tricky thing to get to know. The Conservative Party, as Chapter 2 noted, has claimed a privileged comprehension of that tradition – what was called, in a previous age, ‘national character’ – mainly because it understands itself to be a natural part of the warp and weft of the country. Yet that chapter also identified how the Conservative

in The Conservative Party and the nation
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Class and nation
Arthur Aughey

. Cameron had delivered for the Conservative Party the outright victory which had eluded him in 2010. And yet some fundamental questions had been left open, two of which were intimately related and which have important implications for the Conservative nation. ‘It left open the question of whether there 64 The Conservative Party and the nation will still be a United Kingdom to be governed. It also left open the question of whether Britain will remain in the European Union’ (Bogdanor 2016a: 45). If an answer was given to the latter, the former is still open. Bogdanor

in The Conservative Party and the nation
Arthur Aughey

criticism of socialism combined the two: Labour was the party of the big state (collectivism) and, as the creature of the trade unions (syndicalism), employed the power of the first to deliver the demands of the second. This concentration of power in government, it was argued, meant casual indifference to all elements of freedom as well as the loss of many, often conceded by proxy to the ‘power of the trade unions’. Such dangerous constriction of the liberties of an existing ‘manner of living’ should be the duty of the Conservative Party to oppose. Three decades later

in The Conservative Party and the nation
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Mark Pitchford

Introduction The Conservative Party is a political phenomenon. A ‘Tory’ party has existed for over three hundred years, surviving changes that resulted from industrialisation, adapting to the Great Reform Act of 832, and subsequently introducing its own progressive electoral reforms under Disraeli. A party of landowners, property, and privilege, the Conservative Party not only weathered the century when full democracy emerged but dominated it. It won nineteen of the twentysix general elections between 900 and 997, eleven outright, and gained over 40% of the vote

in The Conservative Party and the extreme right 1945–75