To What Extent Can the Modern Conservative Party Be Considered One Nation?

Topics: Conservative Party, Conservatism, Margaret Thatcher Pages: 3 (980 words) Published: April 15, 2013
.‘To what extent can the modern conservative party be considered ‘One nation’? (25 marks)

‘One nation’ is an idea that is based upon principles such as paternalism, and it is the name given to describe this particular faction of the conservative party. ‘One nation conservatives’ is the name given to the followers of the ideas presented by Benjamin Disrael, and the belief in changing Britain from ‘two nations’ i.e the rich and the poor, and instead creating one. Benjamin Disraeli adopted one nation conservatism for both ethical and electoral reasons. Before he became leader of the Conservative Party, Disraeli had announced that, as a result of the Reform Act of 1867 the party needed to pursue social reforms if it was to have electoral success. One nation would both improve the conditions of the poor and portray the Whig Party as selfish individualists. Because the party portrayed itself as a national party rather than class based. There are four key principles in which currently influence modern politics and the direction of the current coalition. Firstly, Paternalism; One nation conservatism is about the stronger (richer) looking after the weaker (poorer) There is the idea behind this principle of a father looking after a son. An example of this principle having influence within the coalition is Cameron handing out and protecting free TV licenses and bus passes for the elderly. This principle clearly contrast with Thatcherites view on helping the poor, whom argue that people should help themselves and not to rely on others to help them. Overall on the principle of Paternalism I believe that the modern conservative party can be considered ‘One nation’ as although the coalition have had to make cuts due to the size and state of the deficit, cuts have included removing educational maintenance from a large number of students to help with the costs of sixth form study. A second principle of ‘One nation conservatism’ is that of State Intervention when...
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