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David Cameron and Conservative RenewalThe Limits of Modernisation?$
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Gillian Peele and John Francis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991531

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784991531.001.0001

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Policies under Cameron: modernisation abandoned

Policies under Cameron: modernisation abandoned

(p.58) 3 Policies under Cameron: modernisation abandoned
David Cameron and Conservative Renewal

Peter Dorey

Manchester University Press

Upon becoming Conservative leader in December 2005, David Cameron spoke passionately about the need for the Party to move on from Thatcherism. In so doing, he alluded to the need for a more compassionate and constructive Conservatism, one which was more sympathetic to the poor, and which also wanted to foster a partnership with professionals in the public sector. However, following the 2008 financial crash, the Conservative Party's policies became increasingly hostile both to welfare recipients and the public sector, whereupon the need to cut public spending was repeatedly invoked to justify major cuts in welfare provision and further marketisation or privatisation of the public sector. Regardless of Cameron's initially emollient rhetoric and allusions to One Nation Toryism, the trajectory of key Conservative policies since 2010 has remained firmly within a Thatcherite paradigm. Conservative modernisation has quietly been abandoned.

Keywords:   Big Society, compassionate Conservatism, poverty, privatisation, public services, Thatcherism, the poor, welfare reform

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