Is the future Conservative?

Available free as an e-book from Soundings The British economy is tipping into a recession. After three election victories, the New Labour project is exhausted. The Conservative Party is now resurgent, attempting to reinvent its political traditions and preparing for power. Britain is at a possible turning point. This book critically engages with the ideas […]

October 6, 2008 · 2 min read

Available free as an e-book from Soundings

The British economy is tipping into a recession. After three election

victories, the New Labour project is exhausted. The Conservative

Party is now resurgent, attempting to reinvent its political traditions

and preparing for power. Britain is at a possible turning point. This

book critically engages with the ideas of the New Conservatives. Do

their politics provide any answers to the challenges that lie ahead?

What political direction might they take if they win the next election?

The left needs to take on the New Conservatism. It needs to

expose the weaknesses of its notion of a post-bureaucratic age. The

limited nature of its family policy and its contradictory ideas around

education must be challenged. Behind its self-confident image the

New Conservatism faces a crisis in its unionist politics, and it lacks

a coherent political economy to enact its pro-social politics. Political

schisms in the party are waiting to erupt, and it has already begun to

retreat from its earlier, bolder politics.

But the New Conservatives cannot be reduced to ‘Tory toffs’;

nor can Cameron be dismissed as a ‘shallow salesman’. This is a

serious attempt to define a new communitarian politics of the right.

If it succeeds, it will bring yet more insecurity and inequality. The

New Conservatives pose a significant challenge not only to a

demoralised Labour Party but to the wider progressive movement

as a whole. To meet this challenge Labour must reassert its own

social and ethical values and find its own alternatives to

neoliberalism.

Jon Cruddas, Jonathan Rutherford

Is the future Conservative? is edited by Jon Cruddas and

Jonathan Rutherford and published by Soundings, in association with

Compass and Renewal and supported by Media Department,

Middlesex University and the Amiel Trust

Available free as an e-book from Soundings


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