Divisions within the Conservative Party
Posted by Matt Walker on August 17, 2009
It’s been an interesting few days observing the Conservative Party. The leadership clearly want to present themselves as ‘progressive’, or supporters of public services, particularly health and education. Indeed, David Cameron has spent a couple of years reassuring people that he is a moderate Conservative with a heart. This wing of the Tory Party can be described as Social Conservatives.
There have been others in the Tory Party who have stayed pretty quiet under Cameron’s leadership. However, last week Alan Duncan whinged about MPs pay being a pittance, and MEP Daniel Hannan called for the abolition of the NHS on American TV. Apparently, Hannan has support from several leading Conservative MPs and MEPs for his views. This group we could label as right wing or Thatcherites.
All political parties are a broad coalition of different political ideas and groupings, and it is up to the leadership to unite differing views around a set of policies which can be presented to the public. Cameron should be able to maintain his policy position on the NHS – one of support and greater investment – but will be concerned if the wider public gain the impression that the Tories are right-wing ideologues who will dismantle the NHS if they gain power. Labour will of course attempt to exploit this very possibility. Expect lurid tales from the red corner of the NHS’s demise under a Conservative Government.
For further details on divisions within the Conservative Party, read the Observer article, Tory rows threaten to derail David Cameron’s dream for the NHS.