Answering questions on Cameron’s Conservative Party
Posted by Matt Walker on November 13, 2009
Over the past few days I have written about the past and present Conservative Party. Particularly important is for students to think about Conservative Party policy today, and how this relates to its past.
If you’ve read what I’ve written about this, you might have a sinking feeling if I tell you that you might get examined on questions which require you to explore Cameron’s conservatism and the nature of the party he leads. The sinking feeling may well come from the difficulty in trying to untangle all of this.
But fear not. You cannot be expected to write a definitive answer on this, not least because there isn’t one! But here is a sensible approach to take. If asked whether Cameron or today’s Tories are traditional or New Right, take a similar approach to New Labour and its traditional values.
If being asked to compare Cameron with traditional conservatism, take 3 of the latter’s ideas. Explore each in a separate paragraph, saying what the traditional value is, and then say what Cameron believes and how he is traditional. Then take 3 other areas to show how Cameron is not traditional, and is maybe New Right, or something else, e.g. Green. The same approach can be taken if asked to compare him with the New Right.
What you need to think about is where the balance lies. Cameron is arguably a bit of traditional and New Right conservatism, and arguably a bit of other stuff too. But is he mainly one of these things?