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    Hey all,

    Just something I've been thinking about ready for my AS politics exams in the next week or so, regarding the different stages of Conservatism- right the way from Disraeli's One Nation, Thatcherism and Cameron Conservative.

    I've been looking into them a bit, and in all honesty.. on my level of research, they all share similar motivations and theories. Perhaps we can say Thatcher was slightly more extreme in her very nature, and Cameron the more left of them both- but would it be fair to say the these three share similar mentalities?

    Any discussion regarding the topic, and indeed correcting my statement are more than welcome- just trying to get my head around it.

    One Nation Conservatism is the likes of Ted Heath and Harold Macmillan who sought to maintain most of the post-war consensus (NHS, welfare state, nationalised industries) while implementing Tory policies, boosting the economy and joining the EEC. They were often regarded as being 'paternalistic' which was seen by some as going against traditional conservative principles of self-reliance and independence from the state.

    Thatcher, sought to re-emphasise the role of the individual, downplay state involvement (i.e. care in the community), and leave as much to the free market as possible (i.e. the mass privatisations). Although she was influenced by thinkers who were generally regarded as libertarians (even if they repudiated the term) she was by no means a libertarian, and would never have gone as far privatising the NHS or public transport (her successor, Major did the latter) and still believed the state had a limited role in peoples lives.

    In reality she was probably closer to the old school Liberals (such as John Stuart Mill, who she openly admired) than true libertarians such as Milton Friedman, Freidrich Hayek, and Ludwig von Misses but with the traditional conservative belief of emphasis on the individual with the state maintaining order and providing limited functions.

    The One Nation Conservatives have been traditionally seen as the Tories 'left-wing' and this term is sometimes used to describe Tories that express an opinion considered (correctly or incorrectly) to be left-wing, even if they do not actually believe in One Nation Conservatism. For instance; my friend is a member of the Tory party, is openly homosexual and supports legalisation of soft drugs, which would lead some to (incorrectly) describe him as being a One Nation Conservative even though he is an unrepentant Thatcherite. Personally I would describe him as a socially liberal Thatcherite.

    I doubt that David Cameron is as radically-aligned as Margaret Thatcher was to right-wing Conservatism. I think it's very unlikely that David Cameron will encourage the slash and burn tactics that were introduced by Thatcherism.

    We can't ignore the fact that David Cameron's administration is restricted in power and capability by its alliance with the Liberal Democrats - most political experts predict this to be a very vulnerable alliance at best.

    You would be playing with fire if you were David Cameron pushing Thatcherism onto the drawing table.

    I predict that this particular administration will be a very cautious one at most, compassionate-conservatism might be the better description.
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