Are the Conservative Party truly conservative?

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Jayden Harris
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This is a question I have been pondering after hearing the opinion of Peter Hitchens on the Tories. He essentially says that they are not represented as true conservatives. I would like to gauge your opinions on this matter as I want to write a blog post about it, but need for views and opinions.
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Calibrated.
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Depends how to define conservative. The actions of the current Conservative Party show that the party believes in big government, the nanny state, bureaucracy, dislikes accountability, and has a strict aversion to fiscal responsibility.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by Jayden Harris)
This is a question I have been pondering after hearing the opinion of Peter Hitchens on the Tories. He essentially says that they are not represented as true conservatives. I would like to gauge your opinions on this matter as I want to write a blog post about it, but need for views and opinions.
The short answer is no.

The medium sized answer is partly - they are an often ignored faction of the Party.

The long answer is it's complicated: the Tory Party has historically been dominated by socially liberal "conservatives" but this does not mean it will always be the case and there are a fair few 'genuine conservatives' who remain In the party which is slowly moving to the right, and it's grassroots activists remain much more right wing than the parliamentary party. My hope (and Peters) is that with the implosion of the labour party, the conservative party will split into two parties - One Liberal party (Matt Hancock, Michael Gove etc) , and One Socially conservative (Philip Davies, Ben Bradley etc)
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Shaven125
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(Original post by Jayden Harris)
This is a question I have been pondering after hearing the opinion of Peter Hitchens on the Tories. He essentially says that they are not represented as true conservatives. I would like to gauge your opinions on this matter as I want to write a blog post about it, but need for views and opinions.
The only thing I don't understand is how anyone can even ask if the Tories are actually Conservative. How can a party that supports gay marriage be Conservative? It's absurd to even ask the question, but then again most people in the UK are absurd.
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imlikeahermit
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The party in power at the moment are only conservative by name, they absolutely do not represent the Conservative party in any way shape or form in my eyes. They’re basically New Labour #2.
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Joleee
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depends where you put the center of the political compass: i mean it's all relative. i've lived in three countries on three continents and can say what is 'conservative' etc is dependent on location when you compare the home parties.

i would say tho the Conservatives (and the whole UK for that matter) are more socially conservative and economically liberal compared to other countries i've lived in. you guys have the NHS, 'student loans' you never have to pay back, generous legal aid (believe it or not), all kinds of benefits like housing and child tax credit that you don't find where i'm originally from, and tax free personal allowances - assumingly supported by the government, or at least not opposed to it, as they've been running the show for the past 10 years. that's why you're taxed through the frickin roof here btw. you think you're socially liberal but your laws on social equality etc are literally 10 years behind comparatively.
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dukey2323
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(Original post by Jayden Harris)
This is a question I have been pondering after hearing the opinion of Peter Hitchens on the Tories. He essentially says that they are not represented as true conservatives. I would like to gauge your opinions on this matter as I want to write a blog post about it, but need for views and opinions.
They are entirely neoliberal — they are not philosophically conservative at all. A conservative doesn’t put money above everything else like they do. An actual conservative is also not hyper-capitalist like the Tories are — it wasn’t until Thatcher that we started equating being conservative with being a zealot for capitalism.

They give the label of ‘conservatism’ a very bad name, but unfortunately very few people dive into conservative philosophy to discover its intellectual and historical roots. If people did, they’d rapidly discover that there’s absolutely nothing conservative about the Tories.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by dukey2323)
They are entirely neoliberal — they are not philosophically conservative at all. A conservative doesn’t put money above everything else like they do. An actual conservative is also not hyper-capitalist like the Tories are — it wasn’t until Thatcher that we started equating being conservative with being a zealot for capitalism.

They give the label of ‘conservatism’ a very bad name, but unfortunately very few people dive into conservative philosophy to discover its intellectual and historical roots. If people did, they’d rapidly discover that there’s absolutely nothing conservative about the Tories.
Thatcher was pretty awesome and a lot more socially conservative than the liberal 'one nation' Tories that succeeded her although she of course had problems.

We haven't had a socially conservative Tory party in over a hundred years if ever. The last Socially conservative PM was the marquis Dr Salisbury
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TCA2b
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They don't seem particularly hyper-capitalist to me. At best middle of the road Keynesian interventionist types.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by TCA2b)
They don't seem particularly hyper-capitalist to me. At best middle of the road Keynesian interventionist types.
Yeah, they're gonna privatise the NHS any day now ... 🙄
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-Imperator-
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(Original post by Jayden Harris)
This is a question I have been pondering after hearing the opinion of Peter Hitchens on the Tories. He essentially says that they are not represented as true conservatives. I would like to gauge your opinions on this matter as I want to write a blog post about it, but need for views and opinions.
The party is, socially, much more liberal than it used to be. It is also very liberal economically. But the question of what (British) conservatism really is requires a lengthy discussion.
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anarchism101
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(Original post by Shaven125)
How can a party that supports gay marriage be Conservative?
You could have made that argument before it was legalised, but now it has been, opposing gay marriage is no longer, strictly speaking, a conservative position, but rather a reactionary one.
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username5668082
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I think the current government is one made up of members of the Conservative Party, not a Conservative government.

Ever since Peel and Disraeli, the Conservative Party has had some key principles which the actions of both David Cameron and Theresa May demonstrated. Economic and fiscal prudence, support for the family/fidelity, respect for the Royal Family, and support for the UK as a union of four nations.

This government has wasted money on a grand scale especially with contracts to chums, has a leader who is serially unfaithful and misogynist, tried to involve the Queen in an act declared illegal, and in the EU trade deal has effectively sold Ulster Unionism down the river.
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Rakas21
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The Thatcherite Conservative Party has far more in common with Victorian Liberalism than its own historical analogue, it was permitted to become this way because the Labour Party was so transfixed by its socialist ideals that Thatcher was permitted to take the country in that direction (not a bad thing, I am extremely sympathetic to Thatcherism).

That the Conservative Party is more focussed on economics than social conservative is also not surprising. People who vote Conservative typically care about the economy above all else and also typically care about power over principle (hence they pander). With Labour lacking a coherent acceptable alternative vision (Starmer has none and Corbyn's was not acceptable) the Tories basically had the choice of gambling on radicalism or going for the safety of pandering.

As their vote share has never suffered there seems little incentive for the party to change and indeed unemployment over the next year aside, it looks like they've probably survived Covid.

The true social conservatives don't really have anywhere else to go, no properly presentable face and no properly alternate brand. The best they had was Farage who at best would stop the social rot rather than cure it.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by Rakas21)
The Thatcherite Conservative Party has far more in common with Victorian Liberalism than its own historical analogue, it was permitted to become this way because the Labour Party was so transfixed by its socialist ideals that Thatcher was permitted to take the country in that direction (not a bad thing, I am extremely sympathetic to Thatcherism).

That the Conservative Party is more focussed on economics than social conservative is also not surprising. People who vote Conservative typically care about the economy above all else and also typically care about power over principle (hence they pander). With Labour lacking a coherent acceptable alternative vision (Starmer has none and Corbyn's was not acceptable) the Tories basically had the choice of gambling on radicalism or going for the safety of pandering.

As their vote share has never suffered there seems little incentive for the party to change and indeed unemployment over the next year aside, it looks like they've probably survived Covid.

The true social conservatives don't really have anywhere else to go, no properly presentable face and no properly alternate brand. The best they had was Farage who at best would stop the social rot rather than cure it.
Completely agree 👍

What do you think about my hope that with the gradual collapse of the labour vote, a split could develop in the Tory party between its more liberal and socially conservative groups?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Starship Trooper)
Completely agree 👍

What do you think about my hope that with the gradual collapse of the labour vote, a split could develop in the Tory party between its more liberal and socially conservative groups?
I doubt such a split will occur externally anytime soon and internally I doubt you'll get the circumstances to force the change you want, so long as the Tories are in power when Labour is weak they'll choose the safe option.

What you need is something as big as Brexit to damage the party enough to make them panic or for Labour to be in power and be truly nuts. Only then will the party gamble as per 2019 (though you need better judgment than electing a populist leader since they will pander over time).
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Justvisited
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(Original post by anarchism101)
You could have made that argument before it was legalised, but now it has been, opposing gay marriage is no longer, strictly speaking, a conservative position, but rather a reactionary one.
That word is nothing but an insult and ought to be dumped along with the N word etc. It serves no objectively useful purpose whatever.

Still less should it be used to describe indignation at the cultural putsch carried out by the Cleggeron in telling consort with Hollande in France....

Were the reign-of-terror-ists of 1795 France now conservatives???
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by Justvisited)
That word is nothing but an insult and ought to be dumped along with the N word etc. It serves no objectively useful purpose whatever.

Still less should it be used to describe indignation at the cultural putsch carried out by the Cleggeron in telling consort with Hollande in France....
I agree. In twenty years time at this rate "mainstream" conservatives will be telling us that the Labour party are the real transphobes...

That said I happily identify as a reactionary as I do not think many if any existing institutions such as the HoL are worth preserving and we need to start over broadly.

Were the reign-of-terror-ists of 1795 France now conservatives???
funnily enough this has happened to an extent in former revoloutionary countries such as Russia and France eg with Russian conservatives celebrating Stalin 🤣🤣🤣

You could say the same for the US too.

I think then in short bring a conservative alone is not enough you have to tie it to a timeless idea, basically religion
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I doubt such a split will occur externally anytime soon and internally I doubt you'll get the circumstances to force the change you want, so long as the Tories are in power when Labour is weak they'll choose the safe option.

What you need is something as big as Brexit to damage the party enough to make them panic or for Labour to be in power and be truly nuts. Only then will the party gamble as per 2019 (though you need better judgment than electing a populist leader since they will pander over time).
I basically agree but I think there will be lots of opportunities to exploit in the future although this will probably be instigated abroad.

Populists come with issues sure but I think they're worth it from a tactical perspective as they're prepared to 'bend the rules'* which lefties do all the time. This is why trump was able to do more for my type of politics (for all of his faults) than more ideological rivals.

I supported Esther McVey as leader but Boris was second best.


*Eg just bribing voters to stay in power which Trump wanted to do.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Jayden Harris)
This is a question I have been pondering after hearing the opinion of Peter Hitchens on the Tories. He essentially says that they are not represented as true conservatives. I would like to gauge your opinions on this matter as I want to write a blog post about it, but need for views and opinions.
The problem is FPTP forces people with very different politics to be in the same party.

The Conservatives are made up of what could be different parties (the bottom two in this grid)

https://twitter.com/K_Niemietz/statu...311435/photo/1
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