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Thatcherism has fundamentally altered conservative ideology in Britain. Discuss

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?Thatcherism has fundamentally altered conservative ideology in Britain.? Discuss Firstly, I would highlight the fact that conservative ideology in modern Britain is, although marginally ?top-right?, predominantly centrist. Thatcherism, on the other hand, was more strongly placed in the ?top-right?. It could be argue that Thatcherism has altered conservative ideology in Britain in many ways The first of these ways would be that the Conservatives place the free-market very highly in their value system, striving for economic competition and independence. The idea that Britain should hold a free-market or strongly right-wing mixed economy was famously held by Thatcher; this moulded the conservative way of thinking to move along the same lines. However, it could also be argued that Thatcher has not had much of an effect for reasons against the one above. The Conservatives, historically, have valued competition; it could therefore be argued that, had Thatcher not come into power, Conservative economic ideology may have gone this way anyway. ...read more.


However, this statement could be contested in arguing that the Third Way movement of New Labour meant that conservative ideology had to change and move more central, although I would argue that this was not an overwhelming transition, it could be said that the modern Conservative party have made a distinct move away from Thatcherite ideology and settled within modern, central, Third Way ideology; this may show how Thatcherism has not altered conservative ideology. It could also be argued, however, that Thatcherism has indirectly altered conservative ideology in Britain. The extremities of Thatcher?s ideology meant that the Conservatives felt the need to detach themselves from Thatcherite thinking. In this sense, many might argue the fact that this indirect effect has changed conservative ideology, therefore fortifying the statement given. The fact, however, that this change was not a direct one may mean that it could not be argued that Thatcherism has fundamentally altered conservative ideology, even if it has had a minor effect. ...read more.


However, some may argue that the fact that Cameron decided to remain a full member of the EU is a step away from traditional Thatcherism and defines a new standard in European policy in British conservative politics. On the other hand, it could also be stated that it would not be viable for Cameron to exclude Britain from the EU in the current socio-economic climate and Cameron; although his ideology and conservative ideals may wish otherwise; must remain a full member of the European Union in order to influence European economic and defend our currency and economy. To conclude, I would point out that although Thatcherism has directly altered conservative ideology in Britain in some aspects; it could not be said that Cameronite conservative ideology has been altered indirectly. Whether this may be in making a conscious diversion away from certain extreme aspects of Thatcherite belief or simply altering Thatcherite ideology itself to suit modern politics, it can be seen clearly that certain aspects of Thatcherism have altered conservative ideology in Britain; thus I would agree with the statement given. By Joe Lane ...read more.

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