• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent are British Political Parties Ideological?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent are British Political Parties Ideological? Political parties are influenced by more than one ideology. Key liberal ideas, for example the free market and minimal state have been upheld by the conservative government 1979-1997 and have continued through Tony Blair's premiership 1997-today. Since its first beginnings in the late eighteenth century the distinction between left and right has remained ambiguous and difficult to pin down. Left and right have also changed their meanings over time. A glance at the development of political thought shows that the same ideas that have been regarded as political left in certain periods and contexts have also been regarded as political right in others. In this way the major parties cross over the political spectrum sharing similar ideas in places, weakening the divides between them. ...read more.


With the ever increasing desire of power and the capturing of the political "middle ground" being the answer, all three parties adapt their opinions to appeal to the electorate and follow public opinion. It was the labour party's flirt with far left socialism in the 1980's that helped hold the conservatives in power. The return of the labour party was by acknowledging that conservative policies were what the country wanted. We feel that the largest difference between the two major parties principle ideologies is that the left value and fight for equality whereas the right accepts hierarchy in society. However with "New Labour" embracing stake holding, and the rewarding of those that work hard we feel that this shows Labours move to the right, and exposes Tony Blair as a conservative. The Italian thinker Norberto Bobbio in 1994 published a book that included the statement "...No left-winger can deny that the left today is not what it used to be". ...read more.


We would like to conclude by suggesting that with the blurring of the left and right political stances, and the narrowing of the political spectrum, that all major parties have adopted liberal ideas responding to what the electorate want (well at least the 59% registered voters that bother to vote). Globalisation along with the disintegration of communism has resulted in industrialised countries having no far left to speak of. Left and right alike have come to accept the double-edged nature of science and technology, which generate benefits but also create new risks and uncertainties. With the demise of socialism as a theory of economic management the three parties are being forced closer together across the centre line, causing overlaps on policy. The political centre can only ever be regarded as a compromise, the middle between two more clear-cut alternatives. As this changing Britain becomes decreasingly just black and white all parties seem to occupy the central grey area which can be interpreted as "centre-left" or "centre-right" depending on your perspective. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Political Parties, Role and Ideology/Policies Qa (i) Ideology is the core fundamental beliefs ...

    with the various scandals that hit the so called 'sleazy' Tories such as two cabinet ministers who were forced to serve at stint at Her Majesties pleasure- in jail, for perjury in the form of Jeffery Archer and Jonathan Aitken.

  2. Does the mass media have a direct effect on British Politics?

    Political hustings have all but died out, with political rallies in today's British politics being little more than carefully organised performances (John Major's performances on his soapbox in the 1992 general election is the exception, rather than the rule). Today's political meetings are one-party rallies, with little chance of there being anyone there brave enough (or loud enough)

  1. What are the main ideological principles of the conservatives, Labour and Liberal democrats? To ...

    Revolutionary socialism is that that derived from the writing of Marx and Engels like mentioned before and it heavily focused on the working class equality and that the minority of wealthy people taking control was unfair. Examples of these are Tony Benn and Dennis Canavan.

  2. Extent of key political ideas in directly influencing change and development .

    too willing to sign a treaty with Napoleon III safeguarding her benevolence. Clearly, unification would not have occurred in either Germany or Italy without the use of propaganda and the roles played by key personalities such as Bismarck in Germany and Cavour in Italy.

  1. Realism, idealism and neoliberalism

    However, the concept of Realism is one that is very much open to interpretation and is a concept that cannot be concisely defined. The primary example of realism in political history can be seen by analyzing the Cold War in 1947.

  2. Legacies of the totalitarian system and the political transformation of Romanian society after 1989.

    In the Leninist analysis, representative democracy as seen in the West is a "joke" because the real reins of power are held by the rich class, who would simply ignore the results if an unacceptably radical leader was ever elected.

  1. Are we Living in a 'Post - Ideological Society'?

    It is also possible to see this so called consensus as not the 'end of the ideology' but simply the triumph of one major ideology, as Francis Fukuyama explores in his book 'the end of history and the last man'.

  2. Are political parties better understood as reflections of ‘social cleavages’, or products of strategic ...

    The land-industry cleavage aligned the rural and agrarian interests against the economic concerns of the rising class of industrial entrepreneurs. The second cleavage developed between owners and workers. The struggle for the legitimisation and representation of working-class interests by labour unions often generated intense political conflict in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesvii.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work