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To what extent are there differences between the Labour and Conservative parties over policies and ideas?

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent are there differences between the Labour and Conservative parties over policies and ideas? Traditionally, the Conservative party was the party of the landed classes, the gentry and business owners, whereas the Labour party represented the working classes and advocated socialism and the redistribution of wealth. Barring the post war consensus, when all three major parties worked together to rebuild the country, they have been bitterly opposed to each other ideologically. However, as social class barriers have broken down, with the decline of the manufacturing industries and the growth of service industries, it becomes increasingly difficult to classify people. ...read more.

Middle

Many Conservatives are ideologically opposed to the National Health Service, and in 2011 they introduced a bill that made it easier for private companies to provide NHS services. Labour take a more liberal stance on Law and Order than the Conservative party, who under David Cameron have adopted a Paternalistic approach. Labour?s approach to crime is less punitive, with more focus on rehabilitation and tackling the causes of crime. At the beginning of his term David Cameron?s approach was more similar to this, but since civil unrest and the riots of the summer of 2011, he has adjusted his policies and become tougher. ...read more.

Conclusion

This opinion is at least partially derived from traditional Conservatism?s pessimistic view of human nature. Whilst the coalition has not cut work-related benefits, in November 2012 they announced that they would not rise in line with inflation for the next three years. They have increased schemes designed to reduce what they consider to be a ?something for nothing? culture - such as the oft criticised ?workfare? which sees jobseekers forced to work for their benefits. There are some smaller issues where the two parties are in consensus, such as the environment. Both parties have publicly state that there is a need to move towards renewable energy sources and to cut carbon emissions. Despite these small areas of agreement, on most issues the parties have a fundamental disagreement in ideology - this manifests itself in their policies. ...read more.

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