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To what extent have the ideas and the policies of the Conservative and the Labour parties overlapped in recent years?

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent have the ideas and the policies of the conservative and the labour parties overlapped in recent years The Labour Party and the Conservative Party although appearing to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum could be seen to be more similar in recent years. In the last 10 years or so the leaders of the two parties have been similar in character and also in ideology. When Tony Blair took over as leader of the Labour Party after the tragic death of John Smith in 1994, he enthusiastically announced to the press that he was changing clause IV. Although this seemed to be a small irrelevant change it heralded a radical change in the course of the Labour party. The change was only a small change in wording but the consequences were profound. The previous clause IV had outlined the goal of an equal distribution in pay by means of nationalising all industries, the adapted clause IV was that there should be an equality of opportunity and fulfilling potential. The part about nationalisation was also scrapped. This was a change from a left-leaning, socialist party to a modern centrist party. The change in the wording precluded the overriding theme of Blair?s leadership and as Prime Minister. ...read more.

Middle

and regulating the financial market. The two parties also disagreed on the speed of cutting the deficit, the Conservatives claimed in there manifesto that they would call an emergency budget in 50 days of coming into power, with £60bn worth of cuts. This was a clear signal that they completely disagreed with the current Labour government which was in power at the time, who believed that the cuts should be made much more slowly. Gordon Brown had said that they should continue spending at these record levels until 2011 and then cut the deficit over a longer period of time. In the 2010 manifesto the two parties were similar on a number of other issues. Both parties both believed that the deficit was a problem and needed to be cut. They believed that much of the problem of the recession was that the country had crippling levels of debt. Furthermore this debt was being increased year on year with the Labour government posting record deficits. However this was not so much that the Conservatives and Labour party’s ideology so much overlapped in recent years but more that this was the general consensus at the time. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis every single major political party across Europe was looking at the state of their respective fiscal policies and addressing deficits. ...read more.

Conclusion

Since Cameron and Miliband have been sparring with each other since 2010 they have agreed on a number of issues. The two leaders have agreed on a reduction on immigration, both have been critical of the ?open doors? that Blair had into the country in his power. Both parties want to appeal to those who believe that the high number of immigrants was somehow eroding national identity and also making jobs more competitive and therefore harder to get. In conclusion the Conservative Party and Labour Party have become more similar but as a result of the 2008 financial crisis the two have drifted away from each other. Leadership under Blair and Cameron of their respective parties have been similar in their neo-liberal approach however Miliband especially has somewhat dragged his party towards the left providing a clear distinction between the two parties in most areas of policy. This has been accompanied by an edging to the right by Cameron in his tenure as prime minister which has shown him (and the party) to become more similar to Thatcher, the very person he disowned. I would however expect Ed Miliband to not disagree outright as he does on nearly every Tory bill leading up to the 2014 election, it will be interesting to see in the parties manifestos how distant they really are. ...read more.

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