Is the Modern Conservative Party Today Truly Conservative?
The Conservative Party, as is suggested in the name, has throughout its history been associated with a Conservative ideology. However, there are two main types that the party has adopted post-WWII. These are One Nation Conservatism and Thatcherism, or the New right. From 1945 to 1979, the party was a one nation party, but when Margaret Thatcher took over, she created her own ideology, basing the party entirely around her personal views. The effect of her legacy is still seen to this day, with a split in the party between Thatcherites and One Nation Conservatives, which Prime Minister David Cameron describes himself as. However, whether the party’s official policies fit under either of these banners is very much up for discussion.
In regards to law and order, the Conservative Party has seen a departure from its traditional stance. While in the past policies have stated that the prison system works and that there should therefore be tougher sentences in order to deter people from crime, there is now an emphasis on rehabilitation, with a reduced number of custodial sentences. This has certainly moved the party to more central policies in this aspect, but is also fairly similar to One Nation Conservatism.