Conservatism, Ideology, Economic Inequality and Poverty
Part One: - Click Here
Conservatives, Economic Equality/Inequality and Poverty: General Arguments
Part Two: - Click Here
One Nation Conservatism:
One Nation Conservatism: Economic Equality/Inequality and Poverty
Part Three: - Click Here
Thatcherite Conservatism: Economic Equality/Inequality and Poverty
Part Four: - Click Here
Economic Equality/Inequality and Poverty in the Post Thatcherite Era. Post-Thatcherism and One Nation Conservatism 1990-2017
Part Five: - Click Here
David Cameron and Ideology: General
Economic Equality/Inequality and Poverty and The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition
David Cameron and the Conservative Government 2015-16
Part Six: - Click Here
Prime Minister Theresa May
Appendix Phillip Blond
Appendix: Iain Duncan Smith and Welfare
Summary and Appendices
- Breaking News Saturday December 2nd 2017 Click here for Guardian article :Alan Milburn and entire social mobility team quit citing "lack of political leadership." Also click here for BBC coverage and click here for an Observer editorial.
- Steve Richards 3 part Radio 4 series on the Cameron Years is an exceptional resource for students and teachers alike. NEW link added January 2018
- Very useful Power Points on Conservatism via Highlands Politics Dropbox [You can also follow Highlands Politics on Twitter] February 2018
- The website of the Tory Reform Group which was formed in 1975 and seeks to promote One Nation Conservatism within the Conservative Party . NEW link added February 2018
- On the Political Studies Association Blog you can find some useful articles on the Conservative Party such as this [and much more] and if you join the Association you can find some very helpful teaching notes on Conservative ideology [and much more] in their Teaching Resources section. NEW link added February 2018
- The Conservative Party: a Gresham College lecture by Professor Vernon Bogdanor
- Unfinished draft document on David Cameron as PM . Please do not use.
Summary and Appendices
In this document I have tried to outline the various conservative arguments which have been used to justify economic inequality as well as Conservative attempts to reduce the high levels of inequality and poverty which could arise in a totally unregulated capitalist system. This has involved some consideration of the changing nature of One Nation Conservatism from Benjamin Disraeli to Theresa May and its comparison with the economic and social policies of the Thatcherite era. It has been emphasised that in his version of One Nation Conservatism [although he did not actually use the term] Disraeli emphasised that social and economic reform should take place within an economy which would be dominated by the private sector which would indeed generate substantial economic inequality. However this same inequality would stimulate the economic efficiency and growth which would lead to better living standards for all including the poor and disadvantaged . This general principle has been accepted to a considerable extent by all subsequent One Nation politicians whatever the sometimes substantial differences between them .
All Conservatives have believed that some degree of income inequality is inevitable if differences in individual talents and abilities are to be allowed to flourish and that such inequalities are also desirable because they provide the financial incentives which are necessary to generate the faster economic growth which will improve living standards even for the poorest. Income inequalities are highly likely to lead to wealth inequalities which may solidify further as a result of the intergenerational transmission of wealth and Conservatives are likely to justify wealth inequalities in general as a reward for hard work and to justify the inter-generational transmission of wealth as the outcome of an entirely natural and honourable wish to provide for one's descendants such that high taxation of inherited wealth would amount to an unjustified infringement of individual liberty.
Conservatives are also likely to believe that the scope of state nationalisation should be restricted because it is unlikely to secure economic efficiency and that the scope of egalitarian taxation and end benefits should also be restricted so as to restrict the growth of a welfare dependency culture. Yet although they reject significant increases in economic equality of outcome they are strong believer in equality of opportunity on grounds of both social justice and economic efficiency. However critics have noted that Conservatives tend to neglect arguments that high levels of income and wealth inequality themselves may be likely to inhibit equality of opportunity.
Within the Conservative tradition there have been long term disputes between so-called One Nation Conservatives and those Conservatives more sympathetic to the ideals of laissez faire [ such as , especially, New Right Thatcherite Conservatives.] Also as the above notes have indicated there are considerable disputes surrounding the ideological positioning of David Cameron and his supporters and similar disputes will surely occur around the ideological positioning of the Theresa May administration. Wherever we choose to position Mr Cameron and Mrs May we shall have to wait and see whether there are any significant trends toward greater income and wealth equality and/or increased social mobility/ increased equality of opportunity in future.
I have provided some information on Disraelian Conservatism much earlier in the document but will concentrate in this summary on some of the main developments in British Conservatism since the Second World War. During the 195os and early 1960s so-called Right Progressive Conservative Governments [of 1951-64] accepted most of the broad outlines of the economic and social reforms introduced by Labour Governments of 1945. Consequently levels of employment remained high, average living standards improved and overall data on income distribution trends suggest that there were increases in income equality between 1951 and 1964 although income inequality ,relative poverty and significant social class differences in life expectancy, housing quality and educational attainment remained substantial. Thus although the One Nation Conservative Governments of 1951-64 did reduce income inequality and poverty and improve working class living condition their success in these respect should not be overstated.
Ted Heath became Leader of the Conservative Party in 1965 and Conservative Prime Minister between 1970 and 1974. It is argued that in government Heath endorsed proto-Thatcherite policies in 1970-72 but reverted to One Nation consensus politics in 1972-4. Some have argued that this was a very substantial U turn whereas others argued that Heath's initial support for proto-Thatcherism was limited and that the extent of his U turn was therefore oversated. This is a matter of controversy but what is certain is that once Ted Heath returned to the backbenches he was a vociferous critic of Thatcherism and a great supporter of the politics of One Nation Conservatism. Click here for a little more detail on the Premiership of Ted Heath
Under the the Thatcher administrations of 1979-90 there was a significant shift government policies in the direction of Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Conservatism which came to be known collectively as the New Right of in the British context as Thatcherism. Such policies included macroeconomic policies based upon Monetarist rather than Keynesian theory, privatisation and deregulation of industry, tighter legislative control over the trade unions , tighter control of government spending [ and in particular of spending on Social Security and reduced rates of income taxation especially for higher income earners which was to be offset by higher rates of VAT. It Was hoped that these policies would increase the rate of economic growth some of the benefits of which would allegedly "trickle down" to the poor. However in the event income inequality and relative poverty increased and so it seems fair to conclude that both in terms of ideology and of policy effects the Thatcherite Administrations differed significantly from previous One Nation Governments.
Despite Major's emollient personality and his perhaps somewhat wistful statements that he wished to see " a country at ease with itself" and to create " a classless society"[ by which he meant the expansion of opportunities for upward social mobility in a capitalist society which would nevertheless remain unequal rather than the abolition of private property ownership and the demise of the Bourgeoisie as proposed by Marxists or even the radical egalitarianism proposed by democratic socialists] and his self -identification with One nation Conservatism several political analysts argued that in reality he continued and actually extended the Thatcherite Strategy. For example in their particularly critical assessment Mark Garnett and Ian Gilmour argued that although One Nation Toryism is not a "rigid creed "..... "however One nation Toryism is envisaged or interpreted the Conservative governments since 1979 come nowhere near it " and "Major made no significant attempt to lead the party back into the Conservative One Nation tradition" ands in many ways his government became even more right wing than hers [ i.e. than Margaret Thatcher's governments]. [Whatever Happened to the Tories: The Conservatives since 1945. Ian Gilmour and Mark Garnett 1997]
In support of this line of argument they cite the privatisation of the railways , the abolition of wages councils which had been designed to protect the wages of low paid workers, the abolition of the NEDC [which had been a key forum for tripartite economic decision making], the toleration of high salaries for the rich along with the continued demonisation of the poor as welfare scroungers and the continued acceptance of regressive patterns of taxation. These arguments are reiterated strongly in The Major Premiership [edited by Peter Dorey 1999].
Also in a contribution to very useful collection of essays [John Major : An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? K. Hickson and B. Williams eds. 2017] Kevin Hickson agrees that Major departed considerably from the One Nation Conservative tradition but argues that he had little alternative but to do so given the disunity which existed in the Conservative Party and the emergence of Tony Blair as a charismatic leader of a Labour Party now located much closer to the centre of British Politics. Furthermore Hickson argued that in John Major one can in fact see a mixture of ideological Influences: traditional Toryism, Thatcherism, Centrism and One nation Conservatism. [Further information on this study can be found via the following link: "John Major: An Unsuccessful Prime Minister".** This book is a must read if you require further information on John major as PM.]
However the concept of One Nation Conservatism has always been subject to competing interpretations. According to Sir Ian Gilmour and his supporters and to political theorists such as Richard Hayton and Peter Dorey it is associated especially with the Conservative Governments of 1951-64 and both the Thatcher, Major, Cameron and May Governments would all be seen as departing clearly form the principles of One Nation Conservatism. Sir Ian Gilmour was openly critical of Thatcherite macroeconomic policies and critical also of the growth of poverty and of the Thatcherite tendency to blame the poor for their own personal failings rather than the misguided nature of Thatcherite welfare policies themselves. Nevertheless he made it clear that although greater equality was now necessary no Conservative had ever supported total equality and he also accepted that Conservative privatisations were likely to increase economic growth and that further restriction of trade union power was essential for otherwise trade unions could well become a threat to democracy.
Yet other analysts harked back to the original statements of Disraeli that social and economic reforms were to occur within an essentially market economy based upon private enterprise which was crucial to overall improvement in living standards and that significant wealth and income inequalities were actually necessary to promote the economic growth on which rising living standards depended. On this view One Nation Conservatism involved a judicious mixture of government sponsored social and economic reforms as well as reliance upon the private sector of the economy.
Consequently both David Willetts and David Seawright pointed out that the original One Nation Group had contained MPs from both the Right and the Left of the Conservative Party who were keen to establish such as balance while in an article written in 2005 Damien Green stated that One Nation Conservatives believe it is the duty of government to take action to reduce poverty and deprivation and that an unfettered free market will not alone achieve this task but also that the history of the One Nation Groups showed that "simplistic analysis of this group or One Nation thought generally as being on the "left" of the party is wrong."
Also Kenneth Clarke who was were strongly associated with One Nation politics also supported much of the Thatcherite economic programme but claimed that as a politician who was both an economic liberal and a social liberal he was indeed part of the One Nation Conservative tradition despite his support for the Thatcherite economic programme.
David Cameron described himself as an economic liberal and social liberal which meant that in early 21st century terms he felt able to describe himself as a One Nation Conservative despite supporting the economically liberal policies which had been introduced by Mrs Thatcher in 1979-90 and extended by John Major in 1990-97. Many have agreed that he was indeed a One Nation Conservative because although he planned to use Thatcherite economically liberal methods these were intended to improve the prospects of the disadvantaged and to be combined with a range of socially liberal policies, environmentalism and Big Society style communitarian social policies . The following articles provide differing analyses of David Cameron's relationship to One Nation Conservatism.
Click here for Richard Hayton 2014 article "The Demise of the One Nation Tradition"**
Guardian article on David Cameron as a One Nation Conservative [Martin Kettle]**
We might conclude that David Cameron has claimed to be a One Nation Conservative but that this has meant that he intended to combine a primarily neo-liberal economic agenda with a series of policies such as the increase in the income tax threshold, educational reforms and policies associated with the "Big Society" in order to protect the living standards and increase the life chances of the more disadvantaged sections of British Society.
David Cameron stressed that it would be necessary for the Conservatives to fix our" Broken Society" but that this would not be achieved solely via increased intervention from the central state. Instead although the state would provide some guidance our Broken Society" was to be fixed primarily via the development of "The Big Society."
Much of this strategy appeared to be encapsulated in the now well known phrase that "There is such a thing as society but it is just not the same thing as the state." In this single phrase Cameron could signal that he wished to distance the Conservative Party from what centrist voters might see as the excessive individualism associated with Thatcherism as exemplified in her statement that "There is no such thing as society", a statement which has, however been subject to much misinterpretation, and to distance the Conservative Party also from what he saw as the excessive top- down centralism and bureaucratic regulation associated with the New Labour State. In Cameron's view in the new post-bureaucratic era excessive state power could be reined in and replaced by the development of the Big Society.
Cameron's espousal of "The Big Society was influenced to a considerable extent by the theoretical ideas of David Willets and subsequently Phillip Blond. Thus from the early 1990s onwards Willetts developed the concept of Civic Conservatism whereby he argued that although the market based private system was crucial to economic progress and that it also strengthened local communities to some extent Conservatives should do more promote stronger local communities which should take on some of the functions currently performed by the centralised, remote and overly bureaucratic state .Phillip Blond also developed similar ideas in a series of speeches and articles and in more detail in his study entitled "Red Tory" . Essentially Blond argued that UK society had been undermined successively by excessively bureaucratic and centralised social democracy, by the excessive individualised liberal liberalism of the "permissive society" and by the excessive economic inequality associated with Thatcherite neo-liberalism . By 20190 he was optimistic that what he saw as Cameron's new brand of One Nation Conservatism would begin to deal with all of these problems . Thus "Cameron has called for a recovery of society and the refashioning of the state to facilitate human relationships and the building of real communities and a new capitalism that works for society rather than against it". Click here for further information on Phillip Blond
Essentially the notion of the Big Society suggested that the inefficiencies of excessive state control could be overcome via the reform of the public sector involving the growth of so-called quasi -markets within the public sector which would increase competition and consumer choice , the increased devolution of decision-making from Central to Local Government, the increased reliance on the Third Sector for the provision of services and the increased involvement of individual citizens .
However critics of the Big Society have claimed that it underestimates the crucial role of the central state in the provision of public services and amounts only to a fig leaf designed to hide Cameron's true aim which is to shrink the central state and promote the expansion of the private sector for ideological reasons and that it would be impossible to begin to generate "real communities unless a Cameron administration addressed directly the fundamental economic and social inequalities which scarred UK society. These claims were of course denied by David Cameron and his supporters deny. However in any case one significant problem which David Cameron did face was that although The Big Society was much emphasised in the 2010 Conservative Manifesto it was not an idea that canvassers found helpful on the doorsteps as many potential voters apparently found the concept quite difficult to grasp and were unenthused by it.] Steve Hilton, one of Cameron's key strategic advisers who was a key supporter of The Big Society initiative soon took unpaid leave from Downing Street and by 2012 Phillip Blond's optimism about the prospects of reform under David Cameron had declined significantly although he would subsequently hope for more progress from Theresa May's administration..
Official income distribution data from the Office for National Statistics [ONS] do suggest that income equality did increase marginally between 2010 and 2015 and poverty declined on some but not all measures . Nevertheless we should note that these increases in income equality are limited and that in the era of Coalition Government the UK has remained a deeply unequal society. It can perhaps be argued that the Coalition Government has had to govern in particularly difficult economic circumstances and that had it not been for the economic recession income inequality and poverty may have been reduced more substantially. However the facts suggests that whether or not David Cameron may justifiably be characterised as a One Nation Conservative the Coalition Government did little to increase income equality and equality of opportunity. It is also important to note that in this recent Guardian article Larry Elliot has argued that in reality income inequality may well have increased between 2010 and 2015. [New link added December 3rd 2017.]
In a series of speeches in 2016 and 2017 Ms May stated that she believed in the merits of free market capitalism which would nevertheless be regulated in various ways . A new industrial strategy would be developed, [thus apparently signalling a significant shift away from neoliberalism] ; high executive pay would be controlled; tax avoidance and evasion would be restricted, ; workers and consumers would be appointed to company boards of directors; gas and electricity prices would be capped; new education policies [including most especially the opening of more grammar schools ] would help to promote greater social mobility ; and as already mentioned the interests of the just about managing would be privileged. It seemed like a set of policies which would help to rebalance society in the interests of the "just about managing" and in so doing improve Mrs May's electoral prospects even further against an already apparently very unpopular Labour Party. As we have seen there are tricky disputes surrounding the precise meaning of One Nation Conservatism but in these speeches could surely could be seen a clear unequivocal statement by Ms May of One Nation principles updated to suit the political conditions of the 21st Century
However in practice Theresa May has had to deal with the difficulties of the Brexit negotiations, a difficult economic situation and a diminution of her own power as a result of the unfavourable [for the Conservatives ] General Election result Consequently even if she is committed in principle to some version of One Nation Conservatism it seems likely that for a variety of reasons relatively high levels of poverty and income inequality are likely to continue for the foreseeable future which may lead us to question the extent to which Ms May as Prime Minister will be able to secure One Nation Conservative policy objectives.
My final conclusions are as follows.
- Conservatives have used a range of arguments to defend economic inequality
- There is a long tradition of One Nation Conservatism within the Conservative Party but the meaning of One Nation Conservatism is subject to competing interpretations.
- The Post War Conservative Governments of 1951 -64 and 1970-74 are generally regarded as One Nation Conservative Governments. They introduced social and economic reforms which contributed to improved working class living standards and life changes although significant inequalities of income and opportunity remained .
- Income inequality and poverty increased significantly in 1979-90 when New Right Governments were generally seen as departing from One Nation Conservatism. Many argue that in 1990-97 John Major followed an essentially Thatcherite programme .
- Disputes as to the meaning of One Nation Conservatism meant that some analysts considered the administrations of John Major, David Cameron and Theresa May to be adapting the concept of One Nation Conservatism to meet the changing conditions of the late 20th and early 2ist Centuries. On this view One Nation Conservatism could be compatible with neo-liberal economic policies so long as the condition of the disadvantaged could be improved.
- Other theorists argued that the Major, Cameron and May Governments could not be accurately described as One Nation Conservative Governments.
- However the Major, Cameron and May Governments are categorised they have done little to reduce overall income inequality and poverty. It must be admitted however that they have had to deal with difficult economic circumstances which may have inhibited their objectives of securing a greater measure of equality.
- However others argue that the ideology of One Nation Conservatism, however broadly defined, may well be incompatible with any significant increase in economic equality or social mobility. Click here for a recent Guardian article on the continuation of the Benefits Freeze for working age people.
- The resignation on December 2nd 2017 of Alan Milburn and the entire Social Mobility Commission team points clearly to high level dissatisfaction with the May Administration's approach to social mobility.
Breaking News Saturday December 2nd 2017 Click here for Guardian article :Alan Milburn and entire social mobility team quit citing "lack of political leadership." Also click here for BBC coverage. Click here for Poverty 2017 : a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and here for a brief report from ITV News.
And the saga continues.
|Appendix: Poverty, Underclass, Charles Murray, Iain Duncan Smith and The Centre For Social Justice: Some Criticisms of the Approach|
1. Assuming for the time being that an underclass exists it is generally assumed to comprise about 5% of the population and even Charles Murray agrees that not all poor people are to be considered as a part of the underclass since , clearly , not all poor people are fatalistic, work shy and prone to criminality.
2. In the cultural version of the underclass theory formulated by Charles Murray and to a considerable extent accepted by Iain Duncan Smith it is argued that underclass poverty derives from the dysfunctional attitudes of the poor which have been generated by easily available welfare benefits. However in structural theories of poverty it is argued that poverty arises out of broader structural factors such as the income inequality which is inevitable in capitalist societies and by the growth of unemployment in advanced capitalist societies caused as a result of the relocation of manufacturing jobs to cheaper labour economies in the "Third World" and by the periodic recessions which occur in capitalist societies.
3. Assuming that a particularly poor disadvantaged section of society does exist there is considerable evidence suggesting that the attitudes and values of these individuals are not significantly different from those of other members of society: unemployed workers are generally keen to find work if they are fit to do
4. Unemployment derives primarily not from fatalism and work shyness but from a lack of available jobs. Any fatalism which does exist may be seen as primarily a response to long term unemployment and poverty rather than a cause of them although it can be argued that a fatalistic response makes it more difficult to escape from the unemployment and poverty which has been caused primarily by structural factors.
5. It should be noted also that when supporters of the cultural version of underclass theory claim that there are families where three successive generations have never worked there are in reality very few of such families. Click here and here for two Guardian criticisms of the IDS line
6. According to critics excessive reliance on a cultural version of underclass theory means that Iain Duncan Smith and his supporters are providing an inadequate, inaccurate theory of poverty. Again according to critics it follows that the policies proposed in the publications of the Centre for Social Justice and broadly accepted by the Coalition Government are unlikely reduce the extent of poverty and inequality very significantly. Of course the Government disagree.
7. Iain Duncan Smith is a great supporter of marriage and argues that the decline in the UK marriage rate is a significant factor in the generation of poverty and disadvantage. He emphasises that they children of married couples are more likely to achieve educational success and less likely to experience poverty in later life than are the children of cohabiting couples [who are more likely than married couples to separate] and lone single parents although he does agree that many cohabiting couples and lone parents rear their children very effectively. Others argue that the correlation between marriage and childhood well-being may arise because marriage is an increasingly middle class phenomenon and that it is primarily class advantage which contribute to the well-being of married couples' children. [For example Click here for an excellent article by Ruth Lister and Fran Bennett from Renewal.]
8. Iain Duncan Smith argues that policies are necessary to improve the education system and to reduce alcohol and drug abuse. This is clearly true but critics of Coalition Education policies argue that they are on the wrong track in several respects . I have no knowledge as to the effectiveness of Coalition policies to reduce alcohol and drug abuse.
9. Iain Duncan Smith argues that it is especially important to promote increased employment as a pathway out of poverty and several Coalition Social Security policies are designed to achieve this objective. Such policies also involve the increased use of the sanctions in the form of loss of social security benefits as a method of encouraging current benefit claimants into work. Some of these policies are discussed in a little more detail below but they are subject to the general criticisms that during the economic recession the level of unemployment reached about 2.5Million while the current number of vacancies was approximately 500,000 so that it would clearly have been impossible for all the the unemployed to find work however hard they tried.
10. Click here for David Cameron speaking in 2012 on the the Benefit Cap ."Don't complain about the beneit cuts: go out and look for a job."
11. It is true that levels of unemployment have subsequently fallen and that the level of employment has increased . The Coalition Government and the subsequent Conservative Governments of David Cameron and Theresa may argue that this shows the success of their economic and social policies. However critics argue that the official data understate the real levels of unemployment and that many workers are in poorly paid work which means that paid work in itself is not necessarily a route out of poverty.
12. Iain Duncan Smith's policies have involved the increased use of government contracts with private sector companies and with so-called Third Sector Charities to deliver increases in employment on the grounds that this makes for more effective delivery than does reliance on what the Conservatives believe to be the over-bureaucratic, over-centralised state. However critics have argued that in several cases private sector companies are not efficiently delivering services provided under the terms of the Work Programme, the Employment and Support Allowance and the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.
13. Iain Duncan Smith's policies focus primarily on the situation of the poor and on measures which oblige the poor to seek employment much more actively which will thereby reduce their dependence upon welfare benefits. However critics argue that since the Coalition are doing little or nothing to restricts the growth of high salaries there will be little overall effect on income inequality which in turn is likely to inhibit social mobility. If previously unemployed workers find work as , say, poorly paid shelf stackers, how is this likely to improve the educational prospects of their children, if at all?
14. With respect to this point Peter Dorey argues in his study "British Conservatism: The Politics and Philosophy of Inequality  that "...in the context of their opposition also to increasing the taxation of the super-rich it is difficult to see how the successful enactment of proposals enshrined in Breakthrough Britain would do much, if anything to reduce the gulf between the very rich and the very poor in contemporary Britain."
|Appendix Phillip Blond and "Red Tory" .|
David Cameron's concept of "The Big Society was much influenced by the work of Phillip Blond who explained his ideas in his study entitled Red Tory  According to Blond British society had bee seriously damaged via the combined adverse consequences of, successively, centralised social democracy, liberal permissiveness and neo-liberal economic ideas. Again according to Blond social democracy had led to the expansion of state health, education. housing and welfare services but the result had been the creation of over-centralised, remote and inefficient state bureaucracies which had turned people into passive recipients of centrally provided services instead of of active citizens who could play an important role in the organisation of these services at local level. Spending on social security in particular had generated a dependency culture which could lead only to the perpetuation of poverty. Subsequently, according to Blond, the liberal permissiveness of the 1960s had unleashed a selfishly hedonistic, individualism leading to the decline of the nuclear family, increased incidence of single parenthood, the growth of irresponsibility among the young , increased drug addiction and violent crime. Finally the rise of neoliberalism resulted in the growth of materialism at the expense of community solidarity and the growth of income and wealth inequality which further entrenched the economic and social disadvantages of the poor.
Of course supporters of social democracy, liberal permissiveness and neoliberalism rejected Blond's analysis for a variety of different reasons but Blond argued that a new kind of politics was necessary to deal with the problems which he had highlighted. Essentially it was necessary to reform the state in order to increase the active involvement of citizens at local level and to allow for services previously delivered by the central state to be delivered to a greater extent by non -state organisations such as community groups, charities and private companies. It was necessary also to change the emphasis in our culture from an emphasis on liberal individualism to a community centredness which recognises the value of traditional institution such as especially the family ; and it was necessary to open up our economy in order to encourage the development of small scale firms which would offset the development of multi- national corporations especially in the financial sector which had been responsible for the growth of gross economic inequality and, in the case of the financial sector for the financial crash and subsequent economic recession of 2008 onwards.
In 2010 Blond was hopeful that what he saw as Cameron's new brand of Civic Conservatism would begin to deal with all of these problems. Thus "Cameron has called for a recovery of society and the reforming of the state to facilitate human relationships and the building of real communities and a new capitalism that works with society rather than against it. These two intellectual intents mark the birth of a genuinely new civic conservatism that privileges human association above the state and market ideologies that have for the last 230 years constituted the governing consensus" Also "this is the true spirit of a renewed conservatism and a radical One Nation Conservatism and this is the ideal by which we must judge a future Conservative settlement and the merit of what was done in the light of what was promised. "
However critics argued that Cameron was unlikely to mount a serious challenge to the fundamental economic and social inequalities which exist in the UK and it was not long before Phillip Blond himself signalled his disappointment with the Conservative- Liberal Democrat Coalition
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