Conservative Thinkers by Kevin Hickson, Mark Garnett

By Kevin Hickson, Mark Garnett

This e-book outlines and evaluates the political considered the Conservative social gathering via a close exam of its central thinkers from Harold Macmillan to the present.

Traditionally, the Conservative occasion has been considered as a vote-gathering computer instead of a car for ideas. This publication redresses the stability via a sequence of biographical essays analyzing the concept of these who've contributed so much to the advance of rules in the social gathering. The chapters take advantage of archival examine and interviews with major Conservatives. the hot revival of Conservative fortunes makes the ebook really timely.

The e-book starts with an introductory bankruptcy explaining the position of ideology within the Conservative get together. It then strains the political considered the Conservative social gathering via its crucial theorists because the Nineteen Thirties. those are Harold Macmillan, R. A. Butler, Quintin Hogg, Enoch Powell, Angus Maude, Keith Joseph, the ‘traditionalists’ (Maurice Cowling, T. E. ‘Peter’ Utley, Peregrine Worsthorne, Shirley Letwin and Roger Scruton), Ian Gilmour, John Redwood and David Willetts. The booklet concludes with an total evaluation of the political considered the Conservative get together and the relevance of earlier debates for modern Conservatism.

The booklet could be of substantial curiosity to lecturers and non-academics alike; in case you have a distinct curiosity within the Conservative get together but in addition for any scholar of latest British Politics.

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But Willetts’s view is more plausible than it sounds. The authors certainly emphasised their support for individual liberty and the free market. Even so, the main intention of the publication was (as Hogg had demanded) to persuade the electorate that the Conservatives were not dogmatic advocates of laissez-faire. Taking into 26 rab butler and the one nation group a­ ccount the circumstances of the time – notably the success of the state in driving Britain’s war effort, the unmistakable electoral popularity of Labour’s interventionist programme, and the widespread impression that the Conservatives had embraced laissez-faire between the wars – it is difficult to see how a policy statement on industry could have been different without taking on the characteristics of a suicide note.

As if to compensate for these early advantages, Hogg encountered personal misfortunes at regular intervals throughout his life. His mother died while he was still at Eton; his gifted half-brother, the Conservative MP Edward Marjoribanks, committed suicide in 1932; his unsatisfactory first marriage came to a miserable end when he returned from service in the Second World War; and his much-loved second wife died in a riding accident in 1978. On the face of it, his father’s elevation to a hereditary peerage in 1928 should hardly be ranked as a blow to rival these unhappy incidents.

6 Quoted in J. D. Hoffman, The Conservative Party in Opposition 1945–51 (MacGibbon and Kee, London, 1964), p. 208. 7 R. A. Butler, The Art of the Possible (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1971), p. 90. 8 M. Garnett, Alport: A Study in Loyalty (Acumen, London, 1999), p. 55. 9 A. Maude, ‘An Educated Electorate’, in Tradition and Change: Nine Oxford Lectures (CPC, London, 1954), p. 83. 10 Butler diary, 9 September 1943, quoted in G. McCulloch, Educational Reconstruction: The 1944 Education Act and the Twenty-first Century (Woburn Press, London, 1994), p.

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