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The Conservative Party and Its Principles

The United Kingdom or Britain maintains two political parties that are represented in the House of
Commons to join parliamentary businesses and matters (Duverger !"#$%& 'n today(s parliament
technically there are three parties that dominate the House of Commons ) the Conservative and
Unionist *arty the +abour *arty and the +iberal Democrats& The +abour and the +iberal Democrats
both stand on democratic socialism,liberalism& The entrance of +abour *arty on Britain(s politics
provided the wor-ing sector an opportunity to brea- status .uo of the two traditional parties (/illiams
!""0%&
The Conservative *arty the oldest of Britain(s political parties traced its roots to the Tories of the !1
th

century& 2rom that time until today the Conservative *arty plays a big role in the British government&
3ome of the party(s prominent leaders who became *rime 4inisters include5 4argaret Thatcher 6ohn
4ajor /inston Churchill and the present *rime 4inister David Cameron&
+i-e any other party Conservative also has its own fundamental or basic principles that govern the
actions and decisions of its members& These guiding principles define the mindset of its members and
representatives in the *arliament and following the opposite of these principles leads to an e7odus out
of political conservatism& The fundamental principles of the Conservative *arty can be summari8ed as
9the defence of a limited style of politics based upon the idea of imperfection('ngle :;;# p& :<%&=
Fundamentals of the Conservative Party
Conservatism principles and atmosphere in Britain 9has been vigorously contested&&& to e7pect a flurry
of impassioned speeches and pamphlets setting out rival interpretations (>arnett ? +ynch :;;@%&= :;
th

century saw the meltdown of some of the basic ideas behind conservatism in Britain ) and since then
British conservatism had been threatened and attac-ed of complete emergence of anti,conservatism
principles& Aet British conservatism was able to hold its grounds and -eep its basic fundamental
principles&
2irst Conservatives believe on the Bill of Bights principle that a person has absolute right to liberty&
The intention of conservatism is to ensure assurance of individual liberty by eliminating misuse and
abuse of power that may undermine the absolute right to liberty of each person& Cll other principles and
ideas of government of the Conservative *arty surround on this first fundamental principle&
3econd conservative members of the *arliament adheres to the basic right of each to ownership as the
e7press spirit of opportunity freedom and independence& Clthough this principle among conservatism
can be viewed under liberalism but careful understanding ensures that no ground of socialism will be
ta-en to avoid clash between the right of a person to ownership and the right of the government to
ensure e.uality& Basically this fundamental principle is an e7tension of the first principle that assures
absolute right to liberty&
/ith the assurance of absolute liberty conservatism believes that the same liberty has its own
responsibilities toward the nation fellowmen and family& This third principle of the Conservative *arty
attempts to demonstrate a chec- and balance on the absolute liberty of a person& Cs .uoted in 3eawright
(:;;"% former *4 Thatcher said5
9' thin- we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to
understand 9' have a problem it is the >overnment(s job to cope with it=&&& There is no such
thingD There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do
anything e7cept through people and people loo- themselves first&&&=
British Conservatism balances the stand on liberty with the responsibility of every person toward the
society& Etherwise it would be impossible for the government to survive& 't should be that the
government ensures liberty but the government must be provided by individuals& This understanding of
balance is enshrined deeply on the fourth principle of government(s role on strengthening individual
liberty& However the compete leaning on the right may mean absolute individualism and the loss of
patrimony&
'n reinforcement of the :
nd
conservatism principle the fifth basic of guideline of the party states the
necessity for the government to establish a good environment and atmosphere for establishment of free
enterprise& Because each person has the right and opportunity to ownership the Conservative *arty
wor-s on the economic and political grounds of free enterprise and capitalism which is usually
contested by social,liberalism of the +iberal Democrats&
+astly Conservatism wor-s on defence to ensure that Britain maintains its global strength as a
pathway to e7tend peace that will ensure the total achievement of all other principles whether
fundamental or au7iliary&
Retention of Conservative Principles
4ore than $;; years from its original conception the Conservative *arty remained strong and
formidable in the *arliament even ma-ing a government of today under its party leader and current
*rime 4inister David Cameron(s victory& Cnd over the past few centuries while the +iberal *arty has
been divided which also provided a chance for the +abour *arty to emerge as a strong contender in the
British politics the Conservative *arty retains its strength and most of its fundamental principles&
During the term of /inston Churchill and 4argaret Thatcher conservatism has been in direct attac-s&
These periods mar-ed the biggest challenge of the party to maintain their principles& 't is a surprise and
remar-able how the party maintained its principles and -ept its members in chec- especially with
dealing with crucial issues in the *arliament&
/hat had been the secret behind conservatismF To what e7tent the party isolated and controlled their
members within their fundamental principlesF
2or the British Conservatives tradition remains a main thing which is also shunned by the +iberals&
Conservatism is defined as the 9political philosophy that emphasi8es the value of traditional institutions
and practices (Boa8 :;;0%&= Unli-e Cmerican conservatism that protects traditional institutions but
values modern or liberal practices British conservatism has been consistent on its own definition&
Ta-e for instance Thatcher(s response to the 2al-land crisis& Conservatism dictates that 2al-land is an
institution enshrined on the British government which should be -ept according to Thatcher& 'n
-eeping with conservatism principle of defense to ensure protection of all other rights the prime
minister wants to 9show that aggression will not succeed and to uphold the cause of freedom (>ibran
:;;0 p& !!!%=
En this act of Thatcher the 9Conservative government upheld and show a determination to defend&&&
9the right to self,determination= 9sanctity of the British way of life= and 9aggression should not pay&=
*erhaps the strength of Conservatism has been showed and represented by strong and formidable
leaders who were able to establish the Conservative *arty(s principle within the party itself and the
British government policy&
Cnother point to consider in understanding how far Conservatives went or will go for the retention of
their principles is their current coalition with the +iberal Democrats& The +iberal Democrats are
considered to be center,radicals and the Conservatives as the center,right& Gven in this situation
Conservatives were still able to build successes not in opposing change but to ma-e the process
gradual&
2or instance the Conservatives were able to defend and resist change as a result the monarchy is
preserved but they were able to ready to accept developments of the social and liberal views
(4cCnulla :;;#%& The monarchy becomes more rela7 and comfortable with people as a result of
gradual acceptance of change& The *arty was able to -eep the traditional institution without suffering
pragmatism which could have put progress in the balance&
Becent developments of the British politics have seen how Conservatives are willing to bend their
long,held policies for the sa-e of preserving patrimony and paternalism& 'n fact in terms of economics
the Conservative government tends to be more liberal which is very important to avoid hurting the
nation(s interest& 'n this view the Conservative government must choose between policies or its
fundamental principles& Cnd as always the fundamental principle wins as a sign of how willing
Conservatives are in sacrificing their policies to preserve and retain their basic principles&
The retention of Conservative *arty(s principle has been a constant battle between change and stability
the past achievements and the moment traditional paternalism and libertarianism& 'ngle (:;;#% said
that conservatism was able to preserve its principles because of the change it faced& 'n fact he noted
that 9Conservatives were opposed to parliamentary reforms and then became its championH opposed to
Corn +aw reform and then became its agent&&&= to establish the movement of the Conservative party
that although they were able to preserve their fundamental or basic principles they have been in
constant battle of accepting change or staying on the status .uo& 'n the end they were able to accept the
need to change without sacrificing the traditional principles they hold&
*erhaps the history of the Conservative *arty is a complete story of their party identity that(s more than
their ideology& This is how they maneuver to -eep their pace in this changing political environment
and even create alliance with people from the opposite fence without changing lines and stands& Cnd
this is the secret behind the formidable strength and endurance of the Conservative *arty(s fundamental
principles that still guide every single member in the *arliament and even the current *rime 4inister
Conservative *arty Chairman David Cameron&
References:
Boa8 D& :;;0& The Politics of Freedom: Taking on the Left, the Right, and Threats to Our Liberties.
Cato 'nstitute&
Duverger 4& !"#$& Political Parties: Their Organization and Activit in the !odern "tate& Taylor ?
2rancis&
>arnett 4& ? +ynch *& :;;@& The #onservatives in #risis& 4anchester University *ress&
>ibran D& :;;0& The Falklands $ar: %ritain &ersus the Past in the "outh Atlantic& 4c2arland&
'ngle 3& :;;0& The %ritish Part "stem: An 'ntroduction& @
th
and revised ed& Taylor ? 2rancis&
4cCnulla 3& :;;#& %ritish Politics: A #ritical 'ntroduction& Continuum 'nternational *ublishing
>roup&
3eawright D& :;;"& The %ritish #onservative Part and One (ation Politics& Continuum 'nternational
*ublishing >roup&
/illiams C& !""0& )* +overnment , Politics& :
nd
edition& Heinemann&