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Flashcards in Labour v Conservative Deck (14)
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1
Q

what is the debate over the Labour and Conservative parties?

A

the Conservative Party and Labour Party are the two biggest parties operating in the UK’s political system and are often seen as being fundamentally opposed, with the Conservatives sitting on the right side of the political spectrum and Labour sitting on the left

however, the view that there is little in common between Conservative and Labour Party policies and ideas is widely debated

2
Q

arguments suggesting that there is quite a lot in common between the two parties

A

both parties have at times shared similar economic policies

both have demonstrated desires to help the disadvantaged in society

both have made efforts to win the support of the middle classes

3
Q

arguments suggesting that there is little in common between the two parties

A

Labour tends to be far more interventionist in terms of economic policy than the Conservatives

Labour displays a far greater commitment to helping the disadvantaged in society

Labour has retained a strong working class base

4
Q

conclusion

A

therefore, it can be argued that while there is some common ground between the two parties, overall there is little truly in common between Conservative and Labour Party policies and ideas

5
Q

there is little in common between the Conservative and Labour Party in terms of economic policy: public spending

A

their economic policy often differs hugely, sometimes being in direct opposition

under Theresa May, Conservative economic policy has at times been just as austere as Thatcher’s

drastic cuts to public spending, particularly cuts to welfare, have continued under her government, with Hammond announcing a new cap on government welfare spending

Labour instead proposes to increase public spending

6
Q

there is little in common between the Conservative and Labour Party in terms of economic policy: taxation

A

further Thatcherite measures are evident in several new tax cuts, including a promise to slash £6.7 billion from business rates and to reduce corporation tax from 20% to 17%

whereas Labour plans to re-introduce the 50p rate of tax on the highest earners (above £123,000) and take an extra £48.6 billion in tax, including over £6 billion from the top 5% and £19 billion from corporation tax

all of this appears to suggest that Conservatives are moving in the opposite direction from Labour’s view of taxing the wealthy and privileged to fund quality public services for the poorer in society

7
Q

there is little in common between the Conservative and Labour Party in terms of economic policy: privatisation v nationalisation

A

under Corbyn, there seems to have been a notable return to more traditional Labour economic commitments, which Conservatives tend to be deeply opposed to

for instance, the party is now committed to the nationalisation of the railways, water and energy industries

their pledge to nationalise England’s 9 water companies, regain control of energy supply networks, bring the railways back into public ownership as franchises expire and reverse the privatisation of Royal Mail “at the earliest opportunity” was featured in their 2017 manifesto, which contrasts to the Conservative support of privatisation

8
Q

there is some stuff in common between the Conservative and Labour Party in terms of economic policy: interventionism

A

at times, the two parties have actually shared some general agreement over economic policy

Theresa May’s Conservative Party seems to have shifted away from Thatcher’s determination to roll back the state and begun a renewed era of government interventionism in economic matters

this was made clear when May wrote in the Telegraph in 2017 that those “just getting by don’t need a government that will get out of the way” but rather an “active government” willing to “step up” and “fix broken markets”

this view is also taken by the Labour Party, which believes that the government should intervene to solve market failures and tackle the shortcomings of the free market

9
Q

there is some stuff in common between the Conservative and Labour Party in terms of economic policy: public spending

A

Theresa May’s Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, stated that the government was ditching Cameron’s commitment to eliminate the budget deficit by 2020 and instead announced new public spending measures in the form of a £23 billion Productivity Investment Fund

the Labour Party is also committed to increased public spending

10
Q

both parties desire to help the disadvantaged in society: Conservative Party

A

May has accepted same-sex marriage – a far cry from Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which banned the “promotion” and teaching of homosexuality as “acceptable” in schools

vowed to take on the perceived impunity of the police force and demanded that issues such as police brutality, racialised use of stop and search powers and unauthorised surveillance are tackled

enquiries have been set up into the Hillsborough disaster, the illegal surveillance of the Lawrence family (whose teenage son had been killed in a racist murder which the police failed to investigate properly) as well as black deaths in police custody

May’s maiden-speech outside Downing Street spoke of the “burning injustices” faced by the poor, the black community, the working-class and women and she vowed to govern in the interests not of the “privileged few” but of all those who are “just about managing”

11
Q

both parties desire to help the disadvantaged in society: Labour Party

A

Labour is also dedicated to achieving equality and helping those who suffer within society

pledged to gender audit all policy and legislation

continue to ensure a woman’s right to choose a safe, legal abortion while planning to work with the Assembly to extend that right to women in Northern Ireland

seeks to reform the Gender Recognition Act and the Equality Act 2010 to ensure they protect trans people

bring the law on LGBT hate crimes into line with hate crimes based on race and faith, by making them aggravated offences

12
Q

there is little in common because Labour is far more committed to helping the disadvantaged

A

this ‘progressive’ rhetoric from the Conservative Party seems to translate into words rather than actions and firm commitments, indicating that there is actually little in common between the two parties as Labour is far more committed to equality and helping the disadvantaged

May does not seem to have kept her 2016 pledge to tackle the ‘burning injustice’ of social stagnation and improve social mobility

the latest State of the Nation Report - inequality is “now entrenched from birth to work”, with social mobility stagnating during the period “at virtually all life stages”

challenge the idea that May’s party is truly dedicated to helping the disadvantaged, indicating that there is little truly in common between Conservative and Labour Party policies and ideas.

13
Q

there is little in common because Labour is far more dedicated to the working class than Conservatives are

A

Labour seems to be far more dedicated to representing the working class whereas the Conservative Party is traditionally linked to the middle and upper classes

Labour has always taken significant steps to benefit the working class and retain their support

New Labour - Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, introduced a national minimum wage

Corbyn - strengthened its support for the working class, raise the minimum wage to at least £10 per hour and give more power back to the trade unions

Corbyn’s claim that “Labour is back as the political voice of the working class”

contrasts to the Conservative Party being the party of ‘middle England’ and seems to demonstrate that there is little in common between the Conservative and Labour Party

14
Q

both parties appeal to middle class voters, suggests they do have things in common

A

Labour Party can be argued to have broken away from its traditional working class support base

it is alleged that in order to be more electorally successful, the modern Labour Party has had to widen its appeal to all classes and sections of society, thus weakening its links to the working class

the party no longer seems to see itself as the party exclusively of the working class

Blair saw the party’s future as being the party of the professional middle class: that is university-educated people rather than manual labourers

developing links to the business community – this seems to draw them closer to the Conservative Party, showing that there some common ground between Conservative and Labour Party ideas