Chapter

Something old and blue, or red, bold and new? Welfare reform and the Coalition government

Wiggan Jay

in Social Policy Review 23

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428301
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303503 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428301.003.0002
Something old and blue, or red, bold and new? Welfare reform and the Coalition government

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This chapter focuses on the dividing lines between, on the one hand, the civic conservative ideas articulated by Conservative politicians such as David Willets and Oliver Letwin, and on the other hand, what it sees as one of the most striking ideas within contemporary Conservative thinking, Phillip Blond's ‘Red Tory’ critique of neoliberalism. It argues that the distinctiveness of Red Toryism lies in its attempt to break conservatism from neoliberalism by establishing that the latter is not the champion of free markets, but of monopolistic big business. It notes that the Conservative Party leadership may on occasion have flirted with the Red Tory critique of monopoly capitalism, this remains at a rhetorical level, for as it demonstrates through an analysis of the Coalition government's welfare to work reforms, current policies will both extend the reach of private monopolistic practice and strengthen the power of capital.

Keywords: civic conservative ideas; Conservative politicians; David Willets; Oliver Letwin; Phillip Blond; Red Tory; neoliberalism; monopolistic big business; monopoly capitalism; welfare to work reforms

Chapter.  7210 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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