The author is a former senior adviser to British Prime Ministers Philip Hammond and Sajid Javid and a partner at Flint Global.he writes in a personal capacity
Boris Johnson’s government is fundamentally ‘unconservative’. That has been the impression given by the Conservative leadership elections so far. Inevitably, the debate has been dominated by the most successful leader of the modern Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher.
What we have heard is, at best, a partial reflection of her philosophy. The Conservative tycoon lines up to remind her candidate of her aversion to unfunded tax cuts at a time when inflation is skyrocketing.Additionally, the argument is a reflection of conservative economic thought. ignores the much richer history of
Conservative economics has been in decline and flux over the past 200 years. Following Robert’s Peale liberalization agenda in the mid-nineteenth century, laissez-faireWith the rise of the Labor Party, the party took a stance against socialism, but after 1945 the Tories settled with the welfare state and presided over a mixed economy. It was only under Thatcher that national unwinding took center stage.
However, this evolution should not be confused with a lack of principle. Throughout, his four basic tenets of conservative economic thinking have persisted. First, conservative economics tends to be pragmatic, ideologically skeptical, and grounded in realism. Conservatism has rejected intellectual rigidity and instead adapted to addressing the problems of the time.
Second, we welcome economic change. This is both to make progress possible and to ensure political and social stability where necessary. The task is to carefully manage change while being appropriately aware of how people and communities need to be protected.
A third key principle is the belief that prosperity and opportunity should be shared widely. This thread begins with Benjamin Disraeli’s recognition of the dangers of having “two nations”, the rich and the poor. Harold McMillan Acknowledgment of conservatism’s “clear duty” to sections of society that do not share economic progress.
Finally, there is the role of the country. Yes, the Conservative Party has always been wary of big governments, but this should not be confused with small-state libertarianism. The conservative approach was to see the state as an enabler rather than a manager of economic activity.
It is these principles that we need to apply to our future challenges. In the short term, this means managing a spike in inflation and the recession it could bring. In addition, the next prime minister must look to long-term challenges. Given the recent growth of anemia, planning to maximize it should be an absolute priority. recognize that economic growth may be slower than before and constrained by inevitable structural factors such as an aging population, a relentless shift to more services, and a decline in globalization. I have to. Therefore, the pursuit of growth cannot be used as a cover to avoid difficult decisions elsewhere.
Specifically, lower growth means that two challenges already facing the UK are likely to intensify. Income levels and regional inequality in the UK are high by both historical and international standards. As history shows, low growth increases competition for distribution and increases the urgency of the problem. Slower growth also means that structural pressures on public finances cannot be ignored.
Today’s conservatism will have to adapt once more to deal with future growth, inequality and fiscal problems. But it must be based on long-standing conservatism principles, not on the empty promise of a partial imitation of Thatcherism.