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David Cameron

Cameronism describes the economic, social and other policies, and the political style, of David Cameron, the leader of the British Conservative Party since 2005 and later the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2010. It has also been used by some to describe the ideology and wider political culture of the British government while Cameron has been Prime Minister.[1][2]


Cameron describes himself as a "modern compassionate conservative" and has said that he is "fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster".[3] He has stated that he is "certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite".[4] He has also claimed to be a "liberal Conservative", and "not a deeply ideological person".[5] Cameron stated in 2005 that he did not intend to oppose the Labour government as a matter of course, and will offer his support in areas of agreement. He also wants to move the Conservatives' focus away from purely fiscal matters, saying, "It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB - general well-being".[6] There have been claims that he described himself to journalists at a dinner during the leadership contest as the "heir to Blair".[7]

He and others in the 'Notting Hill Set' have sought to focus on issues such as the environment, work-life balance and international development -- issues not seen as priorities for the post-Thatcher Conservative party.[8] In a speech to the Conservative annual conference in October 2006, he identified the concept of "social responsibility" as the essence of his political philosophy.[9]

In 2008, Cameron organised a seminar for senior Conservatives with the economist Richard Thaler and began discussing the influence of Thaler's ideas on Conservative policy.[10][11] Thaler, an advocate of Libertarian paternalism, has been described as Cameron's "free-market guru".[12] Thaler is the co-author with Cass Sunstein of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, and the pair are informal policy advisors to Barack Obama.[13] Cameron included the book in a 2008 reading list for Conservative MPs.[14]

Cameron has been a proponent of progressive conservatism and in 2009, he launched the Progressive Conservatism Project at the British think tank Demos.[15] Cameron's Big Society policy program of 2010 was heavily influenced by progressive conservative Red Tory Phillip Blond, a former member of Demos and founder of the think tank ResPublica in 2009.[16] Blond's ideas on "popular capitalism, mutualism, social entrepreneurialism, and local community ownership of public services, have influenced Cameron.[17]


  1. ^ "BBC News - Introducing Cameronism". 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  2. ^ "The chaos of Cameronism". New Statesman. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Freedland, Enough of this love-in: Bush was a compassionate conservative too, Guardian Unlimited, 7 December 2005, accessed 6 November 2006
  4. ^ Cameron: Tories need new identity, BBC News Online, 17 November 2005, accessed 6 November 2006
  5. ^ Andrew Rawnsley, 'I'm not a deeply ideological person. I'm a practical one', Guardian Unlimited, 18 December 2005, accessed 6 November 2006
  6. ^ Make people happier, says Cameron, BBC News Online, 22 May 2006, accessed 6 November 2006
  7. ^ Andrew Pierce, Horror as Cameron brandishes the B word, The Times Online, 5 October 2005, accessed 25 November 2006
  8. ^ Jo-Anne Nadler, So who are the Notting Hill set anyway?, Sunday Herald, 15 May 2005, accessed 6 November 2006
  9. ^ Cameron: We stand for social responsibility,, 1 October 2006, accessed 6 November 2006
  10. ^ Aditya Chakrabortty, From Obama to Cameron, why do so many politicians want a piece of Richard Thaler?, The Guardian, July 12, 2008, accessed August 12, 2008
  11. ^ Carol Lewis, Why Barack Obama and David Cameron are keen to 'nudge' you, Times Online, July 14, 2008, accessed August 12, 2008
  12. ^ Peter Wilby, Cameron's free-market guru, New Statesman, July 24, 2008, accessed August 12, 2008
  13. ^ Chris Satullo, The right kind of 'nudge' improves life for citizens, Philadelphia Enquirer, July 20, 2008, accessed August 12, 2008
  14. ^ In full: The reading list issued to Tory MPs, The Telegraph, August 3, 2008, accessed August 12, 2008
  15. ^ David Marr. "Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd", Issue 38 of Quarterly Essay Series. Black Inc., 2010. Pp. 126.
  16. ^ Hugh Bochel. The Conservative Party and Social Policy. The Policy Press, 2011. P. 108.
  17. ^ Hugh Bochel. The Conservative Party and Social Policy. The Policy Press, 2011. P. 108.