Portal:Conservatism

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Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional values, accepting that technology and society can shift, but the principles should not. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were. The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. Political science often credits the Irish politician Edmund Burke with many of the ideas now called conservative.

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Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, (born 1925) is a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who served from 1979 to 1990. In the 1959 general election she became MP for Finchley. Edward Heath appointed Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 government. In 1975 she was elected Leader of the Conservative Party, the first woman to head a major UK political party, and in 1979 she became the UK's first female Prime Minister. After entering 10 Downing Street Thatcher was determined to reverse what she perceived as a precipitous national decline. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, particularly of the financial sector, flexible labour markets, the sale or closure of state-owned companies, and the withdrawal of subsidies to others. Thatcher's popularity waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support resulting in her re-election in 1983. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her Community Charge was widely unpopular and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990 after Michael Heseltine's challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party.

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The struggle between the opponents and defenders of capitalism is a struggle between innovators who do not know what innovation to make and conservatives who do not know what to conserve.

Simone Weil"The Power of Words" in Selected Essays 1934-1943 (1957)

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  • June 13: Damian Green says Conservatives performing appallingly among ethnic minorities, the Tory minister (pictured) says black and Asian voters are 'completely disengaged' from party. Guardian

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The UK Conservative Party served with the Liberals in an all-party coalition government during World War I, and the coalition continued under Liberal PM David Lloyd George (with half of the Liberals) until 1922. Then Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin led the break-up of the coalition and the party governed until 1929, when it was defeated by Labour in a close election. In 1931, following the collapse of the Labour minority government, it entered another coalition, which was dominated by the Conservatives with some support from fractions of both the Liberals and Labour party (National Labour and Liberal Nationals).

Credit: Space Brood

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