Is Politics Since 1997 in the Uk Characterised More by Conflict or Consensus?

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Is politics since 1997 in the UK characterised more by conflict or consensus? Politics in the United Kingdom has ferociously swung between consensus and conflict in the last 70 years. Consensus politics is used to describe governments who continue to follow the same policies as previous governments. The term ‘Consensus Politics’ first came about following the Conservative election victory in 1951. The country had just been through a social revolution under Clement Attlee’s government and the lower class had experienced social security in the form of the new NHS and benefit system. Churchill, despite his deep ideological opposition, was forced to keep the welfare state fearing that tampering with such a popular social policy would lead to another Labour landslide in the next general election. Up until 1979 both the Conservatives and Labour followed Left wing policies created by the Attlee government, these ranged from the Keynesian Economic theory to the increased power of trade unions. The polar opposite of consensus is conflict politics. Conflict politics is the opposition of previous government policy and a complete change. The post war consensus hit a brick wall in 1979 with the election of Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Thatcher was a conviction politician with a hatred for consensus. Her years in government saw the end of consensus with a direct attack on trade unions and monetarism economic policy. Politics since 1997 has not been as black and white as it had been and it is not easy to clearly label the era as conflict or consensus. Tony Blair won the 1997 election by a landslide on the back of the ‘New Labour’ image. This image dismissed the old image of a weak divided party which the country saw under Thatcher’s decade long government. With the New Labour image came a reform of clause 4 of the party’s constitution, abandoning the party’s outdated attachment to
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