Compromise and Conciliation in “Broken Britain”

Leonardo Goi (Italy, AC 07-09)




Compromise and conciliation are too often words avoided by the radicalism of majorities and oppositions. The present political scene of “broken Britain” – as it has been recently portrayed by the Tory leader David Cameron – requires a prompt revival of their applicability. Whoever will be asked to seal the wounds of the country – alongside the pride of its people – will have to deeply foster this sense of renovation, and stand on the shoulders of past to build the nation’s future. Amidst the shadows of Mr Brown’s debacle, David Miliband and David Cameron await for their chances to recover pluralism to broaden the electorate’s consensus. Such a task, however, will not be easy. 




‘Cameronism’ is a concept to be handled with care. Denied by its own putative father, it now constitutes the one thing capable of jeopardizing the future of Labour hegemony. Mr Cameron has toppled the main pillar of British political scene – governments lose elections, oppositions don’t win them – by making the Tories a party able to uphold the failures of the Labourites and draw their policies upon them. Never mind the elite background – never mind the posh attitude: Mr Cameron has dismantled his political liabilities and built the Tories premises upon the co-existence of a Labour shell and a Tory core. “He detoxified his party ditching some of his bred-in-the-bone leanings towards social conservatism” – suggested TIME in the late September issue. He did so by obeying to the laws of consensus: he reconsidered his earlier stances and progressively compromised with the extremisms of Conservatives. The slogan: “it’s time for change – change you can trust” sums up the need for a renovation encompassing the whole nation whilst avoiding the detachment with the masses. Being a “conservative who doesn’t believe in revolutions”, but in “an enormously important development”, Mr Cameron devoted most of his mandate to the pursuit of a condition which would allow him to sew the Blairite’s legacy with the Tories future policies.

Many faces must have paled, during the 2005 Tory Party conference, when Mr Cameron stood up and proclaimed himself as the heir to Blair. Three years later, those who saw in his words the threat of a dangerous liberal influence have understood the strength of that confession, and alongside it, the pragmatism of a politician aware of the need for reviving Britain’s past to foster its future. Breaking bread with the Blairites – or even with the nostalgic New-Labourites – would imply digging out of the oblivion the mistakes and successes, the pros and cons, of ten years of left wing mandates. Unsurprisingly, the policy of compromise between past, present and future is the very basis of David Cameron’s future presidency: in times where extremists are regarded carefully by both electorate and deputies, compromise represents the best solution for a long lived government.

Being the only problem hindering Mr Cameron’s conciliatory manoeuvres the suspicions of stricter Tories, who would regard cautiously any attempt to cooperate with the New Labourites – the Tory leader can consider himself half way through his mission. “Compromise” – seen under the present Tory political context – would not mean taking on a revolution, nor would it imply a radical detachment of Mr Cameron’s political persona from the default stances of his party. Whilst a broad, compromising scenario may not be a surprise amongst Conservatives deputies, the same cannot be said about David Miliband and the future of the New Labour.

The compromise needed to wipe out Mr Brown’s failure might not be as gentle as Mr Cameron’s drift. In order to conciliate the views of the New Labour with those of the supposedly progressive Tories, Mr Miliband will have to purify his party from its social debacle. To do so, however, the current Foreign Minister will have to act carefully. Rather than compromising, the Labourites need to cleanse their party from its failures, and this will not be accomplished as long as the passive, waffling behaviourism remains a feature within the New Labour. In few words, challenging the eclectic Tories requires the partial rejection of two years of New Labour policies. Albeit Mr Miliband might be eager – and capable – to set off this process, how willing are his party members to follow him? “Politics in Britain is broken in fundamental ways, both in its culture and structures” confessed Mr Miliband to Prospect this month: “We’re far too Napoleonic and centralized in the way we organize our affairs”. Hence need to call for pluralism, to call for a “third way”. 

Whether or not this will be the right solution, Mr Miliband needs to make it clear to his fellow deputies: a long living government will find its bases only on broaden bases of support. If New Labour was not a faction within the party, as he argued, then the new stances ought not to be seen as factionalism either, but rather the final accomplishment of a status quo which would enable the New Labour to take on the challenge driven by the electorate’s willingness. Compromise and conciliation might thus become fairly soon, a new trend in “broken Britain”.


– United World College Student Magazine –
























One thought on “Compromise and Conciliation in “Broken Britain”

  1. Cameron may have succeeded in detoxifying his party’s image, but he hasn’t succeeded in detoxifying his party. The majority of conservatives are still closet racists and homophobes.

    Furthermore, the financial crisis has exposed Cameron’s void of clear principles and beliefs. Once you have stripped the tories of all the nasty stuff as Cameron has tried to do, you realise that there is nothing left – they are entirely vacuous. Nothing shows this more than their slogan or mantra at their recent party conference “Plan for Change”.

    Since when have conservatives done anything other than oppose change or planning?

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