Heath and Powell — Two National Strategies
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The politics of nationhood, central to Conservative political strategy since the 1880s, offered the party fewer political advantages in the post-war period. By 1945, the Conservative claim to be the patriotic party had lost resonance given their association with the pre-war depression, the emergence of a popular patriotic discourse on the Left and a new period of consensus politics.1 Within the parameters of this bipartisan consensus, Conservative predominance in the politics of nationhood receded — the party could no longer credibly resort to patriotic rhetoric which challenged Labour’s legitimacy and depicted the Conservatives as the only party understanding the interests and values of the British people. The foundations of the Conservative politics of nationhood also crumbled as Britain’s world-power status waned, economic decline became more apparent, the retreat from Empire gathered pace and immigration from the New Commonwealth changed British society.
KeywordsNational Strategy Race Relation National Sovereignty Conservative Politics Conservative Party
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