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Communication dans un congrès

The Conservatives’ representation of Socialism and Liberalism during parliamentary debates since the 90s.

Abstract : The Conservatives’ representation of Liberalism through the mirror image of Socialism (in parliamentary discourse) This paper aims to analyse the way the Conservatives have represented socialism and liberalism in the Westminster parliamentary debates since John Major (especially during Prime Minister’s Question Time). Since Margaret Thatcher’s adoption of neo-liberal policies the conservative MPs and leaders have relentlessly depicted socialism as a threat to the country, both from an economic and social perspective. In their view, socialism is the arch-enemy to fight aginst, it is associated with regimes that would kill democracy and freedom in the UK. Its principles rely on hypercentralisation, authoritarianism and North Korea communism, Stalinism... For the Conservatives the Labour Party embodies socialism and must be targeted as the enemy. Among many other things, the Labour party is constantly accused of wanting to renationalise private companies, to disincentivize people from working, to borrow too much money, to support the Social Chapter, to mimick bankrupt socialist countries… The Conservatives’ strategy is to create a clear-cut ideological divide between their group and their political opponents. While reviling Socialim the Conservatives promote their own liberal policies as the only possible path away from serfdom to “freedom and choice”. The conservative leaders will pose as the saviours of the country in the face of ‘evil socialism’. This narrative heavily relies on a symbolic representation of two worlds. For Murray Edelman symbols are used to (over)simplify the message and thus turning ideologies into symbolic objects that make it much easier for people to treat concepts as things. The objectified political lines are then easy to identify and understand. But what happens when those objectified ideological lines do no longer run in intrinsically opposed ways ? What becomes of the narratives of opposing ideologies ? While Tony Blair defended his new “stakeholding society” programme at the dispatch box in the late 90s, the conservative party was about to adopt a more progressive liberal rhetoric to help them move away from their reputation of being “the nasty party”, and in the process both parties repudiated part of their ideological credo.
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Communication dans un congrès
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https://hal-univ-bourgogne.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03395358
Contributeur : Stéphane Revillet Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : vendredi 22 octobre 2021 - 13:32:20
Dernière modification le : samedi 27 novembre 2021 - 13:03:27

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  • HAL Id : hal-03395358, version 1

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Stéphane Revillet. The Conservatives’ representation of Socialism and Liberalism during parliamentary debates since the 90s.. Liberalism and/or socialism: tensions, exchanges and convergences from the 19th century to today, Oct 2021, NANCY, France. ⟨hal-03395358⟩

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