Something old and blue, or red, bold and new? Welfare reform and the coalition government

Jay Wiggan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on the dividing lines between, on the one hand, the civic conservative ideas articulated by Conservative politicians such as David Willets and Oliver Letwin, and on the other hand, what it sees as one of the most striking ideas within contemporary Conservative thinking, Phillip Blond's ‘Red Tory’ critique of neoliberalism. It argues that the distinctiveness of Red Toryism lies in its attempt to break conservatism from neoliberalism by establishing that the latter is not the champion of free markets, but of monopolistic big business. It notes that the Conservative Party leadership may on occasion have flirted with the Red Tory critique of monopoly capitalism, this remains at a rhetorical level, for as it demonstrates through an analysis of the Coalition government's welfare to work reforms, current policies will both extend the reach of private monopolistic practice and strengthen the power of capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Policy Review 23
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2011
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781847429094
ISBN (Print)9781847428301
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2011

Publication series

NameSocial Policy Review
PublisherPolicy Press


  • civic conservative ideas
  • Conservative politicians
  • David Willets
  • Oliver Letwin
  • Philip Blond
  • Red Tory
  • neoliberalism
  • monopolistic big business
  • monopoly capitalism
  • welfare to work reforms


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