The Right Response: Conservative ideas to tackle perennial poverty

Publication Details

This Essay Collection has been made possible with the kind support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and has been edited by Dr Christopher Fear (Lecturer in Politics and International Relation, University of Hull). An excerpt from the foreword written by Dr Christopher Fear and Phillip Blond (Director, ResPublica) follows:

‘While our view is that political theory has its place—those long-running debates about the balance between equality and freedom, and all the rest of it—we nevertheless share with the parliamentarian authors who have contributed to this volume the view that addressing the endemic and perennial cost of poverty and class in practice remains fundamental to any Conservative renewal. With that in mind, this volume presents essays by twelve serving Conservative MPs on the causes, realities, and effects of poverty in today’s Britain. Each chapter contains new ideas in specific policy areas that the authors (and we) believe should be considered and discussed as the “levelling up” mantra is developed into a concrete programme of practical Conservative government action.

The authors represent a diversity of constituencies in England and Wales, and are drawn from across the parliamentary party, so this volume is very far from promoting mere regional or factional interests. The reader will notice, however, that what all of these authors share is the recognition that the conventional “right-liberal” activity of the last few governments—or, perhaps more accurately, certain inactivity—has so far left in place systems that are not working for the poorest people in our country. Naturally, politicians with different policy interests will cite different successes, failures, and possible solutions. But for each of them the “right-liberal” ideological alloy of economic and cultural liberalism has demonstrably failed in some regard, and no section of our society has paid more for those right-liberal failures than the working class.’

Essays titles and contributors:

The Left–Right Consensus on Levelling Up, by Danny Kruger MP and Imogen Sinclair

Levelling Up the Gig Economy, by Damian Collins MP

A New Generation of Apprentices, by Tom Tugendhat MP

Freeports as a Route Out of Poverty, by Tom Hunt MP

Buying British: Reducing the UK’s Dependence on Foreign Imports, by Sir John Redwood MP

Fiscal Devolution: Lessons from the Continent, by David Simmonds MP

Reforming Welfare through Social Security, by Stephen Crabb MP

Boosting Britain’s Financial Health, by John Penrose MP

A New Deal on Social Housing, by Bob Blackman MP

Rebuilding Britain’s Savings, by Paul Maynard MP

Levelling Up for Children and Parents, by Miriam Cates MP

Marriage and Cohabitation, by Sir John Hayes MP