Turning Right, Talking Left: David Cameron’s ‘Four Nations’ Conference Speech and the Ghosts of Tory Leaders Past

cameron

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

Cross-posted from Four Nations History blog

In a special post, the University of Exeter’s Professor Richard Toye reacts to David Cameron’s speech to the 2014 Conservative party conference and reflects on the Prime Minister’s vision of the United Kingdom. 

David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative party conference started with a line that will make it of direct interest to the readers of this blog:

‘I am so proud to stand here today as Prime Minister of four nations in one United Kingdom.’

Confessing that the Scottish referendum had given him sleepless nights, Cameron boasted that the British people have now been confirmed as ‘one people in one union’. The explicit Unionist message naturally places him in a long Conservative tradition. And whereas much of the instant reaction focussed on the promise of tax cuts, reading the full speech leads to interesting reflections on the extent to which today’s Conservative Party follows in the rhetorical footsteps of its past leaders. Continue reading “Turning Right, Talking Left: David Cameron’s ‘Four Nations’ Conference Speech and the Ghosts of Tory Leaders Past”