"And" theory of conservatism

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}} Template:Neologism The "And" theory of conservatism is a political neologism that was coined in the 2000s conservatism for the notion of holistic policy, bringing together traditional conservatism with some aspects of liberalism (right-libertarianism) and combining policies like low taxation with traditionally liberal solutions to issues such as poverty and global warming.[citation needed]


Examples of the politics of "And" include:[1]

  • A commitment to opposing same-sex marriages and to securing fair pension and inheritance arrangements for gay people.
  • A bigger budget for the armed forces and an end to the sale of arms to despotic regimes.
  • Faster, longer imprisonment of repeat offenders and more care for the vulnerable children of prisoners.
  • A willingness to confront the Islamic roots of global terrorism and more opportunities for mainstream Muslims to set up state-funded schools.
  • Controlled immigration policies and a commitment to international development.


The term originated in the United Kingdom and was first noted during Iain Duncan Smith's leadership of the Conservative Party from 2001 to 2003.[2] It has been subsequently popularised by former Conservative Party aide Tim Montgomerie, the former editor of ConservativeHome,[3] who has written on its usage.[4] It has also been used in the United States where it has been picked up by publications such as The Weekly Standard[5] that considered its implications for the Republican Party. The term has been defined in the United States by The Oklahoma Gazette as follows:

The idea is that a center-right party needs not abandon its core issues - crime, taxes, family. Rather, the wise course is to hold fast on those issues and speak to concerns normally ceded to the left.[6]

In the United Kingdom[edit]

The "And" theory has been embraced by several leading conservative politicians in the United Kingdom, including the former Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron[7] (although the term the "And" theory tends not to be expressly mentioned due to its clunky and potentially confusing name). When challenging for the leadership of the party, Cameron said:

When we talk about foreign affairs, we don't just stand up for Gibraltar and Zimbabwe but for the people of Darfur and sub-Saharan Africa who are living on less than a dollar a day and getting poorer while we're getting richer.[8]

Cameron therefore encouraged Conservatives to be concerned with the former British Empire territory of Zimbabwe and the situation in Darfur.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has continued to promote "And" politics, most notably in his 2005 pamphlet Good for Me, Good for My Neighbour, written with Danny Kruger:

I have never believed that modernisation requires the jettisoning of Conservative Euroscepticism, or of our belief in low taxation, or of our tough approach to crime. These principles remain enduringly popular with the public. My proposal for the modernisation of the Party is not to subtract from these core principles – but to add to them.[9]

Duncan Smith has encouraged the party to embrace a social justice agenda (traditionally associated with the left) based on a commitment to the family (seen as an issue of the right).[10]

See also[edit]


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