Peel, the Whigs, and the recovery of compassionate conservatism?

Sticking with the Young Unionists for a moment. One of the most underrated Northern Irish bloggers is Brian Crowe. In this piece he goes back to an interesting point in British history, the repeal of the Corn Laws and the rise of powerful notions political economy. He links it directly to a new-ish work, by the conservative think tank Policy Exchange, called Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, Why we need it. Crowe argues that something in conservatism died at this moment. Indeed, there is an argument that the tight strictures applied to famine relief in the years following Peel’s reforms by Lord John Russell’s Whig government to protect the independent operation of markets accounts for some of the higher end effects of the Irish Famine.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty