The Conservative Ideology Of Sport

1683 Words7 Pages
“Sport has certain characteristics which perhaps impel it more readily than other human activities towards an association with politics.” (McIntosh, P.C. 1963) For many years sport has been an issue for discussion throughout government policy decision making. We continue to hear that sport is the answer to many issues affecting society. It could be suggested that the Conservative government of 1979 - 1990 used sport as a way of addressing the political problems of urban riots and social unrest. (Bloyce and Smith, 2010) At this stage it is important to understand the Conservative ideology in the context of sport and out with sport. The Conservative ideological approach is that of individualism and an overall belief that people should…show more content…
(Flemming, 2012) In a sporting context the Conservatives, specifically during 1979 -1990 did not view sport as a high priority. (Houlihan and White, 2001) They instead used sport as a means of solving other political issues. (Houlihan and White, 2002) According to Houlihan and White (2001), the Ministers for Sport carried out their job ineffectively and this reflected the governments’ attitude towards sport. (Houlihan and White, 2002). This essay will attempt to show and discuss how the Conservative Government of 1979-1990 under the leadership of Margret Thatcher attempted to intervene within sport through a number of social policies. Prior to 1979 there was a Labour government in charge of the UK. This government established the Advisory Sports Council, which was later changed to the Executive Sports Council. Their role was to provide people within society the opportunity to participate in sport because of an increased demand and to provide public sport and recreation provision for both social welfare and enjoyment. (Houlihan 1997) One of the programmes to develop from this was ‘Sport for All’ in 1972. (Green and Houlihan, 2006) The ‘Sport for All’ policy made clear that elite sport and the provision of competitive high level sport was just as much an…show more content…
Political agendas that may not necessarily be directed towards sport can and do make an impact towards sport and leisure provision. This is definitely portrayed through the introduction of Competitive Compulsory Tendering in 1988, the Conservative step away from providing ‘Sport for All’ and the reduction of funding which provided both negative and positive implications towards sport. Due to the society we live in now, inequality has been a major issue that is trying to be reduced. Therefore Thatcher’s idea of privatising government services would no longer be seen as appropriate as equal access needs to be promoted and CCT only allowed people who had money to afford sport and recreation to participate in activities. In my personal opinion, Thatcher and the Conservative government during 1989 – 1990 caused an extraordinary amount of damage to sport and leisure. Her focus primarily looked at either elite athletes or the use of sport to control urban unrest. She failed to provide opportunities for grassroots level sport and ultimately never planned for the future. However if it were not for Thatcher introducing CCT and making local authorities account for their spending, sport and the economy could have been in a worse state now. Some of her policies might have been right but not for that

More about The Conservative Ideology Of Sport

Open Document