The Conservative Party still carries much toxicity. But recently there have been signs of change.
Policy changes began at the end of last year, with most coming from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Since Michael Gove took over as its minister in June, they have proposed a reel of common sense changes, including an ivory ban, a microbeads ban, and a crackdown on single-use plastics. These policies should have been introduced years ago, and many would never associate them with a Conservative government. They are good policies that help to break down the 'Nasty Party' stereotype.
In the coming year, departments should build upon such practical, common-sense policies. DEFRA should work with other departments, including enacting market-based solutions to solve other environmental problems. Or, in another example, work with the Department of Health to tackle obesity. It is in this intersection of common-sense policy, and dynamic government, that the most impressive changes can be made.
Simple, non-partisan changes are on the agenda. Departments should build upon this foundation of practical and efficient politics, collaborating to create new policy – it will give the government the momentum it desperately needs.
Running parallel to this change in policy perspective, away from slow bureaucracy, and towards dynamism, is an overhaul of the government ministers themselves. In Monday's reshuffle, the 2015 and 2017 intake of MPs have been handed even greater responsibility, whilst some ministers now have extended roles, such as Jeremy Hunt's enlarged responsibility as minister for health and social care.
The young new faces May has brought in through her reshuffle, coupled with policy changes, will offer hope to May’s government. Labour have fallen quiet over the past few weeks – this is the opportunity for the Conservatives to take back some of the ground they lost last year.