The Tories Should Make Concessions To The Young, Or Risk Losing Them Forever
I’ll be honest, I think we might have just had the most pointless General Election ever.
5 weeks since the Conservatives lost the majority and had to be bailed out by the DUP, what has really changed since parliament was dissolved? We still have basically the same front bench pushing through the same policies with same swagger as if Theresa May’s vote of no confidence meant nothing.
Their much-touted Great Repeal Bill has been revealed, and as expected they have opted to scrap the charter of fundamental rights , which contains the EU court of Human Rights. The government has been trying to scrap it ever since 2015, and have jumped at the opportunity. This flies in the face of many young people, who see this legislation as non-negotiable.
In the past few weeks, the government has opted to keep the public sector pay freeze. At PMQ’s last week, Theresa May cited Greece as the reason why austerity had to stay in place, referring to the level of deficit in Athens. This was quickly debunked by Andrew Neil, who pointed out that Britain’s deficit was actually much higher than Greece’s.
Austerity is very difficult to swallow since the government managed to find £1bn for the DUP. Granted, that £1bn would hardly make a difference in the public sector, but it’s the fact that public money is being used to prop up a government, and not to help the public. It leaves a bitter taste.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is being just as brash and antagonistic as ever, David Davies keeps on insisting no deal is better than a bad deal, without properly explaining what exactly that means, and Donald Trump, one of the most unpopular men in Britain, has promised to sign a 'Very big, very powerful' trade deal between Britain and America. Considering Donald Trump is about as trustworthy as a fox in a henhouse and about as competent as a dead mouse, that should obviously end well.
I find it so strange. The British public quite spectacularly rejected her vision, if not her party, yet Theresa May seems to be doubling down on her more draconian policies. And she still has offered very little to the young. She claims to have shed a tear as the election results came in, yet she learnt absolutely nothing from them.
I have many friends who have voted for the Tories before, but swung to Labour this time. These are people who they could feasibly get back, but not by rejecting their needs entirely. The majority of those under 44 voted Labour, in huge numbers within some demographics, and it’s not going to be too long before these voters are the majority. I don’t understand why the Conservatives would ignore them entirely.
Politics is obviously a fickle beast, and the Tories have been quite good at “dumping the garbage” within the first few years of government, before softening in the run up to an election. But with such a shaky grip on power are they realistically going to make the full 5-year term? A few by-election losses and they will be in real trouble. And people will not forget being ignored so quickly.
My hunch is they’re hedging all their bets on the Brexit deal. If they nail it, they’ll win the people back, but that’s a huge gamble. They risk turning an entire generation into “anyone but you” types of voters, and contrary to common wisdom I don’t believe you naturally become more Conservative as you get older. Despite being in power for the last 7 years, they have only held a majority for 2 of the last 20. They could find themselves in a similar drought in 10 years time if they don’t yield a little.