Brexit and the waning days of the United Kingdom

Started by Josquius, February 20, 2016, 07:46:34 AM

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How would you vote on Britain remaining in the EU?

British- Remain
12 (12%)
British - Leave
7 (7%)
Other European - Remain
21 (21%)
Other European - Leave
6 (6%)
ROTW - Remain
34 (34%)
ROTW - Leave
20 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 98

Tamas

Quote from: HVC on February 08, 2024, 10:08:51 PMGreen Alliance blames Mr Bean for low uptake of EVs in the UK

https://fortune.com/europe/2024/02/07/rowan-atkinson-column-blamed-for-slow-ev-adoption-uk-green-alliance/

:lol:

Cannot possibly be the price and the fact that a hell of a lot of people don't have the infrastructure to charge them conveniently at home (I happen to have that, what I don't have is £33k+ for a car)

Sheilbh

:lol: Yeah I mean Rowan Atkinson's a famous fan of vintage cars (and famously a curmudgeon). I'm not sure he's a massive influencer.

Separately John Burn-Murdoch piece on the outsized anti-conservatism of young people in Britain - with some stuff on some of the material conditions that have created it (you can't do capitalism for people with no capital or conservatism for people with nothing to conserve), plus Brexit on values and also flagging Poilievre :lol: Where you can easily see why young centre-right types here are so taken. Twitter thread on all the parts:
QuoteJohn Burn-Murdoch
@jburnmurdoch
NEW: we often talk about an age divide in politics, with young people much less conservative than the old.

But this is much more a British phenomenon than a global one.

40% of young Americans voted Trump in 2020. But only 10% of UK under-30s support the Conservatives. Why?

One factor is that another narrative often framed as universal turns out to be much worse in the UK: the sense that young generations are getting screwed.

Young people are struggling to get onto the housing ladder in many countries, but the crisis is especially deep in Britain:

It's a similar story for incomes, where Millennials in the UK have not made any progress on Gen X, while young Americans are soaring to record highs.

Young Brits have had a much more visceral experience of failing to make economic progress.

These experiences shape mindsets.

@benwansell has shown that young Britons have lost faith in the idea that effort is rewarded with success, and you can see why.

They have strived for years only to find themselves lacking the rewards they were promised https://benansell.substack.com/p/generation-games
I've extended Ben's analysis internationally, and the results are striking.

Young people in the UK have less faith in upward mobility than young people *anywhere else in the developed world*, and far less than their elders.


The dream has been shattered.

This is hugely important.

Belief in the ability to get ahead is an absolutely central pillar of conservative politics. The expectation that they will one day be among the haves, rather than have-nots, has long propelled many young people to vote Conservative.
As @robfordmancs put it to me, in the old world, it was perfectly rational for young people to vote Conservative. They were on the road to homeownership and strong incomes. Voting for the party of homeowners and low taxes was an obvious choice.

Here's the same data on beliefs in upward mobility, but plotted vs age like the chart on voting patterns.

Notice the similarities. The dream of economic progress totally shattered for young Brits, and with it go their Conservative votes.

But this isn't just about economics and upward mobility.

After all, the housing affordability crisis has been unfolding for years, yet young Britons' desertion of the Tories is a recent phenomenon. Values matter too.
So I worked with @focaldataHQ to see if we can better what else is keeping young Britons from voting Conservative.

We asked questions about people's material circumstances as well as their views on Brexit, social values and economic preferences.
We combined these into a scale that runs from natural progressives (non-homeowners, anti-Brexit, socially progressive, economically leftwing) to natural conservatives (opposite ends of those scales).

And sure enough it predicts support for the Tories.

But...

Here's the issue: young people are clustered at the opposite end. Indeed there are zero (0) young Britons on the right-hand side.

Restoring social mobility is key but young people and the conservative party are poles apart, completely misaligned on multiple axes.


And it's crucial to note that this has not always been the case. As recently as 2015, there was a much more normal age gradient in British politics.

Why have things shifted so suddenly?

The answer almost certainly lies in Brexit.

Up until the EU referendum, the share of young Britons who said they "strongly dislike" the Conservative party was steady at 20%.

Since the vote to leave the EU it has climbed steadily and is now double that level.

The EU referendum caused a realignment of British politics, with partisan support breaking more along social values lines than it had previously done.

The Conservatives used this to great success in 2019, but they're now seeing the cost of turning culture into a key divide.
And here's where it gets interesting:

Since our scale runs from natural progressives to natural conservatives, people at each point on the scale should be equally likely to vote Conservative regardless of their demographics. If you're conservative you're conservative.

But...


What we actually see is that young people who look like they *should be Tories* are not Tories.

Here's the US for comparison.

Young or old, conservative Americans vote Republican. But many young Brits with Conservative-aligned views and circumstances don't vote Tory.


This speaks to to another issue:

Young Britons are tightly clustered, both geographically and online.

With young people's entire social community leaning away from the Tories, that exerts a pressure not to vote Conservative even if one's values are aligned.

As @JamesKanag put it to me, when it comes to young Brits the Tories are facing into a strong headwind.

Young people's economic position, social beliefs, economic beliefs, geography, online spaces, and Brexit — everything points away from the Conservative party.
And this explains why the Tories' scant offering of young-adult-friendly policies has fallen flat. Remember free childcare? Did that generate a bump in the polls among young Brits? Nope.

When the misalignment is so strong on so many axes, it takes much much more to shift things.
For decades, the Tories' alliance has been with older voters. This worked well in the past. It faithfully delivered eight electoral victories!

But the continued focus on that generation at the cost of the next is now precisely what is set to deliver a defeat.

Thinking beyond 2024/25, the Conservatives' return to power will only be possible if built on a new younger coalition.

How to get there? The changes will need to be wholesale. But there are some playbooks to follow from elsewhere.
One is Canada, where Pierre Poilievre's party has rapidly rejuvenated, boosting its share of the young vote to 40% off the back of ambitious house-building proposals.


And this has not come at any cost with older voters. The Canadian Conservatives now lead Trudeau's liberals and by 15 points in the polls, and the NDP by 20.

A broad coalition across the age gradient is not only possible, it is powerful.

The renovation job will be harder for the British Conservatives, who start from a much lower base, but the broad approach is there to be emulated.

A focus on housing, on broader economic dynamism, on restoring a sense of progress, but also broader and more modern values.
Here's my column in full
https://www.ft.com/content/165f9aee-1180-4be8-903b-b166dc4e4fa1
And my piece from a few months back about how Canada offers a lesson
https://www.ft.com/content/1cfe0682-be4c-4f4d-b389-e1df1187271d
Other contributing factors that didn't make the article:

• Education. It's often under-appreciated how much faster and bigger the expansion of university education has been in the UK vs elsewhere. Today considerably more young brits are graduates than young Americans.
So to the extent that higher education engenders more progressive views (beyond just selecting for more liberal people), this will be exerting downward pressure on the conservative vote among one of the most highly-educated cohorts anywhere in the developed world.
• Incumbency. The Tories have been in power for 14 years. That means the association between one party and economic malaise is stronger in the UK than practically anywhere else. A whole generation has come of age (and felt short-changed) during a period of unbroken Tory rule.
And even beyond the direct association between the Tories and 14 years of stagnation, people simply want a change.

This also helps explain the Canadian Cons' success. Poilievre's policies are good, and are playing a key role, but he has the advantage of attacking the incumbents.

Globally this is linked to a wider thing Burn-Murdoch did a piece on recently about the gender split within Gen Z with young men trending right and young women trending (very) left. Which again is less of a thing in the UK (though it's happening here) because the age divide is a lot bigger a factor here than elsewhere - also, I think, the UK's gender divide historically was that women were more likely to vote Tory and men were more likely to vote Labour. I think that has shifted in very recent years but broadly there isn't much of a gender gap in UK politics compared to some other countries - especially the US.
Let's bomb Russia!

Grey Fox

FFS, PP has no policies. It's all empty slogans.
Colonel Caliga is Awesome.

Sheilbh

:lol: Blame the 18-35 Canadians swinging in response to Poilievre's housing empty slogans (without losing over 65s). That's why it's drawing attention.
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

Not needing to actually do anything but getting a huge swing off the back of meaningless slogans?
Sounds like the Canadian Tories were copying the UK Tories.

The (UK) Tories are in an interesting place. They're not quite edgy and evil enough for those young men who might be inclined to go right wing, but much too much so for those with empathy.
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Zanza

Quote
Germany is such a depressingly pessimistic place.  :(

Valmy

I like how in almost every other country the young people are cynical and pessimistic about their futures being secured by hard work but their elders think this is the case...except in the Netherlands there the young people are little innocent flowers and the elders bitter cynics.
Quote"This is a Russian warship. I propose you lay down arms and surrender to avoid bloodshed & unnecessary victims. Otherwise, you'll be bombed."

Zmiinyi defenders: "Russian warship, go fuck yourself."

Sheilbh

Quote from: Valmy on February 09, 2024, 11:22:01 AMI like how in almost every other country the young people are cynical and pessimistic about their futures being secured by hard work but their elders think this is the case...except in the Netherlands there the young people are little innocent flowers and the elders bitter cynics.
:lol:

So in the UK, like compulsory education, this goes to one of the points where actually British politics has worked. The elders have broadly paid off their mortgage and there has been a huge fall in pensioner poverty over the last 25-30 because it's been a focus (for different reasons) for New Labour and subsequent governments.

In general, as with education, there's also been a lot of continuity - so Tory education reforms broadly built on Labour ones (which are more unpopular with the left than the right). Similarly pension reform is basically not a political issue here at this point - Labour appointed someone in the great and good to do a review, their recommendations were implemented by Labour and Coalition and Tories. So as well as the fall in pensioner poverty I think the OECD or IMF thinks we have one of the most sustainable pension systems in the world.

The problem we're now facing is getting young people to contribute enough - and I'd suggest that's linked to all the other financial problems for the young. The legacy of the last 14 years is mandatory pension contributions, tripling of tuition fees for university, higher housing costs, and (because of a general flat-lining of productivity) wages that aren't significantly higher than previous generations - plus inflation. I think Brexit and other values/culture issues play a role, but if you're young it's been a really, really shitty record on your material well-being/ability to live your life.

I think it's similar to the "left behind" and Labour. I don't really care or want to get into pathologising why former social democratic areas have been swinging to the radical right. What we can say is materially those areas have done worse than the rest of the country and on various metrics life is worse than elsewhere - and I think the left should make a pitch to improve that and also try to do it in their policies. Worst case scenario is they don't win those areas back but they improve the well being, quality of life and economy of the country as a whole and particularly its most deprived areas.

I think we should do it anyway and I think it might help the left build/strengthen their coalition. I think it's similar with the right and young people.
Let's bomb Russia!

Sheilbh

Two by-elections coming up in February - and I don't think either of the main parties is particularly looking forward to them.

First is Wellingborough that at the last election, elected the Tory MP Peter Bone with over 60% of the vote. The Standards Committee in the Commons then found that he had bullied one of his staff in a sexually inappropriate way. As his suspension from the Commons was over 10 days, that then triggered a recall petition and, as in every recall petition so far in GB, the voters wanted him recalled.

Then it gets chaotic. He entirely rejects the Standards Committee's findings and apparently his local party is split between pro- and anti- factions. Allegedly he then threatened to run as an independent (he can't run as a Tory because of party rules) unless the local party chose his girlfriend as their candidate, which he did. Since then basically no other Tory MPs or Cabinet Ministers have gone to Wellingborough and basically seem to just accept they'll lose but have a legitimate "local reasons" story. I've seen some suggest that's why the central party let the locals choose such a bad candidate is that they expected to lose and this way they don't have to deal with the blame. Chances are Labour will win with the biggest swing ever (for, I think, the third time this Parliament) of about 30%.

Later this month there'll be a by-election in Rochdale. This was, once, a Lib Dem-Labour swing seat (which, decisively, voted for Leave) but I think the coalition blew that up so at the last election Labour got over 50% of the vote. Their MP was Sir Tony Lloyd who was a big figure in Greater Manchester politics and sadly died last month. Rochdale has a large British Asian community which is predominately of Pakistani heritage and Muslim.

There's conflict in the Middle East, a Labour seat with a large number of Muslim voters has a by-election - so, sure as night follows day - George Galloway has announced he will be running. He's already there whipping up sectarianism. Galloway is particularly saying he'll only be MP until the next election - so 200 days max - so "lend me your vote once", however you normally vote, "for Palestine, for Gaza". Also pointing out he doesn't need the money or to be better known, he doesn't need the job - he is running "for one reason only and that is for Gaza" and to show that "what Starmer has done will never be forgiven".

Meanwhile Labour selected Azhar Ali OBE, a local councillor etc. He has come under attack from the Muslim press for his association with some government backed Muslim organisations as well as for the British state's counter-extremism "Prevent" policy which is very controversial, especially with younger Muslims. There's now focus on his comments that Israel allowed the October 7 attack to happen in order to get the "green light" to do whatever they wanted in Gaza. He has apologised for those remarks but they're still getting a lot of focus and pressure on Labour to replace him has candidate. No idea what'll happen here - but I think Galloway's pitch and this seat might actually be his best chance to win a seat in a long while :x
Let's bomb Russia!

Josquius

Hadnt heard about the local issues stuff. That makes it a bit less exciting. Read some guardian bits the other day about tory anger they weren't even going to try, admitted things were in terminal decline etc..

QuoteGalloway is particularly saying he'll only be MP until the next election - so 200 days max - so "lend me your vote once", however you normally vote, "for Palestine, for Gaza". Also pointing out he doesn't need the money or to be better known, he doesn't need the job - he is running "for one reason only and that is for Gaza" and to show that

OK I'm with him so far. Sounds fairly reasonable really... If you ignore the whole wipping up hate and being a horrid person thing of course. I cam really see how someone less controversial running on the same basis could be worth a crack.

Quote"what Starmer has done will never be forgiven".

Here though.... Wut.
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garbon

Quote from: Josquius on February 11, 2024, 10:44:38 AMHadnt heard about the local issues stuff. That makes it a bit less exciting. Read some guardian bits the other day about tory anger they weren't even going to try, admitted things were in terminal decline etc..

QuoteGalloway is particularly saying he'll only be MP until the next election - so 200 days max - so "lend me your vote once", however you normally vote, "for Palestine, for Gaza". Also pointing out he doesn't need the money or to be better known, he doesn't need the job - he is running "for one reason only and that is for Gaza" and to show that

OK I'm with him so far. Sounds fairly reasonable really... If you ignore the whole wipping up hate and being a horrid person thing of course. I cam really see how someone less controversial running on the same basis could be worth a crack.

Reasonable? Why should one pick one's MP based on foreign policy concerns that they will have no ability to impact? :hmm:
"I've never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they're only men with the useful bits cut off."

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

Tamas

Quote from: garbon on February 11, 2024, 10:47:29 AM
Quote from: Josquius on February 11, 2024, 10:44:38 AMHadnt heard about the local issues stuff. That makes it a bit less exciting. Read some guardian bits the other day about tory anger they weren't even going to try, admitted things were in terminal decline etc..

QuoteGalloway is particularly saying he'll only be MP until the next election - so 200 days max - so "lend me your vote once", however you normally vote, "for Palestine, for Gaza". Also pointing out he doesn't need the money or to be better known, he doesn't need the job - he is running "for one reason only and that is for Gaza" and to show that

OK I'm with him so far. Sounds fairly reasonable really... If you ignore the whole wipping up hate and being a horrid person thing of course. I cam really see how someone less controversial running on the same basis could be worth a crack.

Reasonable? Why should one pick one's MP based on foreign policy concerns that they will have no ability to impact? :hmm:


Because Labour is the Muslim party and the Tories are the Hindu party? :P Read the long Leicester piece Sheilbh linked a couple of days ago.

Josquius

Quote from: garbon on February 11, 2024, 10:47:29 AM
Quote from: Josquius on February 11, 2024, 10:44:38 AMHadnt heard about the local issues stuff. That makes it a bit less exciting. Read some guardian bits the other day about tory anger they weren't even going to try, admitted things were in terminal decline etc..

QuoteGalloway is particularly saying he'll only be MP until the next election - so 200 days max - so "lend me your vote once", however you normally vote, "for Palestine, for Gaza". Also pointing out he doesn't need the money or to be better known, he doesn't need the job - he is running "for one reason only and that is for Gaza" and to show that

OK I'm with him so far. Sounds fairly reasonable really... If you ignore the whole wipping up hate and being a horrid person thing of course. I cam really see how someone less controversial running on the same basis could be worth a crack.

Reasonable? Why should one pick one's MP based on foreign policy concerns that they will have no ability to impact? :hmm:

As Sheilbh alluded to the entire purpose of the election is the election itself.
The tories have a safe majority and there's a GE coming later this year anyway.
The only thing they will accomplish is drawing attention to something of their choosing.
Seen as a way to nudge labour foreign policy for the next GE it does make sense.
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Tonitrus

Quote from: Zanza on February 06, 2024, 02:26:58 PM:lol: That sounds even worse than here. Also 8.3 billion for 14 miles of road is eye watering.

Just a little more than a third of the Channel Tunnel (in adjusted pounds).   :P

(and disappointed the article didn't use that apt comparison)

Tamas

Quote from: Tonitrus on February 11, 2024, 01:38:21 PM
Quote from: Zanza on February 06, 2024, 02:26:58 PM:lol: That sounds even worse than here. Also 8.3 billion for 14 miles of road is eye watering.

Just a little more than a third of the Channel Tunnel (in adjusted pounds).   :P

(and disappointed the article didn't use that apt comparison)

The way to do it in this country is ot laugh such things away as incompetence. Surely in this place such insane money cannot possibly have corruption involved.