Thursday 15 June 2017

That's how democracy works.

From The Daily Mail:

A major Tory donor who backs Boris Johnson to be the next Prime Minister has demanded Theresa May overhaul the party agenda and slash tuition fees.

Ukrainian-born Alexander Temerko said the party faced losing the youth vote for good against a Labour Party committed to scrapping university charges.

The comments section is full of the usual bile, all the Boomers who had 'free' higher education and student grants; who bought their houses back in the day when UK government policy was to keep prices down and are now getting taxpayer-funded house price increases most years, all the pensioners who are getting far more out of the welfare state than they ever paid in etc.

As I have been saying for ages, the key is to get out and vote. Pensioners are treated so favourably because they all go out and vote for whichever party they think is likely to give them higher pensions and subsidise their house prices etc. A million votes once every five years achieves far more than a million people attending a protest march and is a lot less effort. But you have to have something to vote for.

That's why we set up YPP five years ago. We're into Georgism (lite or otherwise) for its own sake, but it is easiest to sell to the non-Homeys, non-Boomers and non-pensioners (i.e. the under-40s) because they would benefit most immediately, hence the tongue-in-cheek name.

The lesson to learn from the Greens and UKIP is that it doesn't matter too much if you never get (m)any MPs. Once they hit a certain threshold, the major parties started merrily nicking Green/UKIP policies to try and shore up their own vote, thus doing (some of) the Greens'/UKIP's work for them.

So while YPP doesn't seriously expect to have any elected representatives any time soon, that doesn't matter (I personally wouldn't want to be an MP, I've got a perfectly interesting and well paid job, thanks).

Problem is that Labour has drawn similar electoral calculations and decided to grab the under-40s vote by nicking one of YPP's less important policies - reducing tuition fees/student loan repayments. In reality, there are no student loans, it's a graduate tax on higher earners but for some reason they don't call it that - didn't Labour say they were in favour of higher taxes on higher earners?

And some more cynical Tories now want to adopt this in retaliation, entirely as expected.

Labour also appear to have stumbled across our main policies and mumbled something along the lines of shifting taxes to Land Value Tax and reducing VAT, but they appear to have done this on general principles without realising that these are The Big Ones, do it properly and this would save the under-40s five times as much as diddling about with tuition fees/student loan repayments.

Ah well.

Hopefully the under-40s will realise that Labour are trying to buy them off with token concessions and that there is a real alternative to the socialist/neo-liberal/Home-Owner-Ist see-saw.

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