Mark Carney says, correctly, that economic policy has made things "extremely difficult" for pensioners and savers.This highlights the fact that many people don't vote in their own rational self-interest.
What I mean is that there is an obvious alternative to the current economic policy. A looser fiscal policy would benefit pensioners by raising interest rates. This isn't because bond markets would take fright, but simply because such a policy, in tending to strengthen the economy, would reduce the need for QE, reduce investors' demand for safe assets, and bring forward the time when short-term rates would rise. In this way, annuity rates and savings rates would be higher, to the benefit of pensioners and near-pensioners.
You'd expect, therefore, older people to be more hostile to present policy than younger ones - because whilst many older folk have savings and are hurt by a tight fiscal/loose monetary policy mix, younger people with mortgages gain from such a mix.
But this is not so. A recent poll (pdf) found that over-60s split 37-34 in favour of Tories over Labour whilst 25%-49% year-olds split 33%-47%. And slightly more over-60s think the government is managing the economy well than do 25-49 year-olds: 35% against 31%.
It seems, then, that the government's attack upon the living standards of older people has not provoked the sort of hostility which you'd expect from a rational selfish electorate. (Sure, some older richer people are switching to UKIP - but I'm not sure this undermines my point.)
Why not? One reason is that narrow economics isn't everything; people support political parties for all sorts of reasons.
But I suspect something else is at work - a corrollary of the availablity heuristic.
Although the link between fiscal austerity and nugatory savings rates is obvious to economists, and to anyone else to whom it is pointed out, I suspect it is not so to many voters. And the Labour party is not drawing attention to it: Ed Balls is not touring the country saying "my policy would raise interest rates" even though, if it is any use at all, it would do so. The fact that the Tories are exacerbating the squeeze on many pensioners' incomes is, therefore, simply not available or salient to many voters. And so it is underweighted in their minds.This helps sustain Tory support among older folk.
It's a commonplace - to we Marxists at least - that ideology prevents (some, many) workers from seeing where their interests lie. But maybe ideology doesn't distort only workers' perceptions.