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October 05, 2017

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Aaron Headly

I hope voters notice these deficiencies. Their track record of noticing things v. not noticing things does not inspire confidence.

Blissex

«Their track record of noticing things v. not noticing things does not inspire confidence.»

Oh please voters are not sophisticated political strategists who worry a lot about grand themes of future development; I guess in part because these are so uncertain, and they are fatalistic about that.

But they surely notice things that matter to their yearly living standards, like bigger house prices, lower wages, more redistribution from "low productivity" workers to "wealth creating" rentiers. A majority have voted for all that, and got it except in 2008, for over 35 years.
Conservative voters in the south in particular notice very much whether they made a lot of tax-free work-free money on their property, and whether their cleaners, gardeners, carers cost less per hour every year. and have increased their vote for the Conservatives in 2010, 2015, 2017, bringing it to levels only previously attained by Mrs. Thatcher.

Magnus

Aaron has a point.

The Tories aren't really a party of ideas - perhaps they oscillate between libertarianism, social conservative type policies, xenophobia or whatever, but these ideologies are secondary behind their real raison d'etre - to be in power, and to keep any of this progressive nonsense out of government.

They don't give a shit about owt else. They therefore do not, and indeed never will have a structural problem.

They'll have a shiny new leader ready for the next election, and just watch the voters, egged on by partisan media, lap it all up. None of the stuff you mention in your post will matter as far as the average voter is concerned.

(Believe me I sincerely hope I'm wrong.)

Dave

Our partisan media didn’t have the sort of impact it used to at the last election and voters definitely noticed the absence of any good Tory policies. A few years down the line even fewer people will be buying newspapers (though I expect they’ll still be framing debates on TV and radio given most journalists/reporters are stuck in the same rut as Tory MPs), the economy will have tanked and they’ll be hindered by the other issues above. Not only that but Labour’s activists are already putting in the work on the ground ahead of the next election in a way the Tory party could only dream of. It won’t be easy but victory’s achievable.

Magnus

Reminder: the Tories won the most seats, and the popular vote after the most lamentable election campaign in history. Their 'structural problem' was equally visible then.

Also Corbyn may have benefitted to some extent from underdog status.

Even under these circumstances, (and 7 years of complete stagnation) pocketbook economic voting didn't change the result.

As I say, I hope I'm wrong, but it's far too soon to write off the Tories.

Bonnemort

re living standards - how are these measured?

(We obviously have shinier toys than in the past, and medicine has improved, but we've also regressed from those halcyon days when even a low-paid worker could afford his own (albeit small) house)

Blissex

«pocketbook economic voting didn't change the result.»
«living standards - how are these measured? [ ... ] days when even a low-paid worker could afford his own (albeit small) house»

Oh please oh please the usual delusional lefties: a large minority of the population have had booming living standards and have therefore been well justified in economic voting for the Conservative party.
This large minority in various ways turns into a majority of voters, and in particular in affluent-ish southern areas.
Every pound of increase in house rents and prices, every pound of lower wages and social insurance, goes into the pockets of a tory voter somewhere, and they have worshipped Thatcher, Blair, Osborne for that.

Most people on the left still think of rentiers as the 1% in top hats and frock coats, but we are in an era of mass-rentierism, where people who derive a large part of their income and wealth from property, from pensions to semo-detacheds, are a large percentage of voters, and perhaps nationally a majority.
For these people there has been no austerity, their living standards have been just going up for 35 years.
When people like our blogger or SimonWL or even J Corbyn talk about "austerity", that's at best an euphemism for "class war", which can't be mentioned.

Doug

'Thatcher’s efforts to improve industrial relations'

Well, I have strong opinions about Thatcher's approach to 'industrial relations' but 'an effort to improve' is not a phrase that springs to mind.

I don't suppose those ungrateful miners and steelworkers appreciated her efforts either.

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