May witch Corbyn Santa
Politicians

For millennials, Corbyn came as Father Christmas; May as the Wicked Witch of the West

“What do the millennials want from policy makers?” asked a group called Common Vision (CoVi) in their ‘Manifesto for Millennials’. Millennials are ‘young people’, who appear to have (uncharacteristically) turned out in droves in the 2017 General Election, and the vast majority of them appear to have voted Labour solely because of Jeremy Corbyn. It’s not too difficult to see why.

He promised to abolish university tuition fees, reintroduce student grants and the Education Maintenance Allowance, cancel student debts, give free lunches to all schoolchildren, bestow a minimum wage of £10 an hour on all workers, and lower the voting age to 16. On top of all this, he’d pour £billions into state schools and £billions more into the NHS, create four new bank holidays, build a million new houses and guarantee a “decent job” for all for life.

What’s not to like? It may have been La La Land economics, but who cares? He said things could be done differently, and the idealistic youth believed him. He said things would get better, and they trusted him. It’s the wealthy bankers and posh elites who should pay the country’s debts, not pensioners, the disabled, or impoverished teachers and nurses who haven’t had a real-terms pay increase in a decade.

Theresa May, by contrast, offered a social care policy which would have robbed dementia-suffering grannies of their life savings, deprived them of heating allowances in the bleak midwinter, and cut their already-meagre state pensions by removing the triple-lock. On top of this, she’d kill all those cute and cuddly foxes by bringing back hunting with hounds.

Foxes and old people. She might as well have signed Toto’s death warrant.

Young voters are by no means unthinking or univocal, but when Labour lavishes lollypops and the Tories promise a dose of castor oil “for your own good”, you can hardly blame them for succumbing to temptation – especially if they’re struggling with debt at university or watching their parents and grandparents sink into despair and shame at the local foodbank.

In the race to be the preeminent personality cult, the Wicked Witch of the West is simply never going to win against Santa, and Jeremy Corbyn’s genial authenticity beat Theresa May’s aloof authoritarianism hands down. While Corbyn was smiling over his jolly white beard and handing out free mince pies to the nation, May just delivered didactic lectures and refused to mingle with the lower orders. By declining to debate with Father Christmas, it became easy for youngsters to believe that the hollow witch preferred to stay in her lair, dividing the yew and spruce from the holly and oak, counting her skulls and gazing at a star quartz crystal, plotting who she could next bash with her broomstick. 

Theresa May lost her ‘strong and stable’ majority for want of 1,688 votes. Jeremy Corbyn was just 2,227 votes short of becoming Prime Minister, leading a ‘coalition of chaos’ with the SNP, LibDems, Plaid Cymru, solitary Green (and, oh yes, the DUP). He fell woefully short of winning an overall majority, but that doesn’t seem to matter: the post-truth era isn’t overly concerned with how Santa gets down the chimney when the house doesn’t have a fireplace. It’s just ho-ho-ho and a glass of sherry while Rudolph munches a carrot. Every day can be Christmas day. But the Witch cackles and eats puppies on toast. Or foxes. Either way, it’s always a nasty day under the Tories. And so Corbyn is the victor of the 2017 General Election despite losing, and May is the loser despite winning.

What can the Conservatives learn from this?

Well, they probably won’t. That’s part of the problem, if not the whole of it. CCHQ is full of arrogant apparatchiks who despise ordinary party members and think fractious minds can be placated with a surfeit of crass personalised emails. The Conservative Party needs to be opened up and returned to its members: the Chairman needs to be elected and made accountable to them, instead of to the Office of the Leader. The Candidates’ Department needs to return to what it used to be: a genial mechanism for discerning the mad, bad and sad; not a totalitarian garrison sifting out social conservatives and engineering constituency selections to ensure superficial diversity.

But none of that will happen: all leaders like to have control absolute, if possible.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s important for the Conservative Party to learn that it has fundamentally lost touch with young people in a way which appears to be irreparable, with inevitable consequences for future elections. Port-swilling university Conservative associations and the geeky ‘Conservative Future’ are a world apart from the compassionate priorities and caring hearts of the millennials. Like it or not, they are overwhelmingly socially liberal. Justified or not, they frustrated and angered by feelings of impotence. For every lukewarm sermon Theresa May preached about the imperative of strength and stability, these youngsters had in mind the teenage anorexic girl who almost died for want of specialist bed, which when it was found was hundreds of miles from the family home, compounding stress upon suicidal stress.

Even if the brightest Conservative brains now produced a manifesto which offered lollypops and Wonka bars, they simply wouldn’t be trusted: Conservatives are still the “nasty party”, and children have been taught to beware of Tories bearing gifts. Their teachers have done a sterling job, and the university lecturers an even better one.

Theresa May is actually a warm, generous, charming and jocular woman. She is motherly, diffident and self-conscious, but she has the intuitive instincts of a nurse and minister, a carer and friend. But we never get to see that side of her. She still has a chance to redeem herself in the public eye, but it depends on her capacity for subtle self-transformation. Margaret Thatcher did it with the assistance of Laurence Olivier: Theresa May needs to learn not how to ‘act’, but how do draw naturally on those cheerful and charming qualities of character which she reserves for her husband Philip and the dog (does she still have one?). You don’t have to stand on stage with your legs three feet apart to project strength and stability: you find it from within at the centre-five vertebrae, and the natural stance and gait will follow. You don’t have talk in a robotic monotone to project power and authority: the voice is an orchestra, so sing a little; vary the notes. This isn’t ‘acting’: it is learning how to use to better effect what God has given you.

When children are bombed at a Manchester concert or people stabbed on a London bridge, people take great comfort from the words of political leaders, but only if those words chime with a dimension of sincerity. Who doesn’t trust Father Christmas? Who does confide in a witch? You may quibble cerebrally over who had the better response after the recent atrocities, but the important thing is that young people felt they could trust Corbyn more than May. If there is to be progress, they need to believe that she feels what they feel: they do not want to hear formulaic revulsion and schoolma’amish instruction on the quality of policy and the excellence of the security services. They want emotional inspiration. It’s difficult for many Tories to grasp this point, but the age is much more concerned with feelings than facts: sensory perception has supplanted intellectual dissection.

Theresa May is by character more conciliatory than divisive, but she is also more rigid and authoritarian than flexible and democratic. Millennials want to hear of creative commonality, compassion and shared values; she gives them crass Lynton Crosby soundbites and campaign speeches aimed at Ukip voters in Skegness. They care about sacked teachers and cuts to youth services; she harps on about the need to cut the deficit and reduce the national debt. Have you seen how much it now costs to rent a flat privately? Have you considered how much young people now have to save before they can get on the housing ladder? How do you save for a £20k deposit when your monthly surplus in barely £50? O, it’s all okay for the Tory toffs in their five-bedroomed million-pound mansions with sprawling gardens and endless hours for golf. But it’s tough, very tough, for thousands of families crammed into two-bedroomed flats whose only garden is a spider plant on the window ledge and a great day out is a visit to the foodbank.

Jeremy Corbyn has tapped into this anger, and it is a real, seething fury. Theresa May might not be personally to blame, but she’s a very convenient Tory face into which you can shove a million middle fingers. From Peterborough to Bath, from Canterbury to Kensington, young people are now blasting out a very different tune. It is effervescent, optimistic and infectious. Theresa May needs to learn how to sing it. Urgently.

  • Maalaistollo

    So do you mean that (a) Corbyn offered policies that appeal to the young, even though they would be ruinous if implemented; (b) May’s policies did not appeal to the young, even though they might have made more economic sense than Corbyn’s; therefore (c) if the Conservatives are to regain popularity with the young they must emulate Corbyn and offer policies which will be ruinous in their effects? If so, then we are stuffed whether we end up with Corbyn or reprogrammed May.

    • andrew

      For me it comes down to fighting the left face-2-face intellectually on all academic and media fronts. Yes, some tory policies are cruel, and more needs to be done to negate the need to punish those at the bottom. The image the tories are stuck with can be overturned, or at least fought pragmatically, providing the tories stop focusing on appeasing political correctness and centrist perceptions. I suppose it comes down to the obvious reality that the tories have lost their traditional identity, as well as their cajones. Everybody detests the mail, but the tories remain silent about the fallacies pumped out by the guardian on a daily basis. We need more Mogg’s and less Johnson’s. And if the tories were to open their doors proper, we might just have a chance to reblood with the kind of blood that makes the tory engine function.

    • Dreadnaught

      They didn’t appeal to the older voter either,

    • What set TM to introduce such controversial policies in an election manifesto halfway through the campaign? An election manifesto should be along the lines of the SMART criteria and on a positive note, or with glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel at least. An election campaign is like a sales pitch really. Pensions, foxhunting, taking people’s houses off them to pay for their care are serious and contentious issues requiring public discussions and should be kept for later on in the term.
      She should have stuck to the benefits of Brexit as HG suggested. She could have engaged more with the electorate by asking them what they wanted,expected and hoped for from Brexit.
      I think she has hit her limits as PM.

  • CliveM

    I don’t believe anyone in Labour expected to win. I don’t think they worried about costing their manifesto, as they never expected to implement it. I suspect it was a damage limitation excercise, designed to appeal to just enough voters to shore up Corbyns position.

    I bet (with the exception of Corbyn who is a delusional old phoney) Labour were as surprised by the result as the rest of us.

    But that doesn’t change the analysis. What.HG says is right. But then if 10 years after the financial collapse that caused this, the party in power is unable to offer any hope, simply for food banks and more cuts, it can’t be a surprise.

    How will this change? Experience of the reality of what Labour was offering, that could only have bought economic collapse.

    • The old phoney gave false promises, anyone can do that. But if they were implemented would give rise pretty soon to rampant inflation. People would be better off in the short term but longer term the extra money would be worthless.

      • CliveM

        Yes I agree. Infact inflation could well be the least of the problems.

      • Ray Spring

        I am getting towards the opinion that printing money is far more fiscally prudent than borrowing it. When we borrow, we have no idea at what interest rate we have borrowed at. Of course, it is ok and fixed for five years or whatever. After that? No idea of the interest rate. Inflation is the Good Guy. He controls how much you can print. Little control of how much you borrow. All comments welcome. I could be wrong.

        • andrew

          But do socialists have a history of printing with diligence and consideration, especially when trying to placate the young, lazy and entitled?

          • Ray Spring

            But is it more fiscally prudent to print the stuff than to borrow it. Since printing is punished by inflation, whereas borrowing is rewarded by jam today. The printer only wants to get paid for printing, normally basic wages. The Banker wants a percentage of the loot. Most peculiar.

          • Anton

            Perhaps you are thinking that printing money doesn’t create debt? It does, only more subtly. Printed money is exchangeable for stuff that has value.

          • Ray Spring

            But printed money is only exchangeable for what is for sale. Say I double the money supply, then everything costs twice as much. Simple inflation.

        • Anton

          Printing unbacked fiat currency is dangerous, it enables non-nationals to buy up your country.

          • Ray Spring

            The same with borrowing money. It is borrowing which is backed up by the wealth of the country.

          • Dreadnaught

            They have been doing this for years from houses to Rolls-Royce from our railways and water to energy supply.

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        Indeed but as Blair showed you really can bribe people with their own money … if the media are with you. The leftist MSM must be tamed.

        • Anton

          The internet has done!

        • People are slowly waking up to the manipulative practices of the MSM thanks to the WWW. But the British media is very ingrained in its tracks. We just needed to see how shocking they were to Nigel Farage and UKIP. I agree it must change and be more impartial.

  • Dreadnaught

    Corbyn is the PeterPan of left-wing tub-thumping politics. Always has been. Always will be.
    He has never been accountable to anyone but himself. Its so easy to promise as he does with genuine passion, to address emotional issues that masses of people can relate to. He never, ever, saw himself as one day being faced with delivering the goods.
    His campaign team apart from Seamus Milne, are themselves from the mass of ordinary people once described as ‘the working class’. He and they have been gifted command of the popular media where the Tories still think that the newspaper barons are the way to get their message out and have allowed the digital revolution pass them by, alienating themselves of not just the student generation but their parents as well.
    Fox Hunting, Dementia Tax; School Meals; Bunker mentality communications; Sound-bites instead of passion; who the hell thought these were good vote winners? They were direct attacks on sensitive emotions of the very people who make up the bulk of the nation.
    Not just Mrs May but the whole of the Conservative Party machine is operating as if it is still in the Victorian age while the world outside has moved on.

  • The young are socially liberal, but they may not stay that way as they mature. Besides, you can’t outspend and out-tax socialists, and you shouldn’t try. May’s great mistake (or one of them) was taking the deficit off the table so that the nation lost sight of the fact that we still haven’t started paying down our gargantuan debt, and are nowhere near ready for the next bust (or has it been abolished again?). Don’t go chasing the votes of the foolish; present sound policies as convincingly and compassionately as you can.

    Corbynomics is irresponsible and would, obviously, be crippling. Labour’s continuing commitment to open door immigration will also make the housing crisis and job situation worse. Despite this the young and ex-UKIP voters flock to their banner. There are a lot of people who are horribly naïve and don’t understand how the world works. Far left socialists are willing to take advantage of that. However tempting it is to get into that game, in the long run it can only discredit the Tories as the party of sound economics and governance.

    Change the presentation by all means. But we need more Conservatism than May has given us so far, not less.

  • Inspector General

    You should be on the National Curriculum Cranmer! All students should be given the opportunity to study for ‘O’ Level Cranmer. We could find room by dropping the liars course of how British Imperialism wrecked the world.

    We’ve been living beyond our means for decades. You don’t hear that phrase much these days, because if we’re living beyond our means, then we shouldn’t be importing hordes of others to make matters worse and to live beyond our means with us. But we do anyway, and ‘living beyond our means’ joins ‘common sense’ (ECHR’s great enemy) as no no things.

    Perhaps you can find the time and skill to dress Corbyn up as the Pied Deceiver in a post to come. It’s not the first time herd mentality youth have been led astray.

    Pip! Pip!

    • Royinsouthwest

      But if we do not import hordes of others who will do those menial jobs that are not being done by media and gender studies graduates?

      • Inspector General

        It is to the Inspector’s family shame that a nephew did indeed put his feet up for three years on a media studies ‘degree’. With that hanging from his neck, one warned the defiant whatever that he would be unlikely to secure gainful employment. But he did, presumably hired by some other wastrel with same disgraceful so called qualification. Whom else! Needless to say, the employment has nothing to do with media…

  • Inspector General

    The unexpected interest of youth in this election might have something to do with the referendum result as discussed on radio phone-ins, as one recalls.

    “It’s not fair! Old people have ruined all us young peoples future by voting out”

    “Did you vote?”

    “No. Didn’t think I needed to. I mean, it’s stupid innit to leave the EU”

  • Anton

    Tories are not nasty enough: that’s the problem.

  • Busy Mum

    Children have a habit of spurning the advice of their elders and betters. Maybe it has reached the stage where they need to learn the hard way. When reality hits, some of them will work out how they have been misled and betrayed by those whom they trusted. Teachers/social workers/counsellors/therapists may get a shock when their former charges finally grow up and turn on them.

    They all want ‘things to get better’. The real problem is that 18/19 year olds have never had it so easy…but don’t know it. Their idealism is founded on the lie that they have got a ‘hard life’.

    • The parents are a lot to blame as well as society and the state institutions, they molly-coddle them.

      • Busy Mum

        True. But if parents do not molly-coddle their children, the state turns the child against the parents, as we discovered.

        • Then the parents lack gumption if they can’t be bothered to teach their children otherwise instead of pandering to them. Children belong to parents despite what the state thinks and does from the minute the child is registered.

          • Busy Mum

            I agree. But the state is persuading children that they do not belong to their parents.

    • Anton

      It’s coming…

      • Busy Mum

        It has to. It can’t not do. There is no way out.

    • Dreadnaught

      I agree in essence of much that you say but owning your own house was an achievable ambition in the 60s. University was free and even supported with non-returnable grants. The country had an Empire to trade with and British engineering and manufacturing held the prospect of apprenticeships and employment. Your parents tended to marry for life and wanted better for you than they had started off with themselves.
      Would I like to re-run my life again? – not bloody likely and especially under today’s circumstances.

      • Busy Mum

        I know several young people who have managed to buy houses, despite the popular idea that it is almost an impossibility. These are the ones who have not gone to university and/or frittered money away on drink/fashion/entertainment etc.

        In practice, university is as ‘free’ as it ever was…..

        • Dreadnaught

          A rather myopic vision if I may say so.

          • Busy Mum

            I currently have two daughters at university. It doesn’t cost them a penny – at the moment – in the same way that it didn’t cost students anything during the 60’s/70’s. It’s still taxpayers’ money, however you write the sums down.

          • Dreadnaught

            So you must be very happy for them to face the future with £50k of debt before even securing a job?
            An educated population is essential for the well-being of any functioning society. My daughters and myself at 50 had access to University and pay through taxation, not imposed debt – (and taxes)

          • Busy Mum

            What is an ‘educated’ population? We have more ‘education’ than ever before but society is becoming less well-functioning.

          • CliveM

            Less well functioning then when and in what way?

          • Anton

            Family breakdown, of course. Which the tax-and-welfare and educations systems today sadly promote, albeit unintentionally.

          • Busy Mum

            Just one small basic example – during the last ten years I have seen our rural bus service go from running every half hour to running perhaps once every two and a half hours.
            I suppose we need to determine what a well-functioning society looks like before we go any further! But a local authority such as mine which spends twice as much per annum on learning disabilities than on roads has got problems. Not because supporting learning disabilities is inherently wrong, but because the roads are littered with potholes.

          • Watchman

            A well functioning society is easy to define but difficult to obtain; it is one which is God-centred with biblical principles at its core. Today’s society is self- centred and obsessed with the material rather than the spiritual.

            “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12

          • Busy Mum

            Re materialism – the final straw for me was being lectured by an ‘independent study expert’ (paid for out of the school’s tight budget) how important it is to link our children’s GCSE and A level grades to their future car, house etc.

          • DSERIES

            ???? Don’t get that statement. Were they trying to suggest that consideration should be given to the ‘usefulness’ of a subject with regards to employment?

          • Busy Mum

            The ‘expert’ was of the opinion that children would be far more committed to their studies if they saw education as a means to an end. In my experience, the most committed students are those who see education as an end in itself. the context of her talk was the first year group of ‘compulsory’ sixth formers.

            (The ‘expert’ was also of the opinion that all the parents should enthuse their children by telling them that they are all capable of being above average; maths was clearly not her strong point!)

            The link between ‘education’ and ’employment’ needs to go. It is quite possible to get through life without any ‘education’. You do not need GCSE’s, yet alone A levels, to fill potholes, empty dustbins, clean toilets, weed a garden……

          • Anton

            Yes. I expect to be giving a talk in a local school soon about going to university to do physics. I shall be saying that the most important thing is to love the subject. I won’t say that if you don’t love it then don’t do it, because it gives a decent education in thinking in a way that is often useful to society, but certainly it is impossible to go on to research unless you love it. That is easily forgotten when you look at science and mathematics nerds, and they probably don’t think or speak in terms of love for their subject, but that is exactly what it is. I wish that Physics World, the house mag of the UK Institute of Physics, used the L-word more.

          • Busy Mum

            Not sure it would work – the humanities have monopolised the L-word and because they don’t love physics, you are not allowed to love it either. Which is why a gender studies graduate is an expert, but you are a nerd 🙂

          • Anton

            Some badges are to be worn with pride!

          • DSERIES

            Agree…..but how would that apply to the NHS…with regard to the massive demand created by behavioral based diseases….obesity,smoking,drug abuse etc etc?

          • Watchman

            Socialism does not respect biblical principles, and the NHS is a monument to socialism. Paul in his letter to the church in Galatia outlined one of the principles “Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap,” In many aspects of socialism reaping what you sow is interrupted by the state taking the proceeds of one man’s Labour to feed another.

            In the OT they were commanded to care for widows, orphans and foreigners, those who had no man in the family to provide for them (foreigners couldn’t own land and with no family support needed to be supported by the israelite families). In the NT it was only widows and orphans. God’s economy is family based but with a command that generosity to those in need should be practiced.

            Ben Shapiro has written an excellent little book called “How Leftism Violates all 10 Commandments”. Last time I looked it was available as a free download.

          • Linus

            All ten, eh?

            What better incentive to embrace “Leftism” could there be?

            Caring for your fellow man instead of some sock puppet of a god AND offending the sock puppet’s deluded followers into the bargain.

            Quick, where do I sign up?

          • Anton

            You’re in favour of murder, adultery and perjury?

          • Linus

            I could murder a cold beer right about now because it’s insufferably warm out today.

            Now if the commandment said “thou shalt not murder other human beings”, with “human being” defined as an individual of the species homo sapiens from the point of viability until the extinction of life by natural causes, I’d certainly agree with that.

            As things currently stand however, this commandment, were I to obey it, would prevent me from enjoying a cold beverage or singing a tone deaf version of my favourite tune in a karaoke bar, if ever I were seized with the desire to frequent such an establishment. Of course, I never have been. But who knows – I might develop a sudden passion for the pastime and I wouldn’t want to find my options limited by belief in a pointless and archaic religion, now would I?

            As for adultery, if a man wants to have sex with your wife and she doesn’t object, why should I? I would certainly demur if he tried to rape her. But then “thou shalt not rape” is nowhere to be seen in the Christian Decalogue, is it? “Don’t you dare flirt with other gods or I’ll blast you to hell” is top of the list (I paraphrase, although I think that’s basically spirit of the thing). But rape, and pillage, and torture, and a whole host of other cruel behaviours aren’t mentioned at all.

            How’s that for a sense of priority? This god of yours cares about himself before anything else. So excuse me if I ignore him and go and have that cold beer in the shade by the pool. I shall toast his narcissistic personality disorder and send my best wishes to your wife and her lover at the same time.

            No, don’t thank me. It’s the least I can do and as I have nothing better to take care of this afternoon, it won’t be the slightest trouble.

          • Anton

            You are gloriously easy to wind up, you know!

            Re rape, the Ten Commandments aren’t the whole of the law.

          • Linus

            And you’re boringly easy to fool into thinking I give a damn. Which of course I do not, although I must say that if this adultery you’re obsessing over really is taking place, I give enough of a damn to advise your wife to get out now.

            Hell hath no fury like a Christian scorned. Which is useful really, because to be forgiven, you have to have sinned. So I’ll be keeping an eye on the British tabloid sites for a while and if I see a headline along the lines of “Brainwashed Boffin Beats Bride’s Boyfriend Black and Blue”, I’ll know who they’re talking about.

          • Anton

            Because they are in the image of God. You should know what the Bible says before criticising it. Unless you *want* to look foolish.

          • Linus

            Total bollocks, which you need to have if you want to be “in the image of god”. The bible says that god is sovereign but women are subservient.

            The bible treats women as expendible chattels. They can be raped at will, so long as you’re willing to marry them if you’re caught. You can offer your daughter to a baying crowd as a rape victim if by doing so a man can be preserved from harm. Indeed you’ll be praised as a biblical hero for doing this, and if god has a bit of light genocide planned for your community because of its refusal to feed his narcissistic personality disorder, you’ll be saved from the general destruction. Although your wife won’t be. But who cares? She’s only a woman, after all.

            The bible states that women are created in god’s image and then goes on to treat them as everything that god is not: inferior, expendible slaves. As in so many ways, about so many things, the bible lies. Those who defend it must deal with the cognitive dissonance that its mutually exclusive statements provoke as best they can, which in my experience means blithely ignoring all the contradictions and logical inconsistencies and mindlessly repeating “god is love, god is love” to themselves over and over again. Never mind that god is really violence, jealousy, self-obsession, cruelty, misogyny, homophobia and hatred. He commands you to say that he is love or you’ll burn for all eternity, so love he is.

            That’s what the bible says so that’s what must be true, even when it is clearly not. So carry your daughters in front of you like a (sub)human shield. God will love you for it, and sycophant that you are, you’ll be rewarded in heaven for your faithfulness, which is all that matters to you in the end.

          • Linus

            And then you added perjury to the list…

            I might bear false witness to save a loved one from a serious miscarriage of justice. You presumably would send them to their death or life imprisonment in order to obey your divine sock puppet.

            Another circumstance where perjury would be a moral obligation would be if I had to lie to obtain a cold beer to murder for the purposes of toasting the adulterous exploits of your wife and her lover.

            What other choice would I have? No good deed should be left unrewarded.

          • Anton

            In those cases the NHS costs more but the pension system costs less.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I don’t suppose any readers of this blog are researchers in education (as opposed to being real teachers) but if there are any perhaps they could tell us if there has been any worthwhile research comparing the proportions of school children in different countries who have learning difficulties?

            I can recall children, especially boys, who would not pay much attention to a weak teacher. Were they suffering from attention deficit disorder? Strangely the same children did not seem to have so much difficulty in a class run by a strong, confident teacher. If “attention deficit disorder” can be cured that easily, then there should be more money available for filling in potholes. However there would be fewer jobs for the Guardian reading class who have done so much to undermine the authority of teachers over the last 40 years.

          • Busy Mum

            See earlier discussion of ‘aspiration’…
            If schools would allow small boys to aspire to pot-hole-filling for the rest of their lives for the good of themselves and also for the good of society as a whole, both problems would be solved without any further expenditure.

            The people who currently while away their hours, along with my husband’s hard-earned income, giving one-to-one attention to naughty children, could come and hoover my stairs or peel the potatoes, if they really wish to do something useful for other people.

          • Anton

            Attention deficit would in most cases be sorted by a good thrashing.

          • Anton

            If LEAs put as many resources into educating our brightest to their full potential as they do into those with learning disabilities then the country would be in great nick. Frankly we have yet to come to terms with the mechanisation of farming, which means that there are no longer jobs for those incapable of more than the simplest tasks. This shouldn’t be seen as a financial problem, because society is overall better off financially for mechanisation even after paying such people to do nothing, but it is a genuine spiritual problem as they are not valued in or by the wider community for their contribution.

          • Busy Mum

            Agree – as I pointed out to the head of my son’s (financially struggling) grammar school, the state is irrational in that the less ‘educatable’ a child is and the less likely it is that the child will make an overall positive contribution to society, the more public money it invests into that child’s education.

          • Dreadnaught

            An educated population is one with aspiration and nurtured ability. You could of course revert to an agraian economy but subsistence farming has largely gone out of fashion.

          • Busy Mum

            Aspiration to what, though? ‘Aspiration’ is one of the key buzzwords in education at the moment and is part of the problem.

          • Dreadnaught

            Aspiration to self reliance through hard work and ambition. To earn enough to pay you own way in life and benefit your own offspring through example.
            You seem to be saying dont go on to further education if you have an aspiration to make something more of it than merely surviving in your lifetime.

          • Busy Mum

            If your definitions of ‘educated population’ and ‘aspiration’ are correct, I can assure you that the younger generation is not educated.

          • Dreadnaught

            You appear to be rubbishing your own children in that broad unqualified statement. Speak for yourself in that case.

          • Busy Mum

            I absolutely agree re self-reliance, hard work, paying your own way and I assure you that my children have had this example before them from day one. What I was saying is that this definition of aspiration is not the one being peddled throughout the education system.

          • DSERIES

            And you could aspire to emulate Germany…..a country who always realised that it had to foster an education system that would supply new generations of engineers.

          • DSERIES

            Exactly. My son is now 26. Studied Civil Engineering via the vocational route. No debt. Employed continually even in the aftermath of 2008.Has obtained a mortgage.And now lives and works in NZ…which is …of course….one of those countries that only lets you stay for more than 6 months if you have a job……..in a relevant area of expertise.
            Of course I could waste time contrasting his outcome with that of his friends who studied the “new” degree subjects.

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Society’s ‘machine’ is infinitely more complex than 50 years ago. We are all like those pieces of frenetic music that go faster and faster until they collapse in a heap. Some people working full time have no quality of life today. Many cannot produce the (binding) quality of a simple, creative life due to ‘time poverty’ and the basic things start to fall apart. We need to slow down, simplify, savour reading for its own sake. Around when Milton was stuck off the curriculum at University, we lost the prevalence of the Classics. The purpose of education changed and then lost its way. One is educated for the sake of being educated, not just to supply skillsor make money. Without a true context, in Creation, work becomes meaningless.

          • Busy Mum

            Yes – see my other comment about how education is being sold to the children as a means to an end, rather than as an end in itself.

          • CliveM

            True but how many went on to do degrees when you were young?

            Look at Scotland. No tuition fees, but fewer places and more socially elitist.

          • Dreadnaught

            On your first point – universities were largely the preserve of the middle and upper classes thus ensuring class division.
            Scotland offers its own kids access at the expense of overseas students – not very egalitarian; how more exploitative is that.

          • CliveM

            And thats the point. Two thirds of those complaining about loans and demanding grants, wouldnt have had the opportunity to go to University under the old system, as Scotland shows (although to a lesser extent).

          • Dreadnaught

            It’s no recommendation to hold up a lousy elitist system as a counterpoint to an inclusive education system.

          • Anton

            Not really. Universities used to take only 10% of the population, meaning the brightest. My mother got to Cambridge from a poor family in an industrial northern town thanks to the grammar school system which Labour wrecked in the 1960s. It’s harder to get a meaningful degree now than then. It’s easy to get a meaningless one, of course.

          • Dreadnaught

            On your first point the majority of Oxbridge students went there because they went to the privately financed, ‘right’ prep and boarding schools. To a lesser extent, that still applies. The status of the parent is often more desirable than the potential of the scholar.

          • Anton

            It is not up to our elite universities to correct for the deficiencies of the school system by enacting so-called positive discrimination. If the school system is bust, that is where something should be done.

          • Dreadnaught

            I have suggested no such thing. Its about time the Conservatives metamorphosed into something better than the same old same old – starting with what is actually being taught in schools and standing up to teachers unions and Islamic faith schools.

          • Anton

            You didn’t suggest it but it would follow from what you did say. Apart from that I agree entirely with this comment of yours – well said!

          • Royinsouthwest

            If I remember rightly the proportion from grammar schools increased in the post-war decades and had reached about 50% when the private-school educated “socialists” of the Labour started to get rid of the grammar schools leading to a stagnation in social mobility.

          • Dreadnaught

            I’m sure you remember correctly. I was only commenting on the selection process of Oxford and Cambridge. My daughter passed the Oxford exam and interview only to reject the offer because of the Flashman contingent who seemed to rule the roost on and around campus.

          • Anton

            “Seemed” is right. That was her choice, but did you consider explaining that minorities might make the most noise but are still minorities?

          • Dreadnaught

            Minorities are more than able to dominate the atmosphere on campus – the Bullingdon Boys for instance and the faculty that permits its existence.

          • Anton

            That’s not true. I was at a traditional college at Cambridge and you could be like that if you wished but they didn’t mind you and vice versa.

          • Pubcrawler

            I second this comment.

          • Dreadnaught

            It is true as it reflects her experience and was sufficiently evident for her to turn down the offer.

          • Anton

            My experience was based on several years there. What was hers based on?

          • Merchantman

            For many, in fact most of the undergraduates, are on the wrong course. Bring back Polytechnics and their degrees and link them to Apprenticeships.

          • Dreadnaught

            Such as the history of ‘Fine Art’ from St. Andrews.

          • Watchman

            What is wrong with class division, would you prefer social engineering?

          • Dreadnaught

            What is wrong with class division? It plays into the hands of Trots like Corbyn.

          • Watchman

            So, if you have no class division you do Corbyn’s job for him. Class division is a natural organic phenomenum based on individual tastes and preferences. It is a statement of preferred different values and leads to a preferred reference group. How would you change that without becoming a Corbynista?

          • Dreadnaught

            A mertiocracy untainted by the old school tie culture of the Civil Service and the privilege of the ‘noble’ bed chamber. It seems to work well enough in Canada and Australia.

          • Watchman

            And how do you propose to change things without being J Corbyn’s disciple?

          • Merchantman

            Self Advancement is conservatism.

          • Dreadnaught

            Oh come off it.

          • Watchman

            How would you define “it”?

          • Dreadnaught

            I have already pointed out the direction for your further edification – I’m not going to spoon feed you.

          • Watchman

            You have said what you would do, not how you would do it.

          • Hi

            Class division may be organic and there are elites and the governed in every society on earth. There will always be rich and poor and the issue is how to deal with this fact. My philosophical answer is a model of one nation conservatism .

            I disagree that being rich and poor is to do with “individual tastes and preferences” i.e. it is a consciousness choice. You honestly believe people choose to be poor ? So today I’ve chosen to be poor and live in a toilet block in Tanzania for the rest of my life. Meanwhile Mr poor person has declined his lottery win and has chosen to remain in his ditch come hovel ….

          • Watchman

            Hannah, the discussion we were having was a domestic one: of the social politics and economics of Britain not Tanzania. I find it a pity that on an ostensibly Christian blog we spend so much time on temporal and material matters. The quality of life is not contained in how much stuff we can buy but in the quality of our relationships and particularly our relationship with our Creator. I had no privileged middle class background but chose to listen to Radio 3 not Radio 1. Libraries books were freely available as were art galleries and museums. For 2 shillings I could sit in the orchestra stalls every Saturday evening and listen to a concert. I despised the loud noise they called music and do to this day. I have sailed with the rich and famous simply by being enthusiastic; but I have never envied them their possessions or their lifestyles. I have experienced healing from a loving God who has nurtured me and met my every need throughout my life. I never have any money but I do tend to be generous with what I have. What more do I need , Hannah, I have made choices, some good, some bad and very few of them depended on how much money I had. I do not want to manipulate the social system because other people’s lifestyles and possessions hold nothing for me and there is little to suggest that they are happier than me, it fact, just the opposite. I have met some wonderful, interesting people and their social or economic status has had nothing to do with the relationships I’ve had with them.

            Mr Corbyn is enticing us with a promise of a better tomorrow based on a pipe dream.

          • Hi Clive ,

            Hey, but students still have to do menial jobs , like me and my sister did plenty of crappy paid jobs to get through university on £3 an hour : £5 was a fortune! Everything from wine waitresses , pork pie makers, transport workers, bar workers (I could run a pub) and being models for art students.

          • CliveM

            I was in the era of grants, travelling expenses, deed of covenants, holiday time benefits and housing benefits.

            Of course I’m thoroughly ashamed of myself!

          • Hi Clive,

            Well that’s why millennials might feel the system is against them: all those politicians of all parties getting the same too ,but condescension to them when they complain about it … meanwhile politicians do their upmost (unless you are Mrs May) to help pensioners as they ,well, vote !

            It’s like saying you have to pay National insurance , but only the current pensioners (on final salaries ,another issue) will get the state pension. Although it should be flagged to our students that it was Labour who introduced fees in the first place and decimated the private pension industry with a massive tax grab (thanks Gordon Gorbev).

          • CliveM

            Also in my day, only 10% went to University. Now it’s nearly 50% and that level of subsidy is unaffordable.

            But I get your point.

          • DSERIES

            Exactly…and what are these essential areas of expertise to which the 50% need to aspire ???

          • Hi

            What was deed of covenants,??

          • CliveM

            Basically it was a promise of a lump sum from my father, with a promise of a tax return. I tended only to get the tax returns, never the lump sum!

          • Hi

            Oh I think taxes and accountants are the permanent fixtures of life!

          • DSERIES

            Yes..an educated population is essential but in relevant skills.My son studied Civil Engineering via the vocational route. Now 26,he has no debt,had no trouble remaining employed during the turbulent crash years and has his own mortgage.He even seemed to get cash incentives when he passed exams….perhaps a government incentive ?…Many of his graduate friends found it difficult to find work and frequently not in fields related to their areas of study. So yes I would offer students financial incentives if they chose to follow career paths that are essential to economic prosperity and welfare. I would include nursing .What is wrong with an advanced nation that cannot provide itself with nurses and then recruits from nations that can ill afford to loose health workers.Of course nurses face some unpleasant tasks and civil engineering is none too pleasant in harsh winter conditions.If as some claim , we have 50% of young adults studying for degrees of some description ,then we need to carefully consider why this is necessary.

          • But, they are getting into heavy debt and might not be so lucky as to even get a job for which they qualify. Alright they wont have to start repayments until they are on about £23k pa but they’ve still got the millstone around their necks.

          • Busy Mum

            The debt is theoretical. I am confident that my daughters have the principles in place whereby they will contribute to society in future.
            The real problem is that engineers, doctors etc – i.e. graduates that society needs – will get employment and pay back their debts, whilst the graduates that society doesn’t need can simply get low-paid/part-time/no work at all and never pay back the debt. Result – taxpayers’ money is only funding education that society does not need. i.e. there is no real investment in education.

          • “The debt is theoretical” tell that to the mortgage provider when they come to apply for one, I don’t think they will see it as so.

            Why should engineers, doctors etc.. have the responsibility of having to pay whilst those that society does not need who’ve done mickey mouse degrees end up not paying. I agree, why does the government waste money funding useless degrees instead of technical college places and grammar schools?

          • Dreadnaught

            This was the stupid policy of New Labour but rather than reform it Cameron smelled a cash-cow and upped the fees by 300%.

          • Busy Mum

            All of which is why only the minority of my children will be heading to university.

            Applying for mortgages has become a bit of a circus now anyway – one of my sisters and her husband were refused extra mortgage for an extension because the building society works on the assumption that a large part of my brother-in-law’s salary goes on childcare costs, whereas my sister looks after her own children for free. This fact made no difference!

          • Dreadnaught

            The minority’ of your children – you must indeed have been a very busy mum, but your own experiences may not be so easily transferable to the bigger national picture.

          • Busy Mum

            I am still a very busy mum – youngest in last year at primary school – I will have to get on with some productive work now, totally unrelated to my academic education, in keeping with my principles 🙂 However, it is pleasant to think profound thoughts whilst hanging washing on the line.

            The bigger national picture as I see it is a younger generation that has ‘rights and responsibilities’ in contrast with an older generation that had privileges and duties.

          • Dreadnaught

            I doff my cap to you BM.

          • Busy Mum

            Thankyou. Cap-wearing and cap-doffing are two things I would like to see making a general come-back; in the playground, and beyond….

          • IanCad

            “However, it is pleasant to think profound thoughts whilst hanging washing on the line.”
            Beautifully put BM.

          • Busy Mum

            Thankyou. I am sure it’s a much nicer way of getting the chores done than a)feeling resentful and ‘unfulfilled’ or b)paying another woman to do it for you whilst you go to an office and contribute to the Inland Revenue.

          • Anton

            I agree; yet the older generation brought up the younger.

          • Busy Mum

            Yes, it’s odd isn’t it. Talking to an elderly gentleman the other day, his opinion is that the ‘older’ generation got complacent after winning the war.

          • Anton

            I suspect we underestimate the psychological/spiritual effect of two world wars on the people of Europe. Historians concentrate on the economic and political effects but forget about the rest. As a start, there is the prolonged absence of a father figure in many households during a long war – a feature that becomes permanent if he is killed. Notice how England’s elite suddenly went effete and leftist in the 1930s after the “survivors’ ball” of the 1920s – just when the generation that would have felt the fatherlessness most was grown. There was a similar delay after WW2 and then the hippies rebelled against everything.

          • Busy Mum

            The problem of fatherlessness – nailed it in one!
            It is noticeable that the Bible exhorts us to pity the fatherless and the orphans, but being just motherless does not appear to have been a problem until the C20th powers-that-be turned the world upside down and allowed mothers to usurp fathers in every way.

          • DSERIES

            Exactly….and as I have posted previously,there is always the vocational route…..but then of course you miss the riotous rites of passage.!!!

          • Busy Mum

            At least the riotous rights of passage are not compulsory…..yet.

  • Anton

    It is worth adding, Your Grace, that Corbyn neutralised May’s call to make the election about Brexit by guaranteeing Brexit if he won. That made it all about the issues upon which you have accurately put the archepiscopal finger.

  • Anton

    CCHQ is full of arrogant apparatchiks who despise ordinary party members… The Conservative Party needs to be opened up and returned to its members: the Chairman needs to be elected and made accountable to them, instead of to the Office of the Leader. The Candidates’ Department needs to return to what it used to be: a genial mechanism for discerning the mad, bad and sad; not a totalitarian garrison sifting out social conservatives and engineering constituency selections to ensure superficial diversity.

    Absolutely! We’d never have had legal recognition of wedding vows between persons of the same sex, and the slog to turn the Tory party Brexit would have been far easier.

    • IanCad

      And there you have it Anton – the meat of the post.
      Conservative Reform Now!!!

      • Anton

        Yes. Say to the Blair-lites at Central Office aka Augean Stables that they are not conservative so how can they be Conservative?

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    Shrewd analysis.

  • magnolia

    Brilliantly witty, and superbly funny pictures; thanks for brightening my morning, (which sorely needed it!)

  • Damaris Tighe

    I remember Major droning ‘if it isn’t hurting it isn’t working’. The Tories became hated and even my true-blue brother, wealthy and dubbed ‘further right than Genghis Khan’ voted Labour in 1997. May should have remembered that castor oil has to be sugared in some way.

  • It isn’t just the millennials. Lord Ashcroft finds that only in the 55-64 and 65+ age ranges is there a clear majority voting Conservative (first graphic here). It will be fascinating to see a breakdown by ethnicity; I hope Lord Ashcroft will oblige. In the past, Labour has always attracted the lion’s share of the ethnic vote.

    In the long run, though, does it really matter whether it’s a Labour government or a Conservative government making the native British a minority and replacing Christianity by Islam?

    • Anton

      Actually it would be the replacement of secularism by Islam. Gospel Christianity would survive, although not institutional Christianity (and its craven bishops…)

      • @ Anton—Any form of Christianity will be pushed to survive without Christians. UK, 2010-2015, Christian deaths exceeded births by 10,000+. UK, 2010-2015, Muslim births exceeded deaths by 10,000+. Click here and scroll down to ‘Regional and country-level patterns of births and deaths’.

        • Anton

          The church has Christ’s promise that provided it remains faithful then it will survive. You can make many more Christians much more quickly by conversion than by breeding.

        • Busy Mum

          Once all the Christians have gone to heaven, God won’t need the world any more.

  • Linus

    I see that hope springs eternal in the heart of fake archbishops.

    But let’s get real. A Christian fundamentalist whose blog is a (minor) hotbed of religious extremism, homophobia and hatred of all things Muslim stands about as much chance of being selected and approved as a Tory candidate as one of those teeny-tiny bite-sized pork sausages stands when it comes time to choose the finger food menu at a bar mitzvah.

    At this celebration, the presiding rabbi is Scottish. And a more zealous defender of Tory orthodoxy – as currently constituted – there is not. Teeny-tiny bite-sized pork sausages (especially when they masquerade as dead archbishops well past their sell-by date) that try to weasel their way onto the buffet will be RUTHlessly exposed and ejected from the premises. They just aren’t kosher.

    He could always try teaming up with the other failed candidate here and launch his own gay-hatin’, Muslim-scapegoatin’ and self-aggrandizin’ Christian Supremacist party. Then at least he could dream about getting into parliament.

    • len

      Change the tune Linus.

    • bluedog

      What’s the point of ‘getting into Parliament’? Once there you are shackled by party discipline and less able to say what you want. His Grace’s cyber-salon has far more influence than His Grace could muster as an MP. Isn’t that one reason you are drawn to the blog?

      • Chefofsinners

        Salon or saloon?

        • Royinsouthwest

          If it were the latter then we could expect comments from Nigel Farage.

      • Linus

        That’s basically what bloggers tell themselves, but essentially blogs are just tribal forums where people get together to hear their own ideas repeated back to them so they can feel validated.

        Why do you think my presence here is so decried? People who post here don’t want to hear a different point of view. They’re only interested in their own opinions. That’s what makes it such an exercise in futility.

        • Chefofsinners

          Your presence here is most welcome, but you occasionally slip into ungentlemanly conduct and need a lesson in what the French call etiquette. Don’t be offended. It will shape your character such that you shall one day be able to move in polite company without being detected.

          • Linus

            Ungentlemanly conduct for the British means any form of disagreement or any challenge to the Brit’s self-assumed right to lay down the law and dictate to the rest of the world how things should be.

            Perhaps that’s why you’re leaving the EU. You just can’t stand it when others won’t cave in to your selfish and inconsiderate demands. And perhaps that’s why the rest of us are so happy to see you leave.

            A throwaway comment I made yesterday on the subject of Brexit to a group of elderly gardening enthusiasts who interrupted my afternoon snooze as they were being shown around the shrubberies went something like this:

            Me in reponse to a question about a sickly-looking shrub in an otherwise lush and healthy border: “Yes, you’re right. That sorbus thibetica is looking decidedly wan. The seedling came from my grandfather’s garden in England. He was a lifelong Conservative. Perhaps the unfortunate vegetable is channeling his dismay at the current state of English politics.”

            Polite laughter.

            “It started wilting just after Brexit was announced,” I continued. “We’re hoping it will perk up once they get rid of that awful May woman and then come on bended knee to Paris asking if they can change their minds about leaving the EU.”

            You should have seen their stricken faces. “Please, no! We’ve only just got rid of them. Surely it’s worth sacrificing one spindly shrub for that!” came the rejoinder.

            We all laughed. I asked the gardener to grub up the offending plant and dispose of it as he saw fit. I assume he put it on his bonfire.

            Is that your fate too, do you think?

          • Anton

            We are leaving the sinking ship. If you think we are rats, what is that to us?

          • Linus

            You’re leaving a perfectly seaworthy vessel in lifeboat that’s holed beneath the water line.

            Rats you certainly are, but then we always knew that. What we didn’t realise was quite how suicidal you were.

            Oh well, we did our best to keep you on board, so when you drown we’ll just shrug our shoulders and chalk it up to bloodymindedness. But as we watch the waves starting to lap over your gunwales, we can’t help but feel sorry for you. Pity certainly ameliorates the relief we feel at seeing the back of you. Nobody ever regrets the departure of an anti-social, one might almost say Asperger’s-ish neighbour. But few actually enjoy watching him drown himself out of sheer obtuseness.

          • Anton

            The third time we might be too busy with our own problems to bail you out of yours. Be careful.

          • Linus

            At its current valuation, Sterling couldn’t bail out the national debt of Toytown, let alone the EU.

          • Anton

            Not even Germany could bail out the EU, and Merkel is not going to let Macron use German largesse to try it. You’re stuffed. We’ve dropped a few percent.

          • Linus

            Sterling is in the toilet while the Euro holds steady.

            Renewed confidence in a STRONG and STABLE French government working hand in hand with a STRONG and STABLE German chancellor means long term prospects for the EU haven’t looked this bright for years. All the optimism indicators are off the scale. Business confidence is through the roof.

            Britain on the other hand is wracked by doubt and uncertainty. Your government is weak. You stagger from self-inflicted crisis to self-inflicted crisis like a deranged teenager bent on self-destruction.

            As you step over the precipice, my attitude is that you’re getting what you deserve. I’ll mourn (moderately) for you and then move on. Every cloud has a silver lining. The ruins of the British economy will stand as a monument to the narcissistic hubris of populist nationalism. By discouraging others from following your example, you’ll have served some kind of purpose.

          • Anton

            You are joking, aren’t you? Macron wants closer fiscal union, in other words he wants the Germans to bail out Italy and Spain. They aren’t going to agree to that. The Great Divorce is coming closer.

          • Chefofsinners

            Sorbus Thibetica likes acid soil, which I suspect your garden will have in abundance. However, it is neither a shrub nor a vegetable, it is a tree. Your knowledge of gardening seems as woeful as your understanding of nature generally.

          • Linus

            A stunted sorbus thibetica that’s never prospered despite all the care and attention that’s been lavished on it cannot properly be called a tree. And as for it not being a vegetable, what is it then? Animal or mineral?

    • Anton

      Is this your idea of social intercourse?

    • Chefofsinners

      And should we think of you as an enormous sausage?

    • Inspector General

      Orlando’s nice this time of year.

      They were closer now Orlando
      Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally
      I was so afraid Orlando
      We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die
      And I’m not ashamed to say
      The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

  • len

    This is extreme politics at its worst.
    I suppose it is an indication of the breaking up of our society where extreme positions are being taken by both sides.
    The gap between rich and poor is ever widening and desperate measures are being taken because the politicians in power are no longer listening to the ‘little people’.

    Even Corbyn and his’ madcap money tree politics’ are seemingly preferable to another five years of misery.

    • Anton

      It’s worthy asking who is miserable and why.

      • len

        Basically the working poor.

        • Anton

          Agreed entirely that they are the shafted.

    • bluedog

      Politics is a substitute for civil war, len. It follows that extreme positions are taken when the interested parties are staking out their ground.

  • Hi

    At least they voted and are politically engaged in democratic politics, rather than protests and occupying st Paul’s etc.

    Besides which there are many examples of people being left wing in their youth and conservative in later life e.g. Peter Hitchens.

    To quote someone “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no head”.

    • Anton

      The first political party I supported was Labour. Until I was ten years old, as I recall.

  • Merchantman

    You have done a great analysis Your Grace. Personally We all listen in to The Grauniad from time to time to see how the opposition think, because/besides its free. As I said they had (9/6) an honest appraisal of how Corbyn got his votes in 8 easy steps; more or less how this article explains it.
    The Grauniad is trying to set itself up as the liberal/progressive voice. They are linked in to the US Democrats playbook of the Bernie Sanders persuasion. Corbyn is to the left of Bernie Sanders but they are both Popularists it’s all about populism and if you can’t play you don’t win.
    Trump won because he tapped into another disenfranchised group; the people who keep the lights on.
    If TM isn’t getting the message on this from her man in DC and CCO, it’s time for a change.

    • TropicalAnglican

      Re your last sentence, I somehow have the impression that PM May doesn’t have much time for Pres Trump, and defends him to the minimum possible. I also would not be surprised if her man in DC holds the same view, and hence no message is passing through …
      The two leaders obviously have different values/policies/outlooks. Just compare and contrast May and Trump’s record on, say, borders and illegal immigration. Trump is very, very keen on secure borders. May doesn’t seem to want to discuss the issue. Trump has said many times, “We are not anti-immigration. We are anti-ILLEGAL immigration” (I like the way he bares his teeth when he says “illegal”, but still the MSM can twist it into “anti-immigrant sentiment”). And of course he supports “extreme vetting”. How many hundred thousands have been let in under May’s watch? In contrast, it is reported that illegal immigration to the US has apparently magically dropped by 67%.
      Re the comment about the US Democrats playbook, I remember a poster on another blog claiming that Jeremy Corbyn had taken a leaf out of Trump’s playbook, and hence had managed to gain seats.
      i wanted to point out that it couldn’t be the case because Corbyn lost, and Trump’s playbook is meant to be used by winners only…

  • Chefofsinners

    This was the campaign of a leader who thought her lead was unassailable. There appeared to be a chance to tell the truth in the manifesto and then do what needs to be done. It could have been the making of our country, but the youth chose not to invest in the future, preferring credit card living. As a result, a heavier price will be paid in years to come, and it is those who are now young who will be paying it.

    • Dreadnaught

      The unaccounted Foreign Aid budget needed to be far more greatly scrutinised and made public. Just doling out tax payers cash to despots and profligate third world economies is an insult to the people who supply the funds. Not one word to even suggest a temporary block on the largesse of the nation, while telling us to accept more and more of the burden of fiscal accountability. Yaaay – definite vote winner that one.

      • Anton

        The Foreign Aid budget needed to be AXED. It is not a legitimate function of government to take people’s money involuntarily and dispense it as largesse overseas. This is the nationalisation of charity.

        • Busy Mum

          Apart from the foreign aid budget, the welfare state is the nationalisation of charity.

          The more we hear about ‘charity’ (and consequently the less Christian it must be, by definition), the more obligatory or compulsory it becomes e.g. non-uniform days in schools, only FairTrade products stocked etc

          • Anton

            Yes. Fair Trade is a brilliant slogan. The truth is that free trade is fair trade.

          • Busy Mum

            I took this up with our primary school a few years ago when the focus for Global Week was ‘Fair Trade’. They were a bit shocked to learn that I considered this totally inappropriate for seven year olds and that schools had no right to bolster what is essentially a huge co-operative aiming to be a monopoly.

          • Anton

            Yes, the lady who sold Fairtrade stuff after our services a while back looked shocked when I said that it was just a marketing slogan and that free trade is the only real fair trade. We don’t do it any more, although I must say that the “Divine” brand of milk chocolate on sale was particularly good.

          • Chefofsinners

            Giving Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott seats in Parliament is the nationalisation of charity.

          • Busy Mum

            You are generous to a fault, at times.

        • Chefofsinners

          The foreign aid budget is, of course, actually the ‘buying influence abroad’ budget.

          • Anton

            That’s its only *good* use.

          • James60498 .

            It depends what that influence is.

            Much of it is based on allow abortion and “gay marriage” and we will give you some money.

          • Anton

            Agreed; I had sweeteners in mind to buy British.

    • CliveM

      Yes there is truth in what you say. However if you’re going to proscribe a lot of nasty medicine , you need to sweeten it as well.

      • Royinsouthwest

        If the cure seems rather unpalatable you want to be fairly certain that the disease has been correctly diagnosed!

      • Chefofsinners

        I think Corbyn proscribed, whereas May prescribed.
        Be that as it may, I think the Conservative strategy simply underestimated how fickle and easily bought the middle grounders are.

        • CliveM

          I have to admit to being a bit surprised myself. The more outrageous the promise, the more people listened.

          Unbelievable!

          • IanCad

            Hitler and the big lie technique. He understood it very well.
            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/hitler-on-the-big-lie

          • CliveM

            Thanks. Yes of course. It’s also why conspiracy theories are so popular.

          • IanCad

            At risk of the charge of repetition I will again state that the blood brother of Conspiracy Theory is False Witness.

          • CliveM

            Couldnt agree more.

  • Jonathan Bush

    Without vision, the people perish. Corbyn gave, in the words of Sunday’s sermon, a vision of hope. Being devoid of reality was irrelevant. May offered realistic medicine, but failed to offer a vision. it is hardly surprising that the people went with the only vision offered. The young went even more strongly, because the message comes with the false visions already sold through the socialist education system.
    People’s won’t buy sausage without the sizzle.

  • magnolia

    Part of May’s problem, as His grace hints here, is that she probably has- despite her very public profile- elements of residual diffidence, which can be misinterpreted as aloofness.

  • Dolphinfish

    The Tories didn’t lose the young vote – they never had it. That’s not how Tories work. The Tory secret is to grab them as they start to get a little older, get a bit further on in life, drift a bit to the right. That’s not working anymore because people are NOT getting a bit further in life these days. The piggy, business-interests-uber-alles policies followed by Thatcher’s children, the barrow boys, for the last thirty years, means the young are never going to get out of debt, are never going to get ahead and are never going to have anything to lose.

    • andrew

      That’s a very good point. And throw in left wing media and left wing academia, and you have a fertile ground for aging Marxists.

    • Royinsouthwest

      In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Young Conservatives were a very popular organisation. Mind you, that was partly because the organisation was regarded as a very good place to meet members of the opposite sex.

      THE LOST WORLD OF YOUNG CONSERVATISM
      https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/historical-journal/article/lost-world-of-young-conservatism/893CF4C953AB6EDB8238355DE09633F3

      • TropicalAnglican

        I understand that the Young Conservatives easily reached a six-figure membership (perhaps 500,000) during Mrs Thatcher’s time, and was the largest organisation of its kind in Western Europe.
        Not sure if it is still in existence today.

        • Anton

          It got axed for exuberance, ie drunkenness and singing tasteless anti-leftie songs, by some anonymous PR git at Central Office. Wish I had the song book.

      • IanCad

        ‘Twas long ago and far away, but the YC gals were so….. much prettier than the Socialist Student types. So also today. The hatchet faced harridans on the left are nowhere near as feminine as the ladies of the right. There may be some exceptions, but in general the rule holds true. Republican women are so much more ladylike than their Democratic sisters.

      • Inspector General

        The Young Farmers still is, Roy. Any gal interested in the farming life will snare a fellow with little problem, one is assured….a case of demand and supply, you see.

  • Corbyn did more than just promise what he didn’t have: he radicalised young idealists to agitate against full and equal suffrage by demanding the franchise be restricted to people under 60, and that is going to cause problems as they come through the ranks of the Labour party and of the public services people like that tend to infiltrate.

    • Royinsouthwest

      I don’t remember hearing that he wanted to prevent people over 60 from voting. Am I getting forgetful in old age? What evidence is there that Corbyn advocated such a policy?

  • Royinsouthwest

    Going back some years, Ronald Reagan, a man ridiculed almost as much as Corbyn, had no trouble, in articulating an optimistic message from a relatively right-wing standpoint which was summarised by the sentence ” “It’s morning again in America.” Even during the darkest days of the Second World War, Churchill was able to articulate a not unreasonable message of hope. Jonathan Bush, below, alluded to the Biblical passage, “where there is no vision the people perish.”

    • TropicalAnglican

      After “sentence”, I was expecting to see “Make America Great Again”. It’s not a Trump original. Reagan was a very generous soul, and left it free for everybody to use, whereas Trump … (I understand “You are fired” has also been trademarked, copyrighted and patented).

  • IrishNeanderthal

    If you think Santa Claus takes the biscuit, try this:

    Woman knits politicians in run up to General Election | Meridian – ITV News

  • David

    I am used to Cranmer generously providing us with very good articles to debate and comment upon, but this one is, quite simply, superb. It really hits the nail on the head. CCHQ could do no better than read it carefully and to inform the careful construction of a totally refreshed way forward.

  • Chefofsinners

    UK politics today is very much like the parable of the Prodigal Son.
    The younger son feels a strong sense of entitlement and wants to spend all the inheritance on his own pleasures.
    The older son is industrious and prudent, but also ungracious and resentful of his younger brother.
    In the parable the loving father reconciled the family. Unfortunately, in our society both brothers have rejected the Father and His love, preferring to slug it out between themselves.

    • DP111

      Very good. We have indeed rejected Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

      There is always a price to pay.

    • Busy Mum

      Reconciliation was only possible when the younger son saw the error of his ways.

      • Dolphinfish

        If you’ll recall, the older son also required a clip round the earhole.

        • Busy Mum

          Yes, but only after the younger son had seen the error of his ways.

          • Chefofsinners

            You sound as though you identify with the older brother, and you exhibit his characteristic desire to heap the blame on the younger sibling.

          • Busy Mum

            The older brother needed reminding that his ‘works’ counted for nothing when it came to being loved by the father, and ‘that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God – the father – who sheweth mercy’. He needed to be reproved for having forgotten that ‘there, but for the grace of God, go I.’

          • Chefofsinners

            And he needed to compare himself to his father, not to his brother.

          • Busy Mum

            I am sure that when the reproof hit home, and he realised that he, as well as his younger brother, owed absolutely everything to their father, he felt himself to be as much a ‘five hundred pence’ debtor to his father as his brother was.

    • petej

      I disagree

      Many younger people are working much harder than their parents did and for considerably less pay. Wages are down, cost of living is through the roof.

  • Hi

    The issue is that Dave and George were economic and social liberals. Whatever May said about black youths and white working-class people or JAMS , she continued in the direction of Dave and George.

    The attempt to detoxify the Conservatives was an own goal. Yes we’re now
    metropolitan on social views , but the other side of the liberalism of Dave and co , economic , equals reduced role of the state aka austerity, so to the economic socialist come social liberal the Conservatives will always be the nasty party. In economic if not social terms. So one has to just ignore such ridiculous nonsense and stop pandering to appease one’s opponents in politics. They’ll never love us.

    Having written that I think the austerity was badly done and should have been targeted in a different way,e.g. The cutting of police was undertaken by May abs under the radar and that hurt the Tories , likewise defence has been decimated when the soldiers are being tasked with more and more engagement , if we ever do get into a full-blown war , we shall be lucky to win with the imposed cuts . Maybe there should have been a national conversation about what we could cut and what we spend on. Although the ideal of running budget surpluses was always fanciful as all governments tend to borrow , it is almost a question of how little, how much and how much we can get away with . In any case it seems there is a structural problem with the economy as in theory the finances should have improved with the growing economy , the cuts already in place and the tax rises.

    I think conservatives cannot ever out spend socialists, but they can tune into mood music and rebalance the economy toward growth , to reduce the deficit. I think the cuts were done in a crude way ,rather than line by line expenditure and austerity needs to be recalibrated . Also the foreign aid (bribe) budget. I think it was terrible we are spending 0.7% of GNI to corrupt regimes when there’s food banks and other social ills in the UK. In the quick term , they could start off by getting rid of the higher rate income tax bands, ditching the business rate increases and the rate before paying taxes increased to £20,000. The Conservatives are the party of low taxation and it has been shown lower taxes actually increases revenue, so these tax cuts would pay for themselves. The Conservatives could also look at defence and infrastructure projects to boost economic activity. Finally the Conservatives need to clarify Brexit and not meaningless “Brexit means Brexit” and more importantly set out the stall for the post Brexit UK.

    • Sarky

      Unfortunately the conservatives made short term cuts without looking at the long term consequences. This ‘more for less’ mantra backfired, because the pressure caused people in the public service to vote with their feet and leave. This means the workforce left is burntout or inexperienced. We now have a ineffective public sector which leads to an ineffective government.

      • Hi sarky

        I agree and conservatives paid the price and the biggest mistake made is the idea that all public sector people are like the Unions of the 1980s, which creates I think an us verses them mentality viz ministers.

    • petej

      One of the most bizarre moments of the campaign for me was watching May on question time where she was one moment saying the country was too poor to give nurses a pay rise inline with inflation and the next saying we were so rich that we should give foreign aid.

      The austerity agenda has been a disaster. Everyone depends on public services. If you cut too much everyone will notice and everyone will vote for someone else.

  • DP111

    In my opinion, in this age, the vote should only be for

    1. Adult subjects of the Crown, who have openly acknowledged their loyalty to the Crown.
    2. Have never been convicted of a serious crime.
    3. Have never engaged in Sedition or showing any allegiance to any power other then the Crown.
    4. Are tax payers for at least 5 years
    5. In addition to the above, those who have served in the Crown’s armed forces, and discharged with honour, two votes.

    It should never be for criminals, welfare spongers (who will always vote for the party that promises more free goodies), and those who will never ever be loyal to the Christian realm of Her Majesty the Queen, and Sharia supporters, who will vote in a manner to damage or destroy her realm.

    • Dolphinfish

      So, there should be a kind of British equivalent to the Iranian Guardian Council, then, to ensure only the “right” people stand for office?

      • IanCad

        The “Right” people who stand foe office must not include those who seek to replace liberty with theocracy.

    • Sedition, such as belonging to a religious group that challenges the prevailing Gospel of Diversity…

    • Sensible rules there.

    • Lucius

      One simple rule. Only net taxpayers (i.e., those who pay more to the state out of their personal income then they receive in benefits) are permitted to vote. If you have no skin in the game, you get no vote. This is an easy black and white rule. Easy to implement and easy to enforce and will thin out the riffraff.

      • Dreadnaught

        So say for instance you are 19 years old medical student with four years of study ahead of you – you are riff-raff and denied the right to vote? Bloody stupid black and white rule you’ve come up with there.

        • Anton

          Yes, it isn’t easy. But some sort of rule of this type is needed. If you have a better one, please propose it.

          • Dreadnaught

            If you accept that the majority of the population is not insane, in jail, not existing on state benefits career choice {apart from a pension} then that is Democracy ‘for the many, not the few’ (huk-spit}
            I am all for fines for not registering or voting as in Australia.

          • Anton

            As good a proposal as any, but how would you distinguish between those who make it a career choice to get State benefits and those who genuinely seek employment?

          • Dreadnaught

            Evidence of a work record would be a starting point where tax returns would be examined, as it should be for everyone of working age.

          • CliveM

            Regards fines for not voting, I use to be in favour of that, until I heard an Australian argue against it. Basically his argument was firstly, it treats the electorate as the problem and enables politicians to become even more disconected from the voter. So instead of requiring the politicians to connect with the electorate, it forces the electorate to connect with the politician. Surely the wrong way round.

            Secondly, he believed it also resulted in the politician ignoring his core vote. It would be forced out and would likely vote for them, so why worry about addressing their concerns.

            It was put better then this, but he changed my mind.

          • Sarky

            So what you’re saying is keep taking out players from the game until you get the result you want.

          • Anton

            This election did produce a result I want. What I’m saying is that those who produce revenue for the State should be the ones who determine how it is to be spent. Otherwise there is nothing to stop the people from voting themselves the treasury. That is what has been happening since the Welfare State, and the consequence is that we now have a huge national debt. It this sounds radical it is how voting was done for most of the time it has been done in this country.

          • Sarky

            They’ll be giving those pesky women the vote next!

        • Lucius

          Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      • petej

        And most of the tory party!

    • TropicalAnglican

      It would be much easier to apply those rules to parliamentary candidates instead. That would presumably weed out perhaps a few Labour MPs, and of course all of Sinn Fein.
      There is a Bible verse which says: “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour” (1 Timothy 5:17). I personally don’t think double votes would go down well, but perhaps another way of recognising faithful service to the Queen in the military realm would be to set aside a bloc of seats for them in the House of Lords. Who knows, there may be even more practicising Christians there than amongst the unbelievably non-Bible believing bishops!

    • petej

      That would knock out most of the upper echelon of the Tory party!

  • Haven’t we been here before?
    When I went up to University in 1970, it was choc-a-bloc full of Socialists trying to ‘unite all sections of the working classes to throw out this Tory government and put in a Labour government with socialist principles.’
    The real hard core (who certainly included Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers) added that having got in the aforementioned Labour government, they then needed to overthrow that in order to bring about conditions for a Trotskyist revolution. Think ‘Winter of Discontent’ to see how close they got.

    • DSERIES

      Absolutely.Thank you for jogging my memory..Jeremy didn’t attend university, if I am correct,and of course it was Piers who was in the media.

      • Anton

        Piers is a meteorologist who is sceptical of (significant man-made) global warming, amusingly enough.

        • novellus

          If he is a true Trotskyist he should, after all, man-made global warming is basically a key business driver.

          • Anton

            He argues it on scientific grounds that I (a physicist) find accurate.

            You can make any businesses boom if government subsidises them enough…

          • novellus

            Sure, but in the climate change drama there is the additional driver of fear and a pseudo-heroic / pseudo-religious “it’s up to us to save the world” message. This often makes the common folk willing to pay lot of extra fees, and to relinquish certain rights and freedoms they would not relinquish under normal circumstances. Similar to the fear driver in the politics regarding terrorism.
            Terrorism threat at least is real. To make things of that kind (partly) up in order to create a business driver of enormous global dimensions that is evil genius.

    • petej

      And who paid for your tuition fees?

  • CliveM

    RE the Goan beach bum, I wish!

    They weren’t all good degrees in my day. Still a sprinkling of media studies and politics!

    • Hi

      I must admit I’m bemused by current students. One of my investments is student rental: a couple of weeks ago they were complaining the lights had gone out. So here’s me dangling on a ladder trying to put in light bulbs. Then they complain about a smell. Turns out they hadn’t taken out stuff from the fridge during the Easter holidays , omg , I’ve never seen what happens to a tin of half opened baked beans and a pop boo noodle left for a six weeks. Then there was the drains. I came with a sink plunger as they’d continually put fat down the sink and they thought I was auditioning for Dr who as a dalek!

      • Anton

        Tis worth paying 10% to an agent if your tenants are students. (Unless one of them is doing a decent subject like engineering.)

        • Hi

          True, although I like to keep myself outside of my own bubble. But then this crop are real champagne toff socialists. I don’t know what they are reading , but I did discreetly substitute the Palestinian flag and Free Palestine banner with the Israeli one and a free Kurdistan banner : this was , six months ago . They haven’t noticed yet .

          • Anton

            Excellent

        • DSERIES

          Yep…my son is pretty useful…but I must complain about your stereotyping…..he studied civil engineering !!!!!!!!!!

          • Anton

            I’m suggesting that an engineer is capable of changing a lightbulb in his residence, unlike media studies students!

      • CliveM

        A generation that has never had to do anything for themselves.

        • Hi Clive ,

          My older bro David sent me this clip and said things hadn’t changed:

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fMKsR_wUSfA

          P.S. Sarah has complained I’m playing “socialism” …

          • CliveM

            Lol I thought this was going to be The Young Ones!

          • CliveM

            I don’t understand why, you old lefty!

  • Hi

    Like captain mainwaring type private banking ?

    • CliveM

      Well it’s the way banks were back then.

      • Hi Clive

        Cool… my bank is very traditional like that, but I’m a horrid capitalist as my main current account is with a family owned bank.

        But anyways this reminds me that there is or was a pub opposite st Philips cathedral in brum called the old joint stock, which used to be a bank. Very ornate. The function room was the bank manager’s office and the toilets had been the chiefs cashiers office….

        • CliveM

          A number of banks have become Wetherspoon Pubs I’ve noticed. Don’t tend to like them as pubs. No atmosphere.

          • Anton

            But at least you get a drink when you hand money across the counter.

          • CliveM

            True.

        • Pubcrawler

          It is still there. Fullers pub. Fuller suits, too. I prefer the Wellington round the corner.

  • Martin

    I recall at school, when we were all under 13, we had a mock election. One group promised us all an extra rationing of sweets (we were only allowed a ration of the sweets we had brought once a week). Curiously they won the election, despite others of us pointing out that they were offering us what was already ours.

    Perhaps the UK electorate is brighter than those 13 year olds.

    • Sarky

      You can recall at school??
      I’m impressed.

      • Anton

        I can recall most of my teachers’ names some 40 years on.

      • Martin

        Sarky

        Did you actually go to school?

  • DSERIES

    Exactly….see my previous comment….son …studied Civil Engineering…via vocational route. Now 26…no debt..never unemployed ….even post 2008…..just obtained mortgage..without vast parental bail out.

  • novellus

    Quote: “He promised to abolish university tuition fees, reintroduce student grants and the Education Maintenance Allowance”. My guess is this would result in giving all the snowflakes and SJWs more space and time to engage in cleansing universities from everything and everyone who thinks differently from them or hurt their feelings.

    • petej

      If you are 16 and have no parental support then it is almost impossible to do a-levels. The EMA probably costs less than the latest increase in MPs pay, but makes further education possible for more people.

      How much did May pay in tuition fees? £0.

      Who’s the snowflake now?

  • worrywort

    I have personally witnessed lefty forty and fifty year old right on Socialists get hysterical over this Election.
    The best one was in a Pub with Mr 40 getting louder and more aggressive with each reply I gave to his argument. The best one was when I said “Jeremy is not the Messiah Tony”. He flounced outside and had a fight with a Green party supporter.

    I’m convinced the Tories deliberately knobbled the race but unfortunately for their crafty plan too many of us saw through the lies the left were spouting and the Tories still won.

  • Inspector General

    Jo Cox’s husband Brendan on Radio 5 peddling the book he’s written about her. Brendan is an enthusiastic multiculturalist, bless him. His children not so, it appears. They go to a school 50% muslim and aren’t too keen on chicken sausages, whatever they are. Sounds like a ghastly culinary idea. One presumes pork sausages are not to be had. Isn’t multiculturalism great! Your indigenous white one gets suppressed to allow the newby in and not to upset them who count. To wit, other than white children.

  • petej

    I think there are six lessons the conservatives need to learn

    1. Most ordinary people value public services (NHS, education, police)

    2. Most ordinary people will live with austerity as an emergency measure, but will not support it permanently.

    3. People expect the PM to engage with ordinary voters and the opposition during an election campaign. If you want to win then you need to show up.

    4. Simultaneously launching policies which hurt younger people and older people may be balanced, but won’t win you votes.

    5. It is very difficult to win an election if you deliberately alienate, and then ignore, everyone under 50. Someone pointed out that there weren’t any official messages on any media encouraging young people to vote by “Theresa May’s team”

    6. Nobody under forty reads or believes the Sun or the Daily Mail

  • Anton

    Cameron says that Theresa May will have to listen to other parties on Brexit.

    She should start by reminding people that 80% of those who voted, voted for a party seeking Brexit. Then – and only then – should she explain that the right negotiating stance in the present situation is to go in prepared to walk out.

  • Simon Platt

    In re the crass personalised emails: I got them, too, despite being a UKIP candidate, I think because I signed up on the Tory website to find out about their manifesto.

    But exactly the same thing happened with Labour – more so, in fact.

  • Anton

    Remember all those supersmart Tories who joined the Labour party for three quid to vote for Corbyn the unelectable?

  • Marketthinker

    In 2010 Cameron got 307 seats and Labour 258. On that basis Corbyn got 4 more than Brown and May 11 more than Cameron. The UK has become a ‘coalition country’ like many others. The confusion is that 2015 was a referendum election, the SNP got 1.5 million votes but wiped out Labour’s historic power bloc while UKIP only got 1 seat but their 4 million votes cost labour a lot of marginals. With both referendum parties deemed less necessary, Labour got some of its votes back, that is all. The fact that the students who voted for Clegg’s 2010 uncosted free money manifesto and then abandoned him in 2015 were then seduced by Corbyn this time around is important, but does not mean that the majority want Marxism. Meanwhile, the government need to take some of the momentum out of Momentum, the teenage trots are warming up for a summer of violent protest in my view. They also need to reform student voting – in your UCAS constituency not your university town – and postal voting – with some constituencies being won by less than 10 votes, postal fraud and lack of voter identity is very important.