On this day a year ago
5 years ago on the blog
The “grey vote”: Liz Truss adviser advised “freeze State Pension“
Well, there it is. Anyone not wealthy, and over the age of 65, as well as quite a few people of lesser age, who votes for the Conservative Party, is now a turkey voting for Christmas.
During the currency of the 2010-2017 governments, David Cameron-Levita realized that the only reliable demographic voting Conservative was that of “older people” generally— the older the voter, the more likely was he (or she) to vote Con, and also the more likely that that voter was to actually vote at all.
UKIP and, also, Farage’s other and later vehicle, Brexit Party, were mainly made up of fairly grey-haired and mostly ex-Conservative members and voters, people who at least vaguely realized that the Conservative Party was actually helping to destroy Britain, as the young Disraeli once wrote [“the great Conservative Party, that destroys everything“] and wanted a party that reflected their views better.
The trend is more or less the same now, except that UKIP and Brexit Party do not exist in any real sense, though Reform Party has taken up some of that slack.
Cameron-Levita and his cronies knew that fewer and fewer “younger” people, especially voters under the age of 30, were voting Con. That underlined the need to consolidate the Con vote in older age-groups, and especially the group that not only mostly voted Con, but could be relied upon to cast a vote, those in receipt of a State Pension, meaning those over 65 and some over about 62 (the eligibility age being slowly raised over time).
There were other factors: the older sections of the population were also those more likely to own a house or other dwelling outright, having either never had a mortgage or having paid it off while in their fifties, typically. The rise in nominal money-value of residential property therefore benefited that same group of older people.
The older sections of the population, especially the pensioners, were also those who favoured Brexit the most.
It is widely accepted that the general elections of 2015 and 2017 were won by the Conservative Party entirely by reason of the pensioner vote.
“In the 2017 general election age became a clear dividing line in British politics: older voters overwhelmingly voted Conservative and younger voters backed Labour.
The data shows that there are still some clear patterns along these lines, although the waters are somewhat muddied by a move away from two-party politics.”
“The average age of the Conservative voter is such that the steepness of its “age curve” (the increasing probability of a person at 2017 voting Conservative given their age) is now almost certainly steeper than the natural degree to which people “get” more Conservative as they age. This is important as it suggests that new cohorts of voters cannot replace and replenish the ranks of the Conservatives, even if they do naturally get more Conservative over time.”
See also: https://www.varsity.co.uk/opinion/22276.
The Conservative Party induced that reliable pro-Con voting bloc to carry on voting Con by introducing the “Triple Lock”, by which State Pensions would rise by the rate of inflation, or average pay, or 2.5% a year, whichever of the three was the greatest.
That obviously suited most pensioners very well, and secured those two election victories.
Poorer pensioners who received both State Pension and Pension Guarantee Credit were also served not badly, because the State Pension was covered by the Triple Lock, while Pension Guarantee Credit would still increase in amount, though only in line with inflation.
Rishi Sunak suspended the inflation part of the Triple Lock in 2021 (for financial year 2022-2023) [https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53082530], thus —if you like— cheating pensioners; he also thereby broke the election pledge the Conservative Party made during the 2019 General Election.
Sunak, best known for his “panicdemic” “free money” giveaways, probably has that Triple Lock default, or sleight-of-hand, to thank for his not being ushered in as Conservative Party leader in 2022.
The vast majority of actual Conservative Party members are either pensioners or not far from becoming so. The, so-to-speak, “Indian giver” was basically given a slap by the Conservative Party pensioner membership. Had he not cheated the pensioners, Sunak would almost certainly be Prime Minister by now.
Now, it seems that the Liz Truss government may or may not continue with —that is, reinstate— the Triple Lock after 2023 (she still says yes…), but State benefits including Pension Guarantee Credit may or may not be uprated in accord with inflation— they may even be frozen.
“Under the triple lock, pensions increase by the highest of earnings growth, price inflation or 2.5 per cent a year.
The government temporarily suspended the wages element of the pensions triple lock for 2022-23 to avoid a disproportionate rise of the state pension following the pandemic.
…“With inflation into double-digits, average earnings (total pay) of 5.5 per cent isn’t expected to be the deciding factor in next April’s state pension increase. The state pension is likely to increase by around double this at over 10 per cent, confirmed in September’s inflation figure published next month.”
…“While prime minister Truss committed to reinstating the triple lock in the immediate term during her leadership campaign, questions will remain over its affordability and whether the triple lock will survive in its existing form in the manifestos of all parties ahead of the next general election.”
Can Liz Truss be trusted or relied upon? I think not (and her husband knows not!).
One thing is for sure— if Liz Truss or woolly-head Kwarteng short-change the “grey vote” any time between now and the next general election, that “grey vote” will either vote elsewhere or even just abstain, though it is ingrained in most of those of pensionable age that they should at least vote, as a civic duty.
There is also the point that house prices are forecast to fall, perhaps significantly, in 2023.
The Conservative Party is now around 20% in the opinion polls. Most of that hard-core 20% is composed of the “grey vote”. “Mess them about” by interfering with the State Pension and/or Pension Guarantee Credit, and the Con vote nationally, at a general election, might fall to as low as 10%. Then it would be “Goodnight Vienna” for the Conservative Party.
Quite. Meaningless “exam passes”, “degrees” etc. Is James Cleverly any better or worse a Foreign Secretary for having a “degree” in Hospitality Management? It might even be “worse”…
Britain needs social nationalism. It alone can give the people what they need now and what they need for the future of their children.
Late tweets seen
I agree with both.
Social nationalism’s chance to rise up, and destroy the enemies of Europe’s future, will soon arrive.