The “old left” rises again

There is a very interesting article by Stephanie Mudge on the London School of Economics website suggesting that there is “a deepening rift in the economic prospects of older vs younger generations” in America and Britain (and Canada) which explains the sudden popularity of e.g. Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and, I daresay, Justin Trudeau. Prof Mudge suggests that millennials (those born after 1980, those, in other words about 35, now) and the cohort who voted for the first time in 2015 feel very financially insecure and are looking for just the sorts of facile promises that Corbyn, Sanders and Trudeau have on offer.

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Prof Mudge points out that Mr Corbyn and Sen Sanders are of a generation that was well schooled in the “old left” philosophy and the surprise isn’t that they remained loyal to the “old left” but, rather, that their “old left” politics are appealing to millennials.

That appeal, across the generations, probably worked, in spades, for 1297746476011_ORIGINALyoung, telegenic Justin Trudeau, and will, most likely continue to work. He is, after all, a very “nice,” very likeable young man with lots of “old left” ideas, The fact that he’s a “silk stocking socialist” or “limousine liberal” is neither here nor there … he is an appealing candidate with an appealing message.

Those millennials, the voters who will be 30 to 50, married with kids, living in the suburbs and feeling insecure about their economic futures and their children’s futures are the very people whose votes we, Conservatives, need when the 2019 election rolls around. We had them in 2011, we still had some of them in 2015, but we lost too many.

Our, Conservative, message must include a plan that offers hope for a brighter, more secure future, and, even more important, a message that inspires confidence in our ability to deliver that brighter, more secure socio-economic future.

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