Category Archives: Politics and policy

The promotion of ‘generational equity’ is a divisive pursuit

It has become fashionable in policy and media circles to talk about inequality between the generations. We are warned that today’s young people belong to a “jilted generation” (1), or a “stagnation generation” (2), who have been cornered by the economic and political problems of the moment and are unable to buy a house, start a […]

The manipulative flattery of the youth vote is demeaning to young people and bad for politics

Jeremy Corbyn has gained much of the credit for the apparently high youth turnout for the General Election, and fair enough. But let’s not kid ourselves: there are deeper currents at work. The big thing that seems to have propelled young voters back to the ballot box was the EU Referendum of 2016. Contrary to […]

Understanding Trump voters

The US election, like the EU referendum in Britain, was replete with the language, imagery and discussion of emotion. The masses have been portrayed as an irrational mob, easily swayed by lies and false promises; broken hearts have been worn on sleeves and paraded on social media; downright nasty insults have been traded on all […]

Theresa May, forget social justice – give us politics

In the post-Brexit confusion, you can almost hear the gnashing of the policy-wonks’ teeth. Who are these people? What do they want? But it’s really not that complicated. People might want any number of things out of their lives – but when it comes to social policy, there are a few obvious places to start. […]

Remain voters, quit the granny bashing

Among the many divisions brought to the surface by the EU referendum, an apparent ‘generation war’ is raging. A recent poll, which found that most young voters chose to Remain, and most over-45s chose to Leave, has led to an explosion of bitterness from the younger sections of the electorate. Teenagers who are not yet old […]

Don’t tell young people how to Talk to Gran

The Talk to Gran campaign, launched by the Britain Stronger in Europe group in April, exhorts young people to persuade their parents and grandparents to vote in the right way. ‘Research shows that people are more likely to listen to someone they know’, claims the video; and because your parents and grandparents ‘want the best for you’, you […]

After the election: beware the politics of generationalism

At the beginning of May, then Labour leader Ed ‘Moses’ Miliband unveiled six General Election pledges inscribed on a giant stone tablet. ‘These six pledges are now carved in stone, and they are carved in stone because they won’t be abandoned after the General Election’, Miliband intoned, six days before his party was swept away by […]

‘Pro-family’ politicians: a threat to the family

One of the great myths of British politics is that those who champion a liberal approach to abortion and divorce are ‘anti-family’, while those who wish to deny people the ability to have abortions and leave failed relationships are ‘pro-family’. To begin with, it is a myth in historical terms. Arguments that women should be […]

How the nationalisation of parenting stoked the riots

‘We have nationalised child-raising’, claimed Shaun Bailey, head of the charity My Generation, during an autopsy of the riots and looting that swept England in summer 2011. Bailey continued: ‘People think that the government is responsible for their children – that weakens the family structure. One of the worst things as a parent is having […]

Divorcing marriage from morality

‘It is like a hydra: you cut off one head and get rid of a boring partner but inherit 26 new problems, your new partner’s children, family and so on.’ In such graphically grim terms did Sir Paul Coleridge, a senior High Court judge, launch a new campaign to promote marriage. Sir Paul told The Times (London) that he […]