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Dave Beans

Chris Huhne - Someone Needs To Fight The Selfish, Short-Sighted Old

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/22/someone-needs-fight-selfish-old

The interests of the young are at risk of being marginalised, while the old ride proud. It is the new political dividing line that no one acknowledges. British government in the modern age requires middle-aged ministers, but they kowtow to the prejudices of the elderly. This is not just unfair to the young. It is also a potential disaster for our future.

The old are far more likely to vote than the young, and hence hold far greater political sway. According to Ipsos Mori, turnout among the 18-24 age group at the last general election was 44%. Among pensioners it was 76%. The median voting age – the point at which half the voters were above the age, and half below – was 49 years.

The bias cuts across all parties, but it particularly affects the Conservatives, who would be a hollowed-out shell without English pensioners. Policy after policy – affecting some crucial decisions for our future – is feeling the hot breath of grey power. We are becoming a gerontocracy.

Take the European Union. Nick Clegg on Sunday defended the right to travel to other member states if people – mainly the young – cannot find jobs here. About time, too. Over 100,000 British people live in Germany, some 150,000 in France, 390,000 in Spain. Overall, there are similar numbers of EU citizens living and working here as British citizens living elsewhere in the EU.

This freedom of movement is often cited as a reason to support the EU among the young: an ICM poll last week found that just 32% of 18- to 24-year-olds opposed EU membership compared with 60% of those over 65. Not surprisingly the Conservatives are now pushing an EU agenda that will curtail freedom of movement if they win the next election. Old: 1. Young: 0.

Take the benefit cuts, which reveal the boomerang effects of confrontational politics. Labour accused the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives during the last election of planning to cut pensioner benefits. David Cameron was forced to promise that he would protect them, and has refused to climb down.

Since more than half of welfare benefits go on pensioners, this left far worse cuts to be inflicted on the rest of the welfare budget that goes on people of working age. Winter fuel allowance for 33,000 on the Costa del Sol? Protected. Free bus passes and TV licences for millionaires? Protected. And now the Conservatives are trying to cut benefits for young adults altogether. Old: 2. Young: 0.

Then there is housing. There is only one way of making housing affordable, whether to rent or to buy. That is to build more of it. Any other cure is snake-oil. The "Help to Buy" scheme will get some people on the housing ladder by pushing others off it, unless supply increases. In theory, the government is set to increase housing supply, but its record is disappointing, stymied by vested interests. New towns? Nothing. Auctions for greenfield land so the public sector could afford social housing? Nowt. Offices converted to flats? Sabotaged by exclusion zones.

Who wants more supply and lower property prices? The young trying to get on the housing ladder. Who wants less supply and higher house prices? The old wanting to boost their retirement income. Old: 3. Young: 0.

Guess which age group cares most passionately about the National Health Service, and with good reason. Even if you are as rich as Croesus, your health insurance will not cover you for chronic illness. In the US, 30% of the Medicare budget goes on 1% of the population – people in their last year of life.

One of the Conservatives' key election promises was to protect NHS spending in real terms. More health spending means overwhelmingly more spending on the old, and more tax paid by the young. Old: 4. Young: 0.

Take climate change. For the old, the slowness of environmental ruin spells little lifetime danger. Instead, it means the inconvenience of wind turbines spoiling a view. So we have offshore turbines costing 60% more: it is more expensive repairing a turbine from a boat on the Dogger Bank than from a Land-Rover in Yorkshire. Old: 5. Young: 0.

Take education, where the Liberal Democrats promised no rise in tuition fees. Personally, I regret that we compromised on that promise without making Cameron compromise on rich pensioner benefits. Result: young people will leave university with £27,000 of debt when today's graduate pensioners had free tuition. Old: 6. Young: 0.

The cost of pandering to pensioners is social arthritis. A young Treasury minister was once sent out to public meetings to explain currency metrication from the old 20 shillings and 12 pennies. "Young man," said an old lady, "why can't you leave all these changes until us old folk are dead?"

Someone needs to fight the selfish, short-sighted old. They are the past, not the future. We are penalising our young. If you are young, do not expect shelter. Do not expect healthcare. Pay for your education. Do not bank on benefits. Thinking of emigration? Better hurry while you still can.

Chris Huhne is currently entitled to a free bus pass in 2020

Interested to see how many houses he has?

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Sad but true.

An advantage of being in the political wilderness is that you have nothing to lose so you can point out the elephant in the room

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Question to consider. If Huhne had won the Lib Dem leadership election and was made Deputy Prime Sinister, what would have happened to his ex-wife?

I am convinced that the only reason there was a prosecution about the penalty points lie was that Vicky Pryce wouldn't shut up. Now if Huhne was DPM, what would have happened? The powers that be silenced everyone on the Cyril Smith child abuse scandal - twice - because of a possible deal with the Tories in 1974, and because of the Libs supporting Labour in 1977-79.

if the price of Mrs Huhne going on about the points was the fall of the Coalition, does anyone think she may have encountered a road traffic accident?

Just wondering. :ph34r:

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A liar and a fraudster. No surprise that he is a hypocrite to boot.........and he continues to do very well for himself.........straight out of prison into a top job. Scum rises to the top in the UK.

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There's nothing hipocritical about having a property empire and being critical of the state of the property market - providing he didn't contribute to the govt policies that created the situation

On the one hand he is seeking his own interests on a market he did not create

On the other hand he is pointing out the clear unfairness in that market

I don't see the hipocricy

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He also fails to mention that only about 10% of the population went to university....I spoke to my uncle a few year ago...He went to Maidstone Technical College (I think)...He could claim the equivalent of JSA (back in the late 70s / early 80s) whilst he was a student..

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An advantage of being in the political wilderness is that you have nothing to lose so you can point out the elephant in the room

+1

That's how it is.

If you imprison me for getting sneaky with points for speeding, I'll point out the bleeding obvious, (regardless of our previous tacit agreement not to talk about the bleeding obvious).

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He and his then wife had a couple for themselves and then half a dozen BTL IIRC.

'Who wants more supply and lower property prices? The young trying to get on the housing ladder. Who wants less supply and higher house prices? The old wanting to boost their retirement income. Old: 3. Young: 0.'

That's you Huhne, that is. He is rich enough to be able to have principles and not to for example profit from the young by being a rentier ... but of course he is writing in the guardian where this type of hypocrisy is lauded so it is acceptable to to say how bad it is to boost retirement income via property speculation while doing it yourself.

Pointless ad hominem argument.

Personally, getting ever more convinced that you, satch, are more interested in defending the status quo (i.e. compelling the today's sheeple to sign up for the debts that yesterday's sheeple were gulled into signing up for by the banks) and definitely not on the side of the angels. Still nice avatar - so you have that going for you.

Surfing with the alien...

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There's nothing hipocritical about having a property empire and being critical of the state of the property market - providing he didn't contribute to the govt policies that created the situation

On the one hand he is seeking his own interests on a market he did not create

On the other hand he is pointing out the clear unfairness in that market

I don't see the hipocricy

"There's nothing hipocritical about having a property empire and being critical of the state of the property market "

Come again?

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"There's nothing hipocritical about having a property empire and being critical of the state of the property market "

Come again?

Again, the ad hominem arguments are a distraction. Whether from the mouth of the most bearish renter or from the mouth of Fergus Wilson, the truth is still the truth. Huhne is somewhere between those two extremes. His positioning on that spectrum cannot affect the veracity of his arguments.

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Question to consider. If Huhne had won the Lib Dem leadership election and was made Deputy Prime Sinister, what would have happened to his ex-wife?

I am convinced that the only reason there was a prosecution about the penalty points lie was that Vicky Pryce wouldn't shut up. Now if Huhne was DPM, what would have happened? The powers that be silenced everyone on the Cyril Smith child abuse scandal - twice - because of a possible deal with the Tories in 1974, and because of the Libs supporting Labour in 1977-79.

if the price of Mrs Huhne going on about the points was the fall of the Coalition, does anyone think she may have encountered a road traffic accident?

Just wondering. :ph34r:

I think it's simpler than that - bullied wife tries to get back at bullying husband in the only way she knows how, but doesn't think it through.

Huhne is now testing the waters of opinion among young voters, but god knows what his purpose is. He may be getting paid by google or GCHQ.

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The young don`t need to do anything, they just need to stop buying houses and it is game over in Ponzi land :lol: Quite amusing if you ask me, watching all the people at the top of the Ponzi pyramid pontificating about this and that and the other, they have just had their chips recalled by the casino. Game Over chumps.

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The young don`t need to do anything, they just need to stop buying houses and it is game over in Ponzi land :lol: Quite amusing if you ask me, watching all the people at the top of the Ponzi pyramid pontificating about this and that and the other, they have just had their chips recalled by the casino. Game Over chumps.

Wont happen...people are hardwired (or brainwashed) in this country to buy houses...using any means possible...usually from the older generation who say "you can only make money from property"....

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Isn't this the way of the World?

I was just reading how MEP's have voted to restrict egigs

TO PROTECT THE YOUNG

The very idea that young people should be allowed to think for themselves is an utter anathema to the control freak politicos.

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Wont happen...people are hardwired (or brainwashed) in this country to buy houses...using any means possible...usually from the older generation who say "you can only make money from property"....

Why then are sales volumes about half what they were at the so called peak?

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The cost of pandering to pensioners is social arthritis. A young Treasury minister was once sent out to public meetings to explain currency metrication from the old 20 shillings and 12 pennies. "Young man," said an old lady, "why can't you leave all these changes until us old folk are dead?

Ah the unattributable "anecdote".

In this case used to condemn a whole generation. Politicians are so fond of them - especially as elections loom.

And it was the LibDems who made the promise to the young about tuition fees before the last general election. In the knowledge that they would renege on the promise if they came remotely near power. Likely plenty of the older electorate voted for that policy.

Take education, where the Liberal Democrats promised no rise in tuition fees. Personally, I regret that we compromised on that promise without making Cameron compromise on rich pensioner benefits.

"Compromised "on it. They reneged on it. After the general election they had to admit they knew before the election that they would renege on it even as they made the promise.

Sickeningly hypocritical and nasty.

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Why then are sales volumes about half what they were at the so called peak?

Is that figure still too high to "crash the system"?

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http://

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Huhne

Career before Parliament

Before embarking on his political career, he was a City entrepreneur. He told The Independent in 2008: "I don't claim that I'm in other than a very happy position compared with most people, because, having spent a bit of time in the City before I was elected, being able to make a bit of money while I was there, I have a cushion."[21] He started a company named Sovereign Ratings IBCA in 1994 that tried to "scientifically measure the risks of investing in different countries".[21] In 1997 he became managing director of Fitch IBCA, and from 1999 to 2003 was vice-chairman of Fitch Ratings.[21]

http://

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitch_Ratings

Criticism

Credit rating agencies such as Fitch Ratings have been subject to criticism in the wake of large losses in the collateralized debt obligation (CDO) market that occurred despite being assigned top ratings by the CRAs. For instance, losses on $340.7 million worth of collateralized debt obligations (CDO) issued by Credit Suisse Group added up to about $125 million, despite being rated AAA by Fitch.[8]

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