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RichM

The Penny Is Dropping Left, Right And Centre

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The generation game is rigged; Alice Miles, 30/11/2005

Wow, there's been loads of articles along these lines recently. Very interesting, really.

She doesn't take on board the possibility that young people might not stand for the situation and shove off. Or, horror of horrors, that house prices might not always stay at the level they currently are...

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Guest Guy_Montag

If we don't vote anyway, why should politicians care what we think? (I vote every chance I get)

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That article was very succinct and definitely has me (30yr old, non-Homeowner) worried.

Obviously going to the post office and pushing old ladies down the stairs is the only option! Or maybe ask them all not to draw their pensions for one week, and instead put that money in a pot for this generation so there's at least *something* when we get old.

Failing that, when we retire, should we get a gold-plated shotgun, and just rob a bank?

Edit: on a more serious note, I'm more worried in that I pay into a pension, have savings, and generally consider myself prudent. When all pensions will be meanstested, I'll get nothing. It's the injustice of being penalised for being sensible/ambitious/self-motivated that's really galling.

Edited by stillill

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In a brilliant speech on Monday, David Willetts, the Shadow Trade and Industry spokesman, set out why today’s 25-year-old will be significantly worse off in 25 years’ time than a 50-year-old is now. The decline in final salary pension schemes, the increasing difficulty of getting a toehold in a housing market that is still paying huge dividends to their parents, and the ending of free university education puts today’s 25-year-old at a number of disadvantages. They are far less likely to be home owners than they were 20 years ago. Because they cannot afford to buy a home, they will delay having families so will have children later and therefore have fewer of them, and so the cycle continues. In terms of opportunity and wealth, the postwar baby boomer generation has had and continues to have it all.

Baby boomers, concluded Mr Willetts, “have shaped an economic and social environment that works for them very well. A young person could be forgiven for believing that the way in which economic and social policy is now conducted is little less than a conspiracy by the middle-aged against the young.”

This is a very, very brave speech considering that the Tories' electoral base largely consists of elderly pensioners from the Home Counties.

I recall reading something in the paper that the Tories were worried that their electoral power base would literally 'die' on them; ie all the old people who normally vote for them would gradually die off and they would lose all those votes. Perhaps this is part of a new push to acquire a younger voter base.

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This is a very, very brave speech considering that the Tories' electoral base largely consists of elderly pensioners from the Home Counties.

I recall reading something in the paper that the Tories were worried that their electoral power base would literally 'die' on them; ie all the old people who normally vote for them would gradually die off and they would lose all those votes. Perhaps this is part of a new push to acquire a younger voter base.

I think what we need to remember is that for every young 20-30 year old trying to make their way in life there is a set of parents ( babyboomers) who think that there should be an automatic generational transfer of wealth and opportunity. A tradtional middle class conservative concept.

They may have been very happy to take the proceeds of circumstance over tha last few years but what is happening now?

The middle class have always assumed that their children would do as well, if not better than they did. But that is not going to happen and they will get very angry when the reality sets in.

I have a friend who lives in a nice four bed detached house in a nice area. Husband was a graduate and she stayed at home to raise the two kids. She is absolutely perplexed as to why her son - now in his 20's and also a graduate can not afford to buy a similar four bed deatched and start a family. No amount of explaining economics to her will make her understand that things are different now.

But do they blame themselves yet - no. They blame everyone else - immigration, the young, welfare etc etc.

Sooner or later the reality will set in. The reality of student debt, house prices and credit starts will impact on their own kids and not just an abstract 'younger generation' and then they will be very very angry indeed.

The Conservatives are right to tackle this issue from a tactical point of view because although many of the young may not vote their parents do.

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I am a labour voter from a labour voting family and I am 42, so on the cusp of middle age.

But the more I think about it the more I think that the Tories would be onto something if they pushed this line. They might even convince me.

There is something smug and distasteful about the Nu Labour crew - particularly those of my age and above, many of whom I worked with in the 1980s when I was active in politics.

They have lost the fire (some of them never had it) and have become quite self congratulatory and managerially fascistic in their approach. It is interesting that they can capitulate so readily on some of the crucial issues that have defined this country for centuries Eg:

- The right to remain silent and for this not to be used against you

- The presumption of innocence until the proof of guilt

- The essential notion that humans are free to go about their business, and if authority detains them in a confined space then they need to be told why and given the opportunity to defend themselves

- The idea that saving up is a good thing and should be rewarded by society

- The notion that everyone is entitled to a roof over their heads at a reasonable cost and that this is a healthy thing for society as a whole

Amazing, I was born in a country (the UK) with all of these principles stoutly defended by all political parties. This country had relatively recently emerged from a terrible war. The record number of council houses was actually constructed under a Conservative government.

Even more amazing - I live in a country in which all of those principles have been slowly dismantled by both parties - but in accelerated fashion by New Labour.

When I point this out to my new labour friends they have only one response.

Its different now

Is it?

There are a variety of arguments (terror + new technology, we cant afford it, public spending, blah blah blah)

Yet I believe that a fiscally responsible government managing a capitalist economy in a dangerous world should be able to adhere to the basic principles outlined above.

If it cant - it has failed. Failed in courage, failed in imagination, failed in intellectual insight.

For me - this is why the Blair / Brown era is failing.

Edited by paradox

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The article refers to a speech (the full text is here) given on Monday by Tory MP David "Two Brains" Willets which includes this statement:

Amongst young people home ownership is an aspiration as strong as ever but one that seems harder and harder to fill. There is a fortunate generation of baby boomers who got into the housing market in time to enjoy the enormous appreciation of the past 15 years but it is going to be a longer, slower, and more painful process for the younger generation to achieve home ownership.
Edited by PhilT

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This is a very, very brave speech considering that the Tories' electoral base largely consists of elderly pensioners from the Home Counties.

I recall reading something in the paper that the Tories were worried that their electoral power base would literally 'die' on them; ie all the old people who normally vote for them would gradually die off and they would lose all those votes. Perhaps this is part of a new push to acquire a younger voter base.

That said, I wonder if the blue rinse brigade could be convinced of the need to think about the future generation. Then things would be different. Some plain talking about the slippery slope this country is going down (debt culture, lack of social mores, lack of ingenuity and prospects, inability to raise families) could just what a good chunk of the populous would like.

At some point there's only so much the welfare state or money can do; many grannies and grandads would feel happier popping off their clogs knowing that the UK wasn't going to the dogs.

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I grew up hating the Tories but I have to admit that Willetts' speech is brilliant. He really hits the nail on the head.

This and another post illustrate the typical Tory-hating attitude that has permeated society over the last two decades - I am glad you seem to be shaking it off. I guess it was because of their long period in power until 1997. Think about all the comedians...Ben Elton and those like him, right-on trendy young things CONSTANTLY telling us what a bunch of ba5tards the Conservatives are. This socialist propaganda went on for years and years, and the liberal intelligentsia (now the ruling class by the way) ran with and entrenched these attitudes to such a great extent that they have managed to give us the impression that to be Conservative is to be morally suspect! What a coup!

Of course being Conservative does not automatically make you into Alan B'stard - this is exactly the ridiculous political charicature (funny though!) that trendy commedians placed deep into our minds. I always noticed how the trendy lefties comedians immediately clammed up directly after the NuLabour victory in 1997....they didn't have a target anymore.

Mind you people are now seeing through the NuLab BS and dissent is rising. I am definitely voting Conservative next time...and I would advise anyone who is interested in this country maintaining any of the character that made it great to do the same.

P.S. For my tuppenneth's worth, it is obvious to me that my parents' generation were indeed to lucky ones - they were born into a post-war boom period of largely uninterrupted prosperity, rising living standards, welfare etc....they were in hindsight really, really lucky. However, all that is going to change drastically...2005 is quite right to say that the aspirational middle-classes (and let's be honest everyone really) hopes for and to a certain degree expects their children to do 'better' than they do (principally materially, but also professionally etc.)....this is NOT going to happen. Reasons? I think there are many, but first and foremost to me is that whilst demographics play a big part, the financial system is the principal problem - it never ceases to amaze me that the newspapers can report on a pensions crisis at the same time that they report Goldman Sachs has £11 BILLION pounds to dish out in bonuses to 22,000 employees. Everyone is getting more and more in hock to the banks - that is the real problem....

Tory or Labour, we should all be interested in reforming the way money is supplied to the economy.

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I'm more worried in that I pay into a pension, have savings, and generally consider myself prudent. When all pensions will be meanstested, I'll get nothing. It's the injustice of being penalised for being sensible/ambitious/self-motivated that's really galling.

Well said. It makes you wonder if its all worth it, but in the end I suppose you want a certain standard of living.

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Guest Guy_Montag

I notice there is a tendancy in life to assume that all Tories are selfish & uncaring, and while I can see where that came from in the eighties, I think the majority are people who want the best for their country & they see that social conservatism combined with economic liberalism is the way to acheive this.

My parents, died in the wool Tories & their parents, also died in the wool Tories are all caring people, not just for their own, but for the country, the world & society at large. My parents have said on many occasions how lucky they are to have the (post-retirement) lifestyle they currently have, & how they don't see how it will be able to continue until I am their age. I agree with them, but then I'm planning to leave the country in the next five years & take my brain elsewhere. I've already left the basket-case that's Scotland, to get a decent job.

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My problem is this. The tories are just as bad, if not worse, than labour on some of the issues close to my heart.

I am not a wishy washy liberal - for example I have a very strong opinion on benefits / fraud / and the tax - benefit system in general.

However I do think it is really important that a state is organised in a way that provides real limits on the power of authority over the citizen. Some tories are equally bad in this respect. For me the basic legal principles of the magna carta and the US consitution must be upheld AT ALL TIMES. If they are to be ditched when bombs go off and people get killed then they were worthless in the first place. These principles are the eternal and essential benchmarks of civilisation and we disregard them at our peril.

If we had more tories that were less spineless in this direction it would be a start. Unfortunately many of them are as blinkered as labour.

Likewise on housing. What is wrong with a decent strong state rental sector for families? The tories built thousands of lovely houses under in the 1950s only to sell them off. We are now seeing the shortcomings of that foolish decision. A family now is sometimes at the mercy of an amateur BTL.

Likewise on utilities. There are some things that work better as integrated systems. Once you start to muck about with these systems and introduce gaps between them you increase the transaction costs and decrease the operational efficiency of the system. Once train companies lease trains from rolling stock providers and buy track time from a track provider which itself contracts out the management and maintainance of the stations and the track you have a recipe for legal, financial and administrative disaster. This was pointed out at the time and many tories knew it in their hearts. Yet they spinelessly voted for it and people died at Hatfield - possibly as a result of that decision.

The tories in power were too ideologically pro market. Many of their reforms were based on ideology and the way the market should work in the textbooks and not the way it does work in practice.

Lets not forget what awful things happened under the last tory government.

PS This is not a defence of nu labour - it is simply a warning against amnesia

Maybe what we really need is a govt of HPC regulars instead!

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This and another post illustrate the typical Tory-hating attitude that has permeated society over the last two decades - I am glad you seem to be shaking it off. I guess it was because of their long period in power until 1997. Think about all the comedians...Ben Elton and those like him, right-on trendy young things CONSTANTLY telling us what a bunch of ba5tards the Conservatives are. This socialist propaganda went on for years and years, and the liberal intelligentsia (now the ruling class by the way) ran with and entrenched these attitudes to such a great extent that they have managed to give us the impression that to be Conservative is to be morally suspect! What a coup!

Of course being Conservative does not automatically make you into Alan B'stard - this is exactly the ridiculous political charicature (funny though!) that trendy commedians placed deep into our minds. I always noticed how the trendy lefties comedians immediately clammed up directly after the NuLabour victory in 1997....they didn't have a target anymore.

I have to admit that my reasons for hating the Tories were all quite shallow and petulant, but in mitigation I plead having been a teenager!

My main reason was my school year (and only my school year!) being forced to do craft, design and technology for GCSE, meaning I couldn't do music. I was seething! It was some half-arsed token gesture that was supposed to revitalise British industry.

Then there was the fact that they were all I ever knew, and I wanted something, anything different.

That John Major - he turned out to be a very decent bloke and one of the best prime ministers we had.

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Guest rigsby II

I have to admit that my reasons for hating the Tories were all quite shallow and petulant

Same shallow reasons here too for hating the bast*ards... <_<

My main reason was my school year (and only my school year!) being forced to do craft, design and technology for GCSE

My main reason was the total annihilation of the coal industry though and being forced to go on strike to try and protect our jobs.

Failed dismally on all counts, still the mad bat was right, we don't need coal because we have plenty of North Sea oil and gas power stations are much more economic.

:blink:

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I have to admit that my reasons for hating the Tories were all quite shallow and petulant, but in mitigation I plead having been a teenager!

My main reason was my school year (and only my school year!) being forced to do craft, design and technology for GCSE, meaning I couldn't do music. I was seething! It was some half-arsed token gesture that was supposed to revitalise British industry.

Then there was the fact that they were all I ever knew, and I wanted something, anything different.

That John Major - he turned out to be a very decent bloke and one of the best prime ministers we had.

I was the same...teenager in the late eighties, subjected to a constant barrage of 'All Tories are fascist bastards', in the Rik Mayall style.

It continues today....look at little Britain. I consider that sh1te to be incredibly childish, horrifyingly derogatory to women (especially their physicality) and typically right-on...particularly with the character of the Middle-aged, Middle-class women who starts vomiting whenever she sees a 'coloured' person.

'oooh, look at how racist she is....she MUST vote Tory, the fascist, outdated, cruel, mean-spirited, macrame and knitting, homemaker, middle-class bitch'....There is everything there that a NuLabour acolyte loves to hate, rolled up into a neat package.

I am rather afraid that it is NuLabour who are the fascists. I agree about john Major...good bloke, and completely underrated as a prime minister.

In reponse to paradox, I agree, the Tories weren't perfect - this unholy obsession with the free market solution to infrastructure industries (utilities, trains...) was a huge bloody mistake. But the traditional Conservative values of thrift, self-discipline, charity, self-responsibility etc....these are what I take to be Conservative, and quite frankly the country is crying out for these values to get back in vogue.

NuLab are ruining this country...and they have managed to do it with alarming speed.

p.s. did anyone see 'why England's F**ked' with that hilarious Aristo Francis Fulford on Sky one? My God, although he is too bigoted, he is so funny, and spot on with virtually everything he says.

Edited by marko

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That said, I wonder if the blue rinse brigade could be convinced of the need to think about the future generation. Then things would be different. Some plain talking about the slippery slope this country is going down (debt culture, lack of social mores, lack of ingenuity and prospects, inability to raise families) could just what a good chunk of the populous would like.

At some point there's only so much the welfare state or money can do; many grannies and grandads would feel happier popping off their clogs knowing that the UK wasn't going to the dogs.

Won't happen RichM. People are selfish at every age. Sure you can find exceptions but people act out of self interest. You might just point out that unless something is done and done now disenfranchised(sp) youth will violently rob them and no-one will give a to55.

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Same shallow reasons here too for hating the bast*ards... <_<

My main reason was the total annihilation of the coal industry though and being forced to go on strike to try and protect our jobs.

Failed dismally on all counts, still the mad bat was right, we don't need coal because we have plenty of North Sea oil and gas power stations are much more economic.

:blink:

Oh yeah I forgot about what Maggie's "reforms" did to the industry my old man worked in - no union power meant end of long-term contracts, everyone sacked and then given back their old jobs on a freelance basis for less pay, while the bosses and accountants got richer...but I see Thatcher's kind of conservatism as very different from what David Willetts seems to be talking about, he seems to be looking at the bigger picture...

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Same shallow reasons here too for hating the bast*ards... <_<

My main reason was the total annihilation of the coal industry though and being forced to go on strike to try and protect our jobs.

Failed dismally on all counts, still the mad bat was right, we don't need coal because we have plenty of North Sea oil and gas power stations are much more economic.

:blink:

Well, yes, all the not-so-good parts of Toryism are coming out now! Ahem, how do I defend the destruction of the mining industry? I am afraid I don't think I can. Mind you, I generally think that Margaret went a bit too far with the free-market idealism.

However, I would say that NuLabour are no better....we are literally pissing real jobs away at the moment...only difference is, at least the miners had enough balls to scrap for themselves - nowadays the British people are too distracted by 'Celebrity I'm a Stupid Sh1t Get me a Contract', and the fact that they think they don't need to earn money anymore, they can just borrow it off the back of the house. Oh, and that they can get reemployed as a 'Street Scene Coordinator' by the local council.

I guess we get the government we deserve.

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Won't happen RichM. People are selfish at every age. Sure you can find exceptions but people act out of self interest. You might just point out that unless something is done and done now disenfranchised(sp) youth will violently rob them and no-one will give a to55.

Clearly I have to put myself forward for preferment. Backs to the wall, we merry few, we band of brothers, this green and pleasant land, never so much owed by so many to such banks, we shall never surrender... I will carry forward the fight for a better Britain, where people don't drop litter, kids don't hang around on street corners, women don't swear, and property is affordable.

So, do I join the Tory party, become a bishop in the CoE, or re-train as a pop star?

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So what policies would you vote for?

A much smaller government, A much smaller military and strictly for defence, greater personal freedoms. Flat tax and public service would be just that a service

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Guest

People act in self-interest which is why I'm not buying a house NOW. Particularly if I have to pay more tax later for baby boomers.

(As an aside - my continued non-purchasing stance is scaring the shit out of my 30 year old bought-five-years-ago friends, who still mainly think they're onto a good thing!)

However--- I can't help but think that there is a fundamental problem with this 'tax the young' mantra: There is only so much tax you can actually pay! You can't pay tax with what you don't earn.

I am convinced that the "baby boomers" will have a poorer retirement with steadily worsening public services than any of our spineless politicians are prepared to let on.

Realistically, the young generation should be paying next-to-nothing for their houses. Given the population breakdown, it's certainly looking like they'll be worth next-to-nothing in 30 years time.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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