This year the Conservative Party Conference came to my hometown of Manchester, and a prominent theme that arose throughout the entire event, whether it was a fringe meeting on economics, a Government Minister’s speech or just indulging G&Ts with other Tory’s at the Midland Hotel bar, was the youth.
I’m sure it goes without saying that during the 2017 General election a large portion of Corbyn’s vote share came from the 18-24 year old demographic. Around two-thirds of people in that age group went to the polls and put a tick next to their Labour candidate. This a grand increase from the 43% of 18-24 year olds who turned out for Ed Miliband back in 2015.
Why is this important? Why do Conservatives desperately need to address this now?
Because according to YouGov the party doesn’t start reaching those numbers until the 60-70 age demographic!
It wasn’t until 1977 when a 16 year old William Hague addressed the Conservative Party Conference and told his audience they won’t have to see the dangerous rise in UK Socialism in the future because they “won’t be here in thirty or forty years time”, and sadly they’re not. The ‘Iron Lady’ herself who said she found his speech “thrilling!” is sadly no longer here after passing away in 2013. This speech by the future Leader of the Opposition and Foreign Secretary began the acknowledgement that the Conservative party needed to modernise, and that’s what he tried to do with party reforms under his tenure as Leader in an aim to build up youth activism.
But how can the Conservatives make that appeal today?
Well I attended an event where the Rt Honorable Andrea Leadsom MP held a discussion on why financial education from a young age is the key to social mobility. A point I raised which we spoke about afterwards, is how the youth of today seem to see the appeal of having everything already completed for us without having to put any work in. Being part of this demographic, I’ve watched ‘Corbynmania’ and his promises generate a great amount of false hope in young people, it would seem my generation attracts itself to reassuring lies rather than the inconvenient truths such as the broken promise to wipe away student debt.
I made reference to the fact that while it is a brilliant idea to teach the younger generation about the financial world they’re about to enter, it may not actually help the Conservative party greatly in gaining the youth vote because nothing will change the fact that as young people it’ll be harder to handle money we don’t actually have. Therefore, of course the idea of free University seems like an excellent offer- you’d be a fool not to think so. But the issue is that these are selfish ideologies, it requires raising taxes on the 60% of people who didn’t attend University to pay for the 40% who do. My generation don’t seem to understand that due to our soaring debt, it’s our children and grandchildren who will have to pick up the tab of our hedonistic and frivolous spending.
So I said that perhaps another good idea to turn heads would be to make sure our schools are no longer dominated by the left who use Cultural Marxism to indoctrinate young children from an early age. Having only done my own GCSEs just over two years ago I imagine not a great much has changed in the system (obviously apart from the fact grades are now to be numerical rather than lettered) the History departments still won’t be teaching about the dangers of Socialism and Communism and the evil Leaders such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung or Castro and Guevara. When I spent some time learning about the Cold War we were taught more about the evils on the American side rather than that of the Russian Leaders slaughtering their own people. I was agreed with on this by many people in the room who spoke to me afterwards.
In terms of attracting younger voters maybe we’ll just have to wait for someone like Jeremy Corbyn to spend us into financial meltdown and hopefully the next generation comes to their senses and votes for the Conservatives to clean up Labour’s mess again. It’ll give us quite a collection of letters similar to Liam Byrne’s but it’s still an option. Or perhaps right wing leaning meme pages such as ‘Middle Class Memes for Rees-Moggian Teens’ can break the youth monopoly held by Momentum-or better yet maybe we could further generate ‘Moggmentum’ itself.