UK Tory fact of the day

In the UK, Conservative party membership has been dwindling for decades. At its peak, in the early 50s, it was 2.8 million. Last year, it was 124,000 and the party received twice as much money from dead members, through wills, as from the living.

That is from a longer Andy Bennett piece on the deepening crisis in conservatism.


Labour Party is also losing members at an alarming rate. Their membership might even be in worse shape than the Tories’.

Labour is losing members to a significant degree because Labour stands for nothing much (or it now stands for Corbyn's delusional brand of power seeking).

The Conservatives are losing members because of what they stand for, supporting Prof. Cowen's observation of a deepening crisis in conservatism. Including the former ability of conservatism to stand up to demagogues unconcerned with the rule of law.

Enjoy hosting Trump, by the way - it is likely Farage will, especially if Trump pays for a banquet spread of fast food (including milk shakes one hopes).

'Demagogues == people you don't like'

Or actually, a defined category, particularly if one is familiar with Thucydides. And Trump, till now, is more of a buffoon than a demogogue, to be honest. Not everything is about Trump, especially when talking about politics in the UK. Especially concerning how poorly the Tories met the political challenge of Farage, UKIP/Brexit Party superstar, and many of his even more extreme pals.

'You are an elitist asshole.'

Seems like you missed the real joke - 'including milk shakes.' After all, Trump has already laid out a banquet with fast food before, so it is not in the realm of fantasy, elitist or not. However, these days, when Farage appears in public, UK police politely request fast food establishments in the immediate vicinity to stop selling milkshakes. Seems like a number of people want to share their milkshake with Farage, even without him asking first.

Because Farage is "extreme" and a "demagogue", so assaulting him is fine, right?

I know you don't do imagination much, but are you sure it's always going to be the other side that gets the milkshake, the beating, or the bullet?,

'but are you sure it's always going to be the other side that gets the milkshake, the beating, or the bullet?,'

What do you mean the other side? Or has this already been forgotten - 'The sister of murdered MP Jo Cox has said division in politics is "worse than ever".

Ms Cox was killed by a right-wing extremist, days before the Brexit referendum. Her murder was followed by calls for a "kinder" politics.

But Ms Cox's sister has said she believes the "horrendous" abuse and threats MPs face is "out of hand".

She was speaking ahead of a visit to Holyrood where she will meet MSPs and ask them to focus on what unites them.'

Let us know when a figure like Farage is murdered by a left wing Remainer extremist shouting 'EU first.' Otherwise, we would likely not notice - much less remember - the death of a politician at the hands of a person who decided murdering someone on the 'other side' was a good idea, would we?

Like Trump's fast food banquet, Jo Cox's murder is an actual event that occurred.

Did Thucydides actually give a workable definition, or was he just putting the boot in to Cleon?

I was thinking more along the lines of Alcibiades, to be honest.

As for a working definition, Thucydides seems to have thought his examples and information would be sufficient. Nonetheless, this seems to cover the basic idea pretty well, from the wikipedia demogogue article - 'Alcibiades convinced the people of Athens to attempt to conquer Sicily during the Peloponnesian War, with disastrous results. He led the Athenian assembly to support making him commander by claiming victory would come easily, appealing to Athenian vanity, and appealing to action and courage over deliberation. Alcibiades's expedition might have succeeded if he had not been denied command by the political maneuvers of his rivals.' In other words, men like Alcibiades are unavoidable in a democracy, even as they use it to advance their ambition - '"Our party was that of the whole people, our creed being to do our part in preserving the form of government under which the city enjoyed the utmost greatness and freedom, and which we had found existing. As for democracy, the men of sense among us knew what it was, and I perhaps as well as any, as I have the more cause to complain of it; but there is nothing new to be said of a patent absurdity—meanwhile we did not think it safe to alter it under the pressure of your hostility."

That was the FAKE dearieme!

What does the Conservative Party stand for? It's certainly not conservatism.

Labour is deeply torn between Corbynism and Blairism, but the Labour's Corbyn faction has more transparent ideology among them all.

In the UK, what does it mean to be a "member" of a party? I am a registered Republican, but I don't think that makes me a member of the Republican party nor do they solicit memberships as far as I know. Maybe someone familiar with UK political microstructure can clarify for me.

You pay $32 a year and in return you get to vote in party elections and they get to ask you for more money.

Parties also depend on their members for canvassing, and staging photo opportunities.

Yeah, it's mostly money; but this is now mainly the role of large (10k+) donors rather than the grassroots membership. Except the Brexit party, which just got a cool £2.5M from 100k members in the last few weeks. Someone has "popular" support

The members were the party. The Conservatives were, in their great days, a federation of constituency parties with a small, weak central organisation. Labour were the other way round, with the central organisation dominating the constituency parties.

The Conservative constituency parties were the suppliers of social events, fund-raising, canvassers at elections, tellers on voting day, candidates in local elections, and whatnot. Above all, the constituency parties chose the "prospective parliamentary candidate" for the next General Election.

The Conservatives were all volunteers: many purported Labour members were just Trade Union members whose union bosses dominated the funding of Labour (using members' funds, obviously, not their own) and, often, dominated its central organisation.

The decline of the Conservative Party opens the possibility, I suppose, that someday in a General Election, the "People's Party", Labour, might win the majority of votes. It never has before.

Er... yes, union members pay their own money to achieve labour-related goals. This isn't shocking to them (though it might be to people who expect to receive or inherit everything for free like Mr D. Trump).

Trade Union members were never consulted about whether their funds were handed to the Labour Party: the union officers simply dictated it.

When the possibility of opting out was introduced coercion was often applied to ensure that members didn't. Hardly surprising: quite often coercion was applied to ensure that workers became union members in the first place.

Thanks. By 'party elections' do you mean what we call primaries, or do you mean elections for party executives? In the US it would be illegal to charge for voting in primaries.

I think if I were British I would be a paid-up Tory party member, to help keep them on the straight and narrow.

Essentially, outside of the U.S., most political parties are set up the way the Communist Party was - basically, because the Communists merely copied the standard party structure already existing throughout Europe.

It is really quite amusing from an American perspective to hear how one needs to be accepted as a party member (yes, you need to be worthy in the eyes of the party), how the party has courts to determine how party members are punished, or how someone elected on a party list (not applicable in the UK) to a public office is expected to 'donate' part of their public salary back to the party. A mechanism which is easily enforced, as it is the party that determines the members of the list each election.

It is really quite different than from the last 50 years of American party politics, and being a party member has a different meaning than merely voting for a party.

All you need to do to be accepted is fill out a form and pay the membership fee. I imagine that must be hilarious for Americans to hear.

Thanks - this was an interesting thread, to an American to whom cricket and party politics abroad are complete unknowns.

What a chauvinist world view, culture bound to Europe, the UK, and the USA. Most of the world is conservative. Most people on the earth never travel more than ten miles from their birthplace, prefer their own language, religion, culture, values, and traditions, and don't really want much to change. Sure, they would like to have more economic security, but not wholesale annihilation of their culture in the name of economic growth or the abstract ideas of delusional libertarians. India is conservative, China is conservative, Japan is conservative, SE Asia is conservative, the Middle East is conservative, Russia is conservative, and Eatern Europe is conservative. Even in liberal (suicidal) Europe there are conservative strongholds: Poland, Hungary,Italy, Austria. Even the "liberal" democracies of Western
Europe have conservative populations.

This article is bullshit!

Yeah. I'd say the problem isn't a "crisis of conservatism". It is that parties like the UK Tories have ceased to be conservative in any meaningful fashion. They all want to be (have been captured by) metropolitan liberal elites, partly in thrall to large corporations and party policy is staggeringly at odds with their remaining members.

Hence the so called "withdrawal" (read "vassalage") agreement. The conservative base hates it. This is why they got 7% at the Euro elections. Serves them right.

Shithole countries are conservative. That's why I rather live in a liberal one.

A lot more diversity than just conservative in all senses...

Economically, Venezuela's rather Marxist, and most poor countries tend to buy more officially into postcolonialist and diversity ideology, the ideology that the Western left is moving towards as it browns over time, but with a bit more pro- gay rights and feminist stuff.

In the world outside Europe and the neo-Europes certainly, just as in them, more successful countries probably tend to be reasonably secular-right, without being libertarian and instead being rather nationalistic. But it seems weakly nationalistic secular-right isn't something anyone wants to be in the West these days.

More successful countries are economically conservative and socially liberal, relative to less successful ones. That doesn't mean they are fully libertarian, but they are more libertarian relative to less successful ones. They are much less nationalist compared to less successful countries; certainly, Japan and Germany have been very successful since abandoning nationalism, and the world's richest non-oil countries like Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Singapore, etc. all have economies based highly on global trade.

For certain values of "socially liberal". How socially liberal is Singapore's ultra exclusion of alcohol and drugs, its restrictions on speech, or its marriage and family policies, or how socially liberal is Israel's encouragement of high birth rates? What about Singapore's exclusion from permanent citizenship of many guest workers, Japan or Korea's tightly controlled immigration?

There are limits to these things; the most successful nations are rarely those that have embraced much that an American in the 1960s or even '45 would have regard as particularly socially liberal (with the exception of perhaps a bit more gay rights). Possibly they're "socially liberal" by the barometer of ISIS, but not by much else.

How much do these states value nation building and national strengthening relative to failed states around the world? Quite a lot I would say, and they certainly practice policies designed to strengthen their economies. China's not less nationalistic than less successful nations really. Etc.

Likewise, how "economically conservative" are Sweden, Norway, France, Germany?

High GDP/capita can certainly be generated by exploiting the ability of small countries to engage in inflation through import/export balances, but this doesn't lead to high consumption and so quality of life for their people - Ireland, Lux, Sing and Switz. See - for Europeans, for Sing.

(To some extent this goes back to your persistent characterization of right wing nationalistic economies as "relatively libertarian" from departing from Marxist central planning and authoritarianism, rather than them actually being a continued set of victories for the sort of right wing nationalism typical in the West through much of the 20th century, as most sensible people would have it).

Singapore and Israel are socially liberal compared to less successful countries. Singapore is socially liberal compared to Malaysia, and Israel is far more socially liberal than its Arab neighbors. Asian countries may make it harder for foreigners to obtain citizenship, but it is usually easier to immigrate there for work than it is to the United States; I have many friends who have gotten work visas for China or Japan and the process is much faster and less likely to result in denial than America's. The average immigrant probably cares a lot more about permission to work than getting full citizenship.

Those European countries have large welfare states, but they are not very regulated. Many organizations rank countries by economic freedom, and European ones typically rank highly, some of them on par with the United States.

Your chart still shows Luxembourg and Switzerland at the top. Also towards the top are Norway, an oil economy, and Germany, where the rejection of nationalism is arguably the defining feature of the political culture. Meanwhile the countries known for nationalism such as the ones in the Balkans are at the bottom.

The average immigrant probably cares a lot more about permission to work than getting full citizenship.

Most likely, but full citizenship, integrating people into your society, is clearly more indicative of social liberalism than keeping them as guest workers.

Singapore is socially liberal compared to Malaysia, and Israel is far more socially liberal than its Arab neighbors.

And largely socially illiberal and less socially conservative compared to Latin America, and in many ways more conservative socially than you'll find across much of Africa. How much more socially liberal is Israel than Lebanon anyway? But I'm arguing that there are optimums and forms here, rather than a simple binary of "More socially liberal = more better" kind of dopey thinking, or a single "direction" of differentiation.

Germany, where the rejection of nationalism is arguably the defining feature of the political culture

And France, in which a sense of civic nationalism is vast and deeply felt, etc. Germans hardly reject the idea of nationalism either, ask AfD (or Prior Approval).

The Balkans aren't exactly known for nationalism to my eye, in the sense of a political will and ability to establish successful states, more for being former parts of this huge Ottomon Empire with a weakly culture of nationalism, multiethnicity and nationally broken states. Opposed to a strong national state like Spain. An example of the failure of insufficient nationalism.

Why ask me? I'm American, though by American standards, Germans are considerably less nationalistic. But the same applies from a French or British or Dutch or Spanish view, it seems.

It might also be connected to the fact that German nationalism was harnessed by a genocidal ideology that exterminated millions of human beings. It takes a while to sweep such mass murder under the rug, after all, particularly when the rest of world is fully aware of what happened, and the ideology behind it. Not that some in the AfD are not trying to get over a minor detail of history, of course. As noted by Gauland - "Hitler und die Nazis sind nur ein Vogelschiss in über 1000 Jahren erfolgreicher deutscher Geschichte" Very flippantly translated in MR terms, the Nazis were merely a road bump in over a thousand years of successful German history.

In the 20th century, nationalism failed faster than communism. Caused more trouble too.

doesn't make it untrue. This comment is excellent.

What's excellent about it? The lack of content?

With regards to
"Most people on the earth never travel more than ten miles from their birthplace"
Is this really true? Is there an authoritative reference to that?
I thought it was because humanity is buzzing around like a swarm of mosquitoes emitting carbon from their vehicles that this planet was going the way of Venus.

I would not consider either China or Japan to be "conservative" in the sense you mention. Japan's traditional culture was reformed to a huge degree after World War II. Now, they are not very nationalistic; when you travel around, you see hardly any Japanese flags anywhere, and there were massive protests against the idea of having a normal military. China also had a Cultural Revolution where it destroyed the traditional culture; in China today, many people are migrant workers who travel far from their homelands, and people are rapidly abandoning their traditional languages in favor of Mandarin and to a lesser extent English, and their traditional religions in favor of atheism and to a lesser extent Christianity. In both of those countries, most people recognize that their traditional cultures led to ruin and do want to copy both culture and science from other parts of the world.

Most 'conservative' parties have moved so far left that their core supporters can no longer support them, the differences are too great. Most of these people have no where to go. The mainstream media and the intelligentsia label anyone more conservative than the (no longer) conservative party as 'Far Right' even when they are obviously not, except in the febrile imaginations of the left.
However that's starting to change, we conservatives can no longer ignore the damage to society and the economy the left is bent upon, so we're beginning to support those closest to true conservative ideas, even if we're labelled far right.

And +1. The conservative tribe is migrating. Leaving their former "leaders" alone to mix with their new liberal friends.

And "Far right" is just a leftist term of abuse for anyone they can't understand. Their Overton window is about as wide as a gnats anus.

"German Comedy" LOL the funniest thing about German Comedy is just the idea itself!

Actually, you are right - that sketch is dead serious about how calling Adolf Hitler a Nazi these days is an insult to Adolf Hitler. At least in the worldview of those who are just interested in keeping leftist terms of abuse from infecting the body politic.


In the future AI will be the ones giving out orders from their long dead creators.

I said that photo of Cameron and Johnson in the Bullingdon Club was the kiss of death for the Tory Party.

Won't May's successor also be a Conservative, making 5 of the last 7 prime ministers from the Conservative Party? One of the exceptions was Tony Blair, the British version of Bill Clinton, i.e., he won by embracing Conservative economic policies. If that's a crisis, I wonder what success would look like.

Remember that the 1950s Conservative Party was more like postwar Britain's biggest dating app than a political machine, and it also operated more working mens' clubs than Labour. Add them all up and I still struggle to get to 2.8 million, which would have made it by far the largest voluntary organisation in the country. They say that title now goes to the RSPCA. Anyway, they didn't have all that many activists, though still far more than today.

(It's actually hard to explain how backward postwar Europe was compared to the US, but just assume even the rich countries were 15 years behind you guys for household appliances, access to cars and even healthcare. We caught up later.)

Postwar Western Europe's never caught up. Some places caught up in productivity, but no place has ever caught up in terms of income or consumption, or even consumption/hour measures (the latter possibly a good thing, given the many diseases of affluence that have emerged).

Not really. The US has a lot more ultra-wealthy people, and pays more for some things like medicine and laundry, but the bottom 90% are equally well-off in rich countries in Europe.

Nah, look at actual individual consumption and consumption inequality. Not a US long tail of a small 10%. The US is still above Europe in AIC, and greater dispersal of consumption isn't great enough to cover the gap. Read Random Critical Analysis's summary of this (quick version via this blog -

Much of this additional consumption isn't really good for Americans in the sense of health, happiness or life expectancy (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), but there you go.

Land size makes it basically impossible for western Europe to reach US consumption levels. Rents and housing will always be far more expensive in Europe for comparable income levels just due to the total lack of space.

Odd that you specifically mention household appliances and access to cars but don't realize Western Europe is far behind the U.S. in these measures today. Many Europeans don't own everyday appliances that people take for granted in the U.S. like dishwashers, dryers, toasters, etc.

Lots of commenters seem a bit more sanguine about conservatism in the UK than I am!

There really is an aging out effect for the Tory Party at the moment; among those who show political commitment among the young, lots of Millennial Socialists who've convinced themselves that either:

a) Corbyn will implement "social democracy"; that is make the place like their imagined fantasy version of Sweden, somehow

b) Even if a) isn't true, New Labour was fundamentally deeply different from the post-2008 Tories in a way that is insensitive to differences in the constraints on their public finances, and a Labour government would just magic up growth and grow out of debt by chucking quantitative easing at "infrastructure" and "R&D". (Unlike the reality where they faced a bonanza of tax receipts and debt opportunities, and mostly misspent it while waging a stupid war and encouraging stupid policies of mass migration and multiculturalism for mostly ideological reasons).

Plus there's an effect whereby ethnic minority young just *won't* vote Tory no matter what.

I don't see much for it other than for Labour to end up getting power and one way or another disabusing the young of these notions, as had to happen before in both the 1970s and the 1990s for the Tories to gain power again. We've seen it before and probably will see it again.

The young have no memory but the indoctrination they receive via the media they're saturated in and the school and university.

And that indoctrination leads (at the extreme but still indicative end) directly to .... "Two bands who have called for members of the Conservative Party to be killed are to perform at Glastonbury Festival 2019. One of Killdren's best known songs is called Kill Tory Scum while Fat White Family have called for violence against Conservatives on social media .... Their lyrics include: "Even if it's your dad or your mum, kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum...murder them all to the beat of a drum, kill Tory scum, kill Tory scum."" (

If the Tories wanted young and minority voters, they should have not proposed Brexit while demonising "citizens of the world" as "citizens of nowhere". That's the RW edgelord equivalent of deplorables. You seem to forget that it was a Labour MP who was murdered by Brexiters for political purposes.

Thus far that's the political violence, no real reason why it has to be for all time. Though yeah I bet right wing ideologies tend to capture people who actually want to fight and are good at it, at higher per cap rates, even adjusting for the youthful bias of the left.

Re whether the Tories could have got any of the young and minorities if not for Brexit. The numbers were not that different from 2015 really though. Mostly 2017 was the Lib Dems and Greenies losing minority and younger votes, rather than Tory numbers changing at all (see Ashcroft - and

That's a switch which may reverse if the European Parliament elections are any barometer.

Tory vote among youth is mostly sensitive to Labour fucking up, and not really sensitive to anything the Tories do to try and actually capture their vote. Labour, or at least the left in some flavour or other, are invariably always seen as superior until they actually demonstrate that they aren't.

But I'd rather they followed a policy to give Britons a choice on the EU, which is not really the same as "Proposing Brexit" - indeed Cameron as their leader proposed to Remain - than treat 1975 as binding forever. It's a worthy tradeoff for sure.

No shit it doesn't apply to the guy that offed Jo Cox, and I wouldn't imply it did. Others like Breivik maybe it does apply to. I'm making a point that a dominance among the youth does not really equal a dominance among the youth that might fight, not trying to describe every single possible terror attacker.

There's probably a difference between referenda not being binding after 40 years and a wholesale change of electorate, and not being binding after 2-3 and the result not being implemented at all.

I'm fine with non-binding referenda over 40 year time scales, with the next one in 40 years, even if that lead to a remain result, because flopping in and out is a loser for European federalization, whatever the end result. The only way European federalization really wins in the long term is if people accept that any decision to remain will be binding and eternal.

'and not being binding after 2-3 and the result not being implemented at all'

Which result? One of the more obvious things about Brexit is that a majority of British voters had - and have - no interest in a hard Brexit. This was one of the more clever things about how Brexit was sold, actually - it was many things to many people, with the details being as blurry as possible so as to convince a bare majority of British voters to leave the EU, on British terms.

When it turned out that the EU had no interest in the UK's terms concerning a relationship after Brexit, the UK asked to remain in the EU, as the EU has absolutely no power to compel the UK to remain an EU member.

'if people accept that any decision to remain will be binding and eternal'

No political decision is ever eternal. Unless ones listens to a certain group of Brexiters, who seem to think that a single referendum's results are eternally binding.

This kind of stuff is ridiculous sausage slicing of an opposing tendency. There was a referendum, it returned a decision. This decision was coherent and meaningful.

Detail of implementation should then be subject to process, but implemented nonetheless, and in more than name only.

'There was a referendum, it returned a decision.'

Which most definitely was not crash out of the common market completely. That is not sausage slicing, that is reality. The Brexiters sold many Brexit voters a variety of fantasy visions, such as how the way to Brussels leads through Berlin, with the German car industry ensuring that the British would get to have their cake and eat it too.

'Detail of implementation should then be subject to process'

Of course, but even there the UK system seems utterly dysfunctional at this point. Including how the UK is still in the EU.

'but implemented nonetheless'

Yet the only thing keeping the UK in the EU today is the UK. Almost as if the idea of completely crashing out of the common market is something to be avoided - at least by the British. The EU, of course, is powerless to prevent that result, as the British can leave today if they wish.

We will see the result - but completely crashing out of the common market was not what many Leave voters thought would be the result of voting to leave the EU.

Personally, of course, I fully support the idea of the UK leaving the EU today. Oddly, the British government does not agree with me. A fact which is making the French position look prescient, to be honest. We will see how things go, but if things run as they have in the UK, the French will finally have gathered enough EU support to finally kick the UK out of the EU by not granting any further British membership extension requests, regardless. Which is kind of ironic, considering it was the French that blocked the UK from entering the EU twice in the past.

Just a reminder. I am a full supporter of Brexit, and if the British crash out, fine by me. Oddly, that position seems to be a minority one in the UK. However, it is definitely one that is growing in support in the EU - mark Oct. 31 on your calendar, because even if the British government does not want it, the UK will most likely be out of the EU.

Unless, of course, as promised by some Brexiters, the EU turns out to be the push over it was predicted to be. Like this, from Boris Johnson in 2017 - 'There is no plan for no deal, because we’re going to get a great deal.' Or this from Michael Gove in 2016 - 'The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want.'

None of that's in the context of Britain having literally all the negotiating power, but in context of not being powerless and not having options, and intention to produce a deal. If there's no deal, I'm fine with that.

British public opinion is not as sanguine about leaving with no deal, but EU opinion also is not nearly as much as so as you seem to think and present.

'but EU opinion also is not nearly as much as so as you seem to think and present'

Um, you do know how the UK looks to others after 3 years of utterly incompetent handling of Brexit? Basically, the attitude of most Germans I speak to has shifted over the last couple of years - at this point, the main consensus seems to be just leave the EU, please. Basically, Brexit is about the UK, yet somehow, the UK simply cannot seem to deal with it. Germans do not think Brexit is a particular German problem, and they are thoroughly tired of the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong - everyone (well, maybe apart from some Brexiters) thinks the UK crashing out of the common market will be painful. Which means planning and preparing for it - something that Germans actually consider normal.

Interesting. I can’t speak to the details of UK politics, but generally I think the theory that young people are only leftist because of college indoctrination and will grow out of it is incorrect. It isn’t supported by millennial voting patterns, which have remained left-leaning though most millennials have been out of college for years. Anecdotally, I also know far more people who moved left after college than moved right. I think the college environment is actually conducive to conservative thinking. Most prizes such as grades, jobs, and grad school admissions are strongly correlated with objective measures of academic merit such as test scores, and most people can easily see that there is a relatively level playing field. This creates an environment where people believe the system is basically fair and meritocratic. After college, people are quickly disabused of this notion, as career advancement is typically quite opaque and based on connections more than performance, and wealth accumulation often based more on parental support than career success. These realizations make people more socialist, not less. Furthermore, in college, the left is oppressive—all the SJWs and such, so many people (including myself) took right-wing views to be edgy and independent. Once you graduate, SJWs cease to be relevant and you realize that all the real levels of power are controlled by the right-leaning people who run the government. And you’ll never graduate from them.

I can’t speak to the details of UK politics, but generally I think the theory that young people are only leftist because of college indoctrination and will grow out of it is incorrect. It isn’t supported by millennial voting patterns, which have remained left-leaning though most millennials have been out of college for years.

That's not inconsistent in any sense with what I'm saying. I'm suggesting that in general young people tend to drift left (and university exacerbates this but is not the only cause) until such time as being negatively impacted by left wing government policies tends to impact them, or left wing governments tend to disappoint them in practice.

In the case of Britain the last memory of that is probably '70s style general failure and the compromises and failures of New Labour in '90s-08.

US youth are still pretty left wing compared to predecessors, but I think they're less so having experienced Obama and his various weak points than their equivalents in Britain are in favor of Corbyn. The age gap is actually not as pronounced in the US (especially once you control for ethnic factors) and it wasn't quite as pronounced for Trump.

You're responding to the phoned in argument you're expecting me to make here, and not so much what I'm actually saying.

I think the college environment is actually conducive to conservative thinking.

I think you'll probably find it's more typical that people with similar pre-existing characteristics and incomes to college cohorts, yet who did not attend tend to be more right wing in practice, and that college students generally tend to express more left wing opinions after education than before.

On the claim of general rightward shift after university, some people are successful and support the status quo, though this is not necessarily right wing, some are unsuccessful and become disaffected, though not necessarily left wing. It's not clear that the general direction after university is towards the left, and probably not so.

I'd also have to add:

Furthermore, in college, the left is oppressive—all the SJWs and such, so many people (including myself) took right-wing views to be edgy and independent.

These people are oppressive, if college in the '10s is anything like cyberspace in the '10s, because they are almost ubiquitous and can command large majorities of people to basically soft agree with them. That doesn't make any sense if most college students are right wing; they're oppressive because they can count of large numbers of left wing footsoldiers and because there are a lot of them.

"It isn’t supported by millennial voting patterns, which have remained left-leaning though most millennials have been out of college for years."

College kids go conservative when they start paying real taxes, get married, and having kids. Millennials have been taking their sweet time doing any of that.

There is literally nothing in this article that could not have been said with equal truth about the Left twenty years ago. In case anyone's forgotten, that was the era in which Bill Clinton was the only Democrat twice elected to the White House--albeit both times with less than a majority of the popular vote, becoming the first to achieve this since Woodrow Wilson--since FDR, and the GOP had regained (and retained!) control of Congress for the first time since, well, forever.

And let's not even mention Margaret Thatcher's unprecedented three majorities and her successor's retention of same, for a record-smashing four consecutive Tory Party governments lasting from 1979 to 1997. There were plenty of obituaries for the Labour Party being written then...some even by the Grauniad! ;-)

Of course, many of those were written from the opposite perspective--Old Labour may be dead, meet the all-new, all-improved New Labour! Or maybe the emergent Lib-Dems! Anything to avoid admitting that the Left's ideas--frozen in carbonite since the 1930s at least--are no longer relevant!

As for the vagaries of electoral trench warfare, you can go back to the 1876 election, which combined the most unpleasant aspects of 200 and 2016: not one but three states (including Florida!) had their electoral votes contested, and the ultimate winner--who needed and received every single contested elector--received fewer popular votes than his opponent.

The latter phenomenon was for much the same reason as in 2016: the Democrats piled up huge majorities in their strongholds--in 1876 it was the so-called "Solid South," a stronghold of racial suppression; and the electoral votes were contested for spurious reasons--the three states involved, all in the South, were the last three in which the Federal troops remained to uphold the voting rights of the freedmen.

In those days the Supreme Court was aware it had no place in a political question such as this, so the parties agreed to appoint a board with equal representation from each, with the board members then selecting a neutral chairman. The electoral votes were than decided by 8-7 majorities, with the neutral chairman voting in every instance with the GOP: there is evidence he may have been a "closet Republican."

But party systems don't last forever. In my own lifetime the GOP and the Democratic Party have largely traded places: now we can expect a similar realignment. But the institutional parties will remain, I expect: just with new wine in the old skins.

As to Trump's uniqueness, he is a product of the underlying political shifts: had he not existed it would have been necessary to invent him, as the saying goes. Let's not forget that he is hardly the first to go this route: in 1992, Ross "The Cross Boss" Perot received nearly 20 percent of the popular vote, the most since George Wallace got almost 14 percent in 1968.

When your main political idea is to privatise and deregulate, one day you eventually run out of economic sectors to privatise and deregulate.

Or you end up paying 35 US cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity and think, "Maybe we shouldn't have privatized that..."

I risk turning into prior here by citing Wikipedia, but it says that 35 cents is what the Germans pay (and that's certainly not due to privatization :-) ). It says the UK pays about 22.

Germany pays 35 US cents per kilowatt-hour. Does that fit into your narrative?

' It says the UK pays about 22.'

Crikey is apparently from Australia, of which google says this - 'The Australian Energy Market Commission 2017 Electricity Price Trends Report states that the average annual electricity bill across Australia for the current year is up $100 from the previous year to $1576, with an average charge of 34.41 cents per kilowatt-hour – an average increase of 4 cents from the previous year.'

No link this time, plus another variation.

'It says the UK pays about 22.'

Crikey is apparently from Australia, of which google says this - 'The Australian Energy Market Commission 2017 Electricity Price Trends Report states that the average annual electricity bill across Australia for the current year is up $100 from the previous year to $1576, with an average charge of 34.41 cents per kilowatt-hour – an average increase of 4 cents from the previous year.'

"trying to force fit women, minorities, and the poor into their ancient, outdated ideas of society."

Many of them do that quite well on their own without the help of dead white guys.

Conservatism, like the Episcopal Church, decided it was more concerned about respectability than orthodoxy, so it's losing conservatives to parties who at least say they'll get about the business of actually conserving stuff.

This isn't a "crisis." This is panic by centrists, i.e., statists, who think voting should not be allowed to change the government.

Cuckservatives like Tyler on the ones in trouble, not real conservatives.

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