Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunak's National Service plan is a panic reaction that will hurt the Tories for years to come

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The Conservatives are trailing Labour in the polls, but it's the voters they are losing to Reform that obsess them. 

This despite the fact that votes they win back from Labour - or from the Lib Dems where we are their main challengers - count double. One on the Tory total and one off the Labour total.

It's this obsession with Reform that explains the sudden Tory conversion to National Service. It's pandering to the prejudices of elderly right-wing voters who have somehow convinced themselves they had to do National Service. They didn't: not unless they're into their eighties.

The National Service plan may bring back some Tory voters from Reform, though there is an anger about those voters that may not be assuaged by mere policy,

But it's absolutely certain that it will enrage new voters - and quite possibly their parents - for years to come.

You may say that few young people vote Conservative now, but at some point the Tories are going to have to return to sanity.

Sure, they will lose this election and their next leader will be a right-wing headbanger, but eventually they will tire of losing and seek a return to sanity.

When they do, they will find a large chunk of the electorate that is not prepared even to listen to them.


Richard T said...

I was wondering whether we might expect an announcement from the 'Government' about re-establishing the Home Guard since reviving old institutions seems to be central to their thinking (I use the word in its loosest sense here).

Phil Beesley said...

It sounds like an undergraduate psychology experiment gone wrong. Young people who volunteer do so because it feels to them like the right thing. If you make something compulsory or a social obligation, you get less of it.
A number of bright lads spent their 1950s national service in a classroom learning Russian or a lab building electronic devices. The potential benefit to industry was largely unexploited.