This tweet caught my eye:
Should the elderly be helped and encouraged to move out of their homes in order to make way for younger generations? pic.twitter.com/9wZgOEi3dx
— LBC (@LBC) February 2, 2018
On the one hand, this should appall most decent people. What “help and encourage” means in the context of a government policy is “force people to do it whether they like it or not”.
On the other hand, I’m not sure what people expect. I have argued several times on here that my generation and the one or two that preceded it have utterly shafted future generations by inflating property prices for their own benefit, permanently pricing out anyone who was born too late to take part. The government was happy that cheap credit was giving the middle classes the impression they were rich, the banks were happy to keep lending ever-increasing amounts giving the illusion of a booming economy, and the property-owning classes made damned sure any government seeking to implement policies which would burst the bubble – such as raising interest rates, or relaxing planning laws – would be out on their ear in short order. The property market in the UK was a giant stitch-up of between the property-owning classes and successive governments for their own mutual benefit at the expense of pretty much everyone else, including everyone younger than they are.
Anyone who thinks the Corbyn-inspired millennials are going to just accept this is stupid: they won’t, and they don’t have to. Because another notable achievement of the Blair and Brown years aside from rocketing house prices was the replacement of outdated principles such as freedom and property rights with the notion that anything is justified provided you can get enough people to vote for it. I remember when the fox hunting ban was being rammed through parliament, a common refrain was “this is what the majority want” leaving aside the fact that what rural folk get up to ought not to be subject to the approval of urban lefties. A decade or so later we had the smoking ban, justified on the grounds that “most people approve of it”. For my part, I think it should have been left to individual landlords.
So if the Corbynistas vote in enough numbers to confiscate granny’s house, on what principle can anyone object? We’ve already accepted the idea that anything and everything can be changed on the whim of a majority vote, rights be damned. The irony is those property-owners who will suffer the most from any draconian, illberal, and downright immoral scheme to seize houses from under them will have voted New Labour, and thoroughly approved of each and every piece of authoritarian legislation for which the “will of the people” was wheeled out to justify. And let’s not pretend the Conservatives were any better, or their members voting for leaders who put principles over populism: they’ve given us Cameron and May in quick succession, neither of whom would recognise an individual right which the state may not infringe if it came from behind and kicked them square in the arse.
So I think we can expect to see more proposals like the one in the tweet above, and it’s going to be interesting watching people who were happy to abandon long-held principles for their own short-term political and economic gain suddenly rediscover them, and complain bitterly that the thugs at the door aren’t interested. They can’t say they weren’t warned.