Friday, 16 February 2018

Calling Them Up, Calling Them Out

If 74 per cent of the over-65s want to bring back National Service, then tell them to do some. National Service ended 58 years ago, so no one under the age of about 75 has ever done it. And only men did post-War National Service, anyway. Tell those three quarters of elderly women to sign up, if they think that it is such a good idea. After all, they never had the chance at the time.

Former members of the Armed Forces comprise a large part of the Conservative Party's active membership, but they comprise a tiny part of the population at large. That is an overlooked fact among those who find Jeremy Corbyn's 40 per cent of the vote incomprehensible. The last men were called up in 1960, so hardly anyone has ever been in the Armed Forces. It is just that a lot of them are Conservative activists, and that a lot of Conservative activists are them.

This suggestion does, however, feed into the same strategy as that Agent COB business which, since the BBC never picked it up, never happened. That, like the rather vigorous policing of demonstrations, is how Britain works. Welcome to our world.

Anyone who might ever have considered voting Labour in a million years either will not hear about this carry on over somewhere called Czechoslovakia, or will not believe it, or will not care about it. But the Conservatives are down to quite this sort of core vote strategy: people who are not only over 65 (often by quite a bit), but off-the-chart right-wing with it. Wrongly, but very interestingly, they have given up even trying to persuade anyone else to vote for them.

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