Wednesday 28 February 2024

Votes - and indoctrination - for politically suspect 16-year olds

There are quite a few on the 'progressive', lefty side of the divide who believe that votes for 16 year-olds is a guaranteed way to lock in a majority for evahh.  

Hmm.  The more rational actors are not so sure: I know for a fact that within Starmer's camp there are those who don't agree.  Maybe they've seen that chilling series of interviews conducted a few years ago by some brave lady in Israel, asking teenagers what they thought should be done with Palestine / Palestinians.  Progressive?  No, their views were not that way at all.  And you just know that a couple of weeks before a GE in any country with 16 year old voters, the progressives would be blind-sided by some virulent populist www-meme that would have who-knows-what consequences.  Even Trump fears the reach of Taylor Swift.

Which brings us to Andrew Tate and the Labour Party.  A friend of mine was recently asked to give a talk to a mixed high school.  On arrival, he was begged by the staff not to engage, if and when some of the boys raised the subject of Andrew Tate.  It's that bad.  

And the Labour Party knows it.  So what's the plan?  This is seriously horrific, as well as being seriously bonkers. 

Labour to help schools develop male influencers to combat Tate misogyny: Shadow education secretary says party would help schools train role models as ‘powerful counterbalance’

Labour would help schools to train young male influencers who can counter the negative impact of people like Andrew Tate ... [she] expressed hopes that some of the young men who became leaders in their schools could then reach more people by becoming online influencers themselves. “I would hope that the young male mentors involved would then also be able to share their experiences more widely, to kind of shift the discussion around what it is to be growing up as a young man today in modern Britain,” Phillipson said. Under the proposals, Labour would send “regional improvement teams” into schools to train staff on introducing the peer-to-peer mentoring programme.

OK, it's doomed from the start because stroppy kids ain't signing up for crap like this.  Generations of well-meaning priests and do-gooders have tried.  Unless you're willing to go the whole Jesuit hog at age 7, it ain't gonna work.  The idea that a Labour-appointed schoolboy "young male mentor" is about to become an online influencer could only have been devised by someone with (a) no teenage children of their own, or never even met one; and (b) with their head squarely up their backsides.  The poor lad is most likely to get a kicking.

But then ...  "regional improvement teams"?  Didn't Mao send them in, during the Cultural Revolution?  The fact that anyone even thinks these thoughts is pretty chilling.

That's 'progressives' in 2024, folks.  Culture War?  We ain't seen nothing yet.


PS:  here's a (relatively) intelligent progressive (not quite an oxymoron) who's also deeply skeptical of this nonsense, sharing some of the above concerns and another of his own - he'd prefer Labour to be expending its energies on something more salient to the state we're in.  From about 30 minutes in.


dearieme said...

When I was a schoolboy I was an interfering so-and-so; if I saw A starting to bully B I'd bark at A and threaten violence if he went any further. This deterrent worked well.

Would I have felt obliged to protect a "young male mentor"?

Probably not.

Sobers said...

"young male mentor"

Yes, because teenage boys and young men are REALLY impressed by other males who are part of the establishment and tell them to wipe their feet and blow their noses. I mean every young blood hangs on every pronouncement from their local vicar don't they?

This idea could only come from a political class that is so far up its own arse it couldn't see daylight with the Hubble space telescope.

Anonymous said...

I think that you misinterpret Labour's scheme. It's not intended to fix the problem. It's purpose is two-fold.
1. To be seen to be doing something.
2. To have a lovely big department (or better yet an actual quango) which will employ lots and lots of left wing arts grads.

Labour aren't totally thick. They know this won't work but it is just a cynical exercise in politics. They are still playing the same game from 14 years ago when they were last in power.

Wildgoose said...

Lots of talk about misogyny, but as usual the widespread misandry is just ignored. If they really wanted to deal with Andrew Tate's influence then that is what they should start dealing with instead.

They won't of course.

Just more smug virtue-signallers wasting taxpayers money.

BlokeInBrum said...

It wouldn't be so much of a problem if there were more male teachers in school who were able to be seen as role models for the youth, except;

"Male teachers are more likely to work in secondary schools than nurseries and primary schools: 14% of nursery and primary school teachers are male, 35% of secondary school teachers and 25% of special schools and PRU teachers"

Anonymous said...

Only 35% males in secondary schools? I remember it being the other way round at my grammar.

Related to your "generals" post, this passage in the book struck me:

In 1957, Robert Osgood argued in his influential work Limited War: The Challenge to American Strategy that the United States, with all its vast wealth, would prevail in any war of attrition, even against the millions of people of China. Indeed, he assured his readers, that “would be precisely the kind of war in which our superior production and economic base would give us the greatest advantage. As one writer has observed, a war of attrition is the one war China could not win.”

Certainly gives one to think furiously. Of course in those days the UK made everything (including nuclear power stations), China made nothing, and we would laugh at the poor English instructions accompanying cheap Japanese plastic toys.

Anonymous said...

"There are quite a few on the 'progressive', lefty side of the divide who believe that votes for 16 year-olds is a guaranteed way to lock in a majority for evahh."

Up in Scotland the SNP have followed that strategy ever since 2016. Probably has helped them out marginally. However, what is quite odd is that this has been alongside a serious proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18. So apparently a 16 year old can understand law, politics, geography, economics, etc well enough to make an informed choice on independence. But when it comes to gang rape or murder, they are poor wee bairns who dinnae ken what they are doing is wrong.

electro-kevin said...

Only the girls will bother to vote. (Labour/Green)

Most boys won't.

dearieme said...

Start a rumour that any 16 or 17 year old who votes will be called up into the army.

Anonymous said...

Given that you essentially have to undergo full-time state indoctrination, sorry, education, until the age of 18, the notion of granting 16-year-olds the right to vote would have seemed more logical 50 years ago, when it was permissible to leave school at 13.
At least then a 16-year-old would have had a few years of real life experience under the belt.

Anonymous said...

OT - purported transcript of Feb 19 German discussions on Taurus missiles (500km range) to Ukraine.

electro-kevin said...

I hate to say it (as I'm retired on one) the state funded DB (index linked) pension is going to cause the next revolution.

How can young people be expected to tolerate taxation at levels enough to fund these when they can barely afford to live themselves ?

Anonymous said...

Twas Friday at 10 to six, and I heard on R4 what at first I took to be a preview of some comedy show about an insincere politician - then I slowly realised it was meant to be serious. Was it a Tony Blair rewind?

You could have knocked me down with a feather when I realised it was our Prime Minister. Nothing I like more than a lecture on Britishness from a first generation billionaire Brahmin.

Nick Drew said...

that purported transcript of Feb 19 German discussions is a corker

if it's a fake, it's brilliantly done

Anonymous said...

That nice Russian lady who does press for the Kremlin has been bigging it up, which means either genuine or fake depending on ones predisposition.

If kosher it confirms only what we all knew - that our specialists are over there helping with tech and targeting.

It must be said that the iron of WW2 and denazification/starvation/mass air bombing seems to have entered deep into the German institutional soul, as well it might. Definitely at the feet rather than the throat, viz Nordstream. But I think they're genuinely worried about the optics. Germans fighting Russians would make it Great Patriotic War II.

Anonymous said...

The thought occurs - did UK/France release the recordings after Scholz said that UK and French forces were in Ukraine helping with targeting? Certainly Tobias Ellwood sounded pretty cross. After all, that's a NATO leader saying that two other NATO countries have boots on the ground fighting Russia - surely a causus belli?

BBC seem to have confirmed tape is genuine, cunningly leaving it out of the headline items on Ukraine.

Nick Drew said...

causus belli?

pretty much all of Putin's red lines have long since been crossed

Nick Drew said...

Incidentally, it seems Scholz himself stated the salient aspects of that transcript, in brief and very much in public, after the Paris meeting

(e.g. here

and here

Scholz is a buffoon; & Germany is in a very strange state at the moment, vis-à-vis (inter alia) Ukraine, Gaza, Net Zero (esp hydrogen) etc etc etc. Amazing stuff

Caeser Hēméra said...

Why on earth would those boots on the ground trigger Putin?

He's not new to this, if you supply weaponry to other nations at war you have people on hand to advise, observe and take notes. Other than something to bolster his message that the Big Bad West are bullying poor widdle Russia, this is an embarrassment for the West which will no doubt give him a chuckle at how useless Germany has become.

Wasn't too long ago we had direct confrontation between Wagner and the US military. Didn't kick off WW3.

Go back further, and the Soviets supplied not just aircraft, but pilots, during the Korean war, meaning you had US and Soviet pilots shooting each other down. Also didn't kick off WW3.

This is just bears/woods, popes/Catholics sort of thing.

electro-kevin said...

On topic again (sorry !!!)

We're also forgetting postal votes for sixteens in certain areas.

electro-kevin said...

As for Ukraine. It's a little bit f****d.

So unnecessary.

It could have been perfectly happy outside of the EU.

Nick Drew said...

OK, UKR post coming soon(ish)

Anonymous said...

I don't think Russia was so concerned about the EU, NATO was the big worry.

But we've seen with Mexico, flirting with BRICS then finally deciding to stay with the devil they know (who have kindly moved big chunks of employment south of the border), if you live next door to an elephant, it's sensible not to p*** them off, even if you have the sovereign right to.

Mexico's leaders are a lot wiser than Ukraine's but then I think Zelensky was probably the State Department's man from the very beginning, so maybe the welfare of Ukrainians never came into it.

Remember he was elected on a platform of improving relations with the Russian third of Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

btw it appears that the Bundeswehr officer in charge of cybersecurity is a transgender Lieutenant Colonel calling himself "Anastasia Bifang".

Bill Quango MP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lilith said...

Starmer and the Labour Party are completely mad. They will need more than a few votes from 16 year old girls..The schools are already forcing kids to lie about their teacher (Mr Smith who now insists he is Miss Smythe) and to use incorrect and instinct eroding pronouns. It is one thing to "identify" as the opposite sex, and quite another to expect/insist others reinforce your delusion. Wes Streeting compiled a list of Labour women who believe that it is not possible for a woman to have a penis and proceeded to get them ejected from the party (2018). Starmer will not stop till the schools are full of 6'0 "girls".

The Tories are no better.

Caeser Hēméra said...

If you want an inflection point, you need to go back to when Putin raised Russia *joining* NATO. Serious or not, he was informed there was a queue, and Russia had to join it, and Putin - and Russia - got to see the massive perception gap between themselves and the West as to Russia's position in the world.

Had we been more pragmatic and engaged in a bit of ego massaging, who knows?

But the fact that Russia had been actively infiltrating Ukraine at all levels long before Yellen was handing out cookies, indicates that Putin always intended to "Belarusify" Ukraine at the very least.

And when the West of Ukraine wanted otherwise, this path was set upon. Some things, in hindsight, were doomed to happen due to circumstance.

Caeser Hēméra said...

Back in topic - the only 16 year olds going out to vote would be those either heading down the road to extremism, having a laugh by voting some fun named candidate or writing in some fun swear words, "briefcase wanker" types, and Muslims in areas whose recent ancestors settled from the Near, and Middle, East equivalents of Deliverance country.

Labour have a habit of coming up with what they think is a good idea, and discover they've just found a new petard to be hung by, this wouldn't be any different.

Anonymous said...

OT - J.K. Galbraith, who was a major cheese decades ago when I studied economics, on Russian sanctions. I'm working on a proper transcript, but there is a scrolling one at the side. You won't be surprised to learn he's not a fan.

He thinks we forced the Russians to do what was in their interests, which they may not have done left to their own devices. You can argue that there are some areas where Western tech was crucial e.g. oil/gas - but it's not all stopped coming out of the ground.

If you go back to the period before the introduction of sanctions in 2014, and even up until 2022, the Russian economy was very heavily colonized
by western firms. That was true, again, automobiles, is true in aircraft. It was true in everything from fast food restaurants, big box stores. Western firms were present all throughout the Russian economy. A great, many of them, not all, but a great many of them either chose to exit Russia or were pressured to exit Russia after early 2022. So on what terms did they leave? Well, they were required if they were leaving permanently to sell their capital equipment, their factories and so forth, to, let's say a Russian business, which would get a loan from the Russian banks or maybe have other sources of financing at a very favorable price for the Russians. So effectively a lot of capital wealth, which was partly owned by the west, has been transferred to Russian ownership. And you now have an economy
which is moving forward and has the advantage compared to Europe of relatively low resource costs because Russia's a great producer of resources, oil and gas and fertilizer and food stuffs and so forth. And so, while the Europeans are paying maybe twice in Germany what they were paying for energy, the Russians are not, they're paying perhaps no more and perhaps less than they were paying before the war. So again, I characterize the effect of the sanctions, in fact as being in certain respects, a gift to the Russian economy.

Anonymous said...

A Pedant writes.

You don't get hung by a petard! It's a mortar!!

Sobers said...

Jesus, is JK Galbraith still alive? He seemed pretty ancient when I did A Level economics 35 years ago!