In a report published today, the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) a notoriously right wing pro-Tory thinktank and lobbying group based in the United Kingdom, named after Adam Smith, a Scottish moral philosopher and classical economist, proved how little conservatives truly understand about the real-world problems faced by young people in Britain today.
In it's report, dubbed the ‘Millennial Manifesto‘, they suggest that in order to win back votes from young people who voted for Jeremy Corbyn in June, the Tories should make flights to Ibiza cheaper by scrapping Air Passenger Duty for under 30s, and that they should also legalise drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine. You really couldn't make it up, opportunist to say the least.
In the Manifesto, it states: “If these recreational drugs were legalised, young people would be brought back into the framework of society, instead of feeling it is out to oppress them and spoil their pleasures.
“It would enable quality controls to be established so that young people could be assured that what they were taking was what they expected it to be, instead of being adulterated, perhaps with toxins, or supplied in unregulated massive overdoses.”
Other perceived policy wins for those trying to engage with young people and take on Jeremy Corbyn include cutting National Insurance for the under 25s from 12% to 8%, replacing student loans with a graduate tax and a 50% council tax discount for young people.
Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, said: “It isn’t easy being young in Britain.Reading through certain sections of the report, it’s easy to see why young people feel a huge disconnect between themselves and those in the media and political establishment.
Especially when they write about young people like they are a different species from another planet:
"Many young people take recreational drugs. Occasionally some of them smoke a cannabis spliff with friends. Many of them pop an ecstasy tablet to help them enjoy late night dancing at a club. Some of them try amphetamines or snort a line of cocaine. Consumption of any of these drugs is currently against the law. Indeed, two of them, ecstasy and cocaine, are class A drugs with severe penalties attached to their use."
"Young people seem to want to do the things that for decades have been part of young people’s way of life, with the added possibilities and opportunities that modern technology and new developments make possible. Most of them want to socialize with friends, both in person and on social media, to enjoy music and travel, perhaps to work abroad for a spell. Some want to engage with friends in recreational pursuits such as sporting activities. Many enjoy attending concerts, or simply hanging out with their peers over a few drinks."
The report then goes on to slam the Tories for ignoring ‘the concerns of young voters’, as well as both: "neglecting their wellbeing directly and taking positions that are badly out of touch in areas like animal welfare and openness to immigration."
If the Tories are actually looking to produce policies that will really resonate with young people, rather than listening to organisations like the Adam Smith Institute, why don’t they actually try listening to the views of actual young people.
The document provides very few truly beneficial solutions to many of the huge problems faced by youngsters today, such as lack of affordable housing, low wages, lack of job security, and a huge rise in the cost of education.
And for many young people, the impact of austerity means that “partying in Ibiza” is not a top priority. A report by The Prince’s Trust found that 'young people’s happiness and wellbeing are at their lowest levels since the study was first commissioned in 2009.' It is safe to say that the “Millenial Manifesto” has taken a bit of a battering on social media.
Scores of people have tweeted about the suggestions for winning over young people ,labelling the ideas as “clueless” - with a series of hilarious memes mocking the ideas involved.
Emma Burnell wrote: “Wow the Adam Smith Institute are clueless. How addled do you have to be to think the key problem young people face is taxes on airfares?”
Allan Faulds tweeted: “Gotta love the Adam Smith Institute. How old and/or posh do you have to be to think “cut the Ibiza Tax!” is going to win over youth vote?”Labour MP told Huffington Post UK http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/adam-smith-institute-tory-youth-vote-ibiza-tax-on-flights_uk_599deb9ae4b0821444c08cc8 that the plan was a "laughable failure to understand what young people actually care about." Smith said: "Having spoken to hundreds of young people over this summer I can say that of all their demands from government, from the crisis in mental services to huge personal debts from study, no one has raised Air Passenger Duty with me."