Turning Point UK:

“Student movement for free markets, limited government & personal responsibility. It’s time to Question, Challenge & Fight Back. It’s time for a Turning Point”

A small group of right-wing students have launched a British version of ‘Turning Point’ – an almost parody-like US based organisation that worships Charlie Kirk, Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson. The group has been welcomed by Jacob Rees Mogg and other Tory MPs. Apart from creating hilariously bad memes, they wish to spread the message that the Left doesn’t have a monopoly over the young.

While it’s true that not every single young person in the UK is left wing, we wonder: have the activists of Turning Point UK been around for the last three years?

A poll conducted by Elections Map UK shows that if only young people (18-24) had voted in the last general election, Labour would have won 600 (out of 650) seats. The map shows a sea of red.

In fact, in the last general election the turnout amongst 18-25 year-olds came to 72%. This is an incredible increase compared to the average of 40% who voted across the last four elections. Crucially, 67% of that youth vote went to Labour. We’ve been told for years that young people are apathetic about voting, they’re too lazy, uninterested or stupid. This election proved otherwise. It turns out, young people will vote when enthused by ideas which seem to offer an alternative to capitalism’s endless misery.  

After the general election, Andrew Marr put to Corbyn ‘Are you in this for the long run?’ To which he replied, ‘Look at me, I’ve got youth on my side’.

One of Turning Point UK’s promotional videos features a young black woman (Dominique Samuels) talking about the ‘British principles of work ethic and innovation’ as necessary precursors to liberating minorities. In fact, she goes on to use her own mother’s business as an example which she describes as ‘not fancy like finance’ – but a cleaning business. Essentially, if you’re poor, black and exploited, she says, your only dream should be to become the exploiter, not to rid society of exploitation.

Ridding society of exploitation is what Marxists fights for. We want to rid society of all the senseless, needless poverty that plagues it. Despite the enormous wealth, knowledge and resources of society, we are trapped within a system that enshrines inequality in its foundations. The recent UN report on Britain showed that 14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. And that 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford essentials. In addition, it highlighted that child poverty could reach 40% by 2022.

Turning Point UK argues that hard work pays off, and so the fact that 44% of the country’s wealth is owned by 10% of the population (5 times the total wealth of the poorest half) must simply be because a tiny handful of people at the top work five times harder than half the population combined. All those people in poverty, detailed in the UN report, must just be lazy.

Obviously, this isn’t true. Such an absurd argument would be funny, if it wasn’t terribly sad.

Capitalism is designed to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer. While single mothers work two jobs to get by, billionaires lounge around on super-yachts. Who do you think works harder? The terrible inequality we have today isn’t capitalism gone wrong. It’s the best that capitalism has to offer. And this is the system that Turning Point UK, the Tories, and the establishment all defend.

Turning Point UK will probably fall into irrelevance like most youth conservative groups, because they have no ideas about changing society for the better. Ultimately, that is what young people are looking for – a way out of this capitalist system which only offers them a future of working harder, and longer than our parents’ generation with worse living standards. That’s why more and more young people are joining the fight for socialism and ultimately, that’s why we will be successful.

Fiona Lali

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