Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Votes at 16

Just got off Radio Kent after challenging Conservative MPs on BBC Radio Kent this morning about why Tories have refused giving votes to 16 year olds despite the fact many are entitled to fight for our country and pay income tax

Would urge readers to back the British Youth Council campaign for votes at 16 which seeks to recognise the responsibilities of 16 and 17 year olds and enable them to influence key decisions that affect their lives

The argument surrounding age is utterly false; many 16 and 17 year olds pay income tax and National Insurance; gain welfare benefits; consent to sexual relationships and join and fight for our country in our armed forces. 

Many I have met have an academic background and a stronger grasp of politics then those more senior in age, due in part to the introduction of citizenship classes under the last government

There are those of all ages who have a stronger grasp and level of intelligence on our political process just as some people will understand single issues more then others; as is the natural way of things. Ask me about a game of football in detail and I could only give you a basic commentary; that knowledge is not age related. 

A number of right wing commentators from the general public went onto say those that happen to be unemployed or on benefits should have the vote removed. A very concerning narrative if pursued and one which would subvert the basic premise of democracy; that we should all have say if we are taxed and are capable of fighting for our country

In 2010, David Cameron invited the British public to be part of the UK Government; his promise though will fall on deaf ears to thousands of people who have no voice to influence change. 

It is simply not acceptable to expect service to our nation without giving people the chance to influence those that make policy

Many of my constituents would like the opportunity to vote on the Tory record in Parliament on youth issues; including the record of our local Tory MP in Chatham & Aylesford who abstained on Tuition fees which are to rise to £9,000, supported a budget which cut the Educational Maintenance Allowance, and is backing Kent Tory Councillors who are cutting Youth services. 

1 comment:

  1. Do you mean that labour would have given the vote to 16 year olds if it had more time in government after all they only had 13 years and just run out of time.
    Is this now Labour Party policy? I assume it must not be as this piece only mentions the British Youth Council and if it is not Labour official policy why not get your constituents to write to your own party