Childish

Who is more childish, a 16 year old or any MP of any party? You’ll have to think long and hard on that one.

Today Parliament discussed giving 16 year olds the vote. It ended up being a tactical play to delay proceedings until there was no time left to vote. This means the bill gets dropped without a vote. Who would have won? We’ll never know but we can hazard a guess as to what it was about. Smug Gideon was on the side of ‘yes’ even though it is widely believed that such a vote would massively disadvantage the Tories. He was hoping for another Brexit vote…

Personally I think it’s a bad idea, but not because of the reasons they think.

Teachers are overwhelmingly Leftie supporters now. They would tell those 16 year olds to vote Labour, and it is widely imagined that all 16 year olds are Socialist.

When I was 16 I was somewhere to the right of Vlad the Impaler. I had no socialist leanings at all. Never have. Neither did any of my friends. One has since become a raving Trotskyite but he was always easily manipulated. Also very predictable.

As teens we played a WWII naval-battle game using very tiny lead models. We had tank-based wargames as well. In both, you could not make use of anything you didn’t have the model of and you had to have it correctly painted too. I suppose it was a precursor to Dungeons and Dragons. Anyway, in the naval one I had the German navy and he had Britain. If we had been in charge of the real thing in WWII, HMS Hood would never have left the slipway and you’d all be goose-stepping to work now. But I digress.

Oh I should mention the best wargame we had. Airfix Series One models were cheap and could be filled with cut-off match heads during construction, then the game took place in a friend’s large garden using air rifles. You didn’t put your tanks too close together. I doubt the average 14-16 year old could get an airgun or 20 boxes of matches without raising a lot of questions now, but back then it was no problem.

When I was at school there was no overt political pressure from any of the teachers. Unless you took a class that would require knowledge of politics it was never mentioned. I certainly never experienced any political indoctrination. But then I probably wasn’t listening most of the time…

Maths wasn’t racist back then. It was a compulsory subject for all up to O level. I rather suspect it still is.

Now, politics is in everything. Political correctness, racism accusations aimed at young kids, everything is global warming and how the EU is wonderful and you know what? If that had been the case in my youth, two things would have happened.

At school I would have agreed with it all as soon as it became clear that those who objected were failing classes.

In private, and in the privacy of a voting booth, I would be thinking the exact opposite of everything I had been told because that is what teenagers do.

The more you push your beliefs on a teenager, the more most of them will resist. Of course there will always be dopes who believe anything, they grow into adults with fixed and immutable mindsets and they all, at any age, make a lot of noise. There are not as many of them as the noise suggests, and more importantly, not as many of them as they think. As Austria has just discovered. They allow 16 year olds to vote. They didn’t get a fully socialist government.

Some other countries have a lower voting age, such as North Korea. You can let anyone old enough to make an X in crayon vote in North Korea, there’s only one box on the paper. Also Venezuela, that bastion of free and fair elections… where opposition candidates get arrested.

Of the few countries who have lower voting ages, the only one that I’d trust to have non-rigged elections is Austria and the lower voting age did not turn out a Communist government. Far from it.

Look at it this way. You are 16, in school, surrounded by largely left-wing teachers who are very vocal on what you are allowed to say and do. Also very vocal on what will get you a pass or a fail. You don’t believe a word of it but you know you have to pass those exams. There are left-wingers your age willing to dob you in for one word out of place. What do you do?

You keep damn quiet, that’s what you do. You tell them what they want to hear to get through it all. Then you vote as far-right as you can because well, fuck ’em. They have made your life a living hell all through school (and probably university too) and in the privacy of that ballot box you get the chance to hit back at the hateful shrieking harpies all around you. You’re powerless, except in that one little moment when you put an X in a box.

So, giving 16 year olds the vote is a bad idea in my book because they will rebel against the strident Leftie teaching and they won’t vote midstream, calm and placid candidates in. They will vote for the polar opposites of those who have made them feel worthless, not realising that the far right is actually exactly as bad as the far left.

Either way, the future will not be good.

So, lowering the voting age gets a ‘no’ from me. They will vote on emotion, not reasoned thought, and it might not go as expected by either side.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Childish

  1. Doesn’t make a shite of difference at what age an elector is registered and given the right of vote.
    Government registers electors names. Government sends registered electors polling cards all sequentially numbered, “for their records” of course.
    Government registered electors troop down to the government approved, government designated “polling station” full of government approved “voting booths” where the registered elector can hand over their polling cards to a government employee sat there with a huge sheet of sequentially numbered names of electors laid out by government controlled and created street address’s and receive in return a “voting card”.
    Which the registered elector marks in the government approved manner and then following the government approved procedure drops it in the government approved voting box bearing government approved seals then leaves.
    Or they can ‘do it all by post’.

    This process is not about electing a government but electing a parliament. The government never loses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just offer them free video games a new phone every year and £50 pocket money per week from 16 to18 in your manifesto and you will secure lots of votes.

    Or offer them power, the right to sack teachers maybe or rewards for denouncing adults. Hell, we could even give them a nice brown shirt uniform to wear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The how’s and why’s of what our young people do isn’t perhaps as important as what they did when actually given their first real opportunity to influence politics.

    In 2014 what chuffed me was the Ashcroft poll that told us only 29 % of those aged 16 – 17 voted to stay in the union. Yet 52% of 18 to 24 age group did so as well.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/20/scottish-independence-lord-ashcroft-poll

    At the time I just put it down to the reality of finding work for the older ones because many in that group might – as all prior generations have – find better prospects down south.

    And the result for the younger ones, while not quite as radical as some might have hoped, still shows – to me – that about 1 in 3 are a great deal more sensible than I’d imagined.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I take the view that if one gets the vote at 16, one is an adult in all respects. Drink alcohol, smoke, drive and of course be treated as an adult by the courts. I can’t see how anyone can argue that you are sufficiently well informed to vote, but not capable of making a decision as to whether you can smoke or drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You only have to be a braindead politician.
      In the USA, you can vote/go into the military/get married at 18; but, you must be 21 to legally drink and they are pushing for that age to buy cigarettes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “So, lowering the voting age gets a ‘no’ from me. They will vote on emotion, not reasoned thought….”

    I’m not as sure that’s a distinction from the current voting population….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 16-year-olds should not have the vote. Having a vote should only be conferred when one is of an age to accept the other things that go with the age of majority, such as being tried as an adult, or becoming a member of the armed forces. There’s another aspect that concerns me. The secondary school I attended, many moons ago, taught something they called ‘social studies’ to the older pupils. It was totally free of political bias. Rather, it was a straightforward explanation of (a) how laws/by-laws were promulgated, and (b) how local and national government functioned. If only that were taught nowadays, we might have a more informed electorate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One can join the armed forces at 16. One used to be able to buy cigarettes at 16 recently. One can be married, (with parental consent unless you want to skip to Gretna green) legally have sex and plenty of other stuff too. The biggie for me is the tax issue. It is what led to the American revolution and that is if you are at work (and that includes apprenticeships) and have a tax code then you should be able to vote. No taxation without representation carries more weight than any of the other minor issues put together.

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      • In the sixties, you could buy tobacco at any age. I used to go down to the corner shop for my father and gets sweets with the change.

        The ‘tax code’ idea is worth considering. If only those paying tax could vote, all parties would focus on reducing taxes. Which could only be a good thing.

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        • The problem/benefit with the tax code to vote thing is that someone who isn’t paying tax cannot vote. This disenfranchises those wholly reliant on the state through benefits from voting, and creating a disenfranchised class is a very good way to incite a revolution.

          Instead of this, one might work on a system whereby registering to vote even if you do not pay tax (but are of an age to do so) gets you a tax code and a rebate of £1 per annum; you thus pay a negative amount of tax but only if you are registered to vote. Incentive and enfranchisement all in one.

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          • The tax code idea was strictly meant for those under 18 as a way of finding some common ground between two diametrically opposed factions. For those that are still in education no vote…for those in work…the vote. Over 18 everyone…Just an idea but compromise isn’t a particularly popular word these days.

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            • Good idea, but it would be a matter of moments before some idiot starts bleating about some 16 year olds being able to vote and others not.

              A better one would be that you don’t pay tax until you’re 18, which would encourage a few to take apprenticeships in actually useful professions instead of going on to do degrees in TV shows or footballers.

              Liked by 1 person

  7. In an era where all government legislation promotes 18 as the age when you become an adult (most recent legislation treats pre-18 as being a minor), why would government want to reverse that for voting. Easy: at any previous election the 16 year old would have been 11 and wouldn’t be capable of understanding how good or bad any previous government had been.

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