Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 15, 2018

Brexit Voting Age Hysteria?

Every week brings another public claim, that “Older people have decided for younger people” for Brexit. And so it is again, as Stephen Henders of Barton writes to the Champion  that young people who will be most affected by Brexit didn’t have a say. Well, isn’t it lucky for these young adults that Brexit isn’t a matter of life or death for this country? But 100 years ago, when it was life or death military service that determined the future of this country, the voting age was 21.

Men in military service who turned 19 during the Great War, the First World War, were entitled to vote in 1918 irrespective of their age as part of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which also allowed some women over the age of 30 to vote. And the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 brought the voting age for women down to 21. It took us beyond the second world war before voting under that age of 21 was introduced, 1970 in the UK for votes at 18.

As I approach my 80th year, I hold no grudges that age deprived me of voting earlier than I did. 59 years of voting, regardless of the issues, enabled me to claim I was living in a democracy. Why should some of todays 23 and 24 year olds quoted in Mr Henders’ letter feel they have less democracy? At no time, so far as I can recall, has my continuous and unbroken payment of taxes for 63 years changed my voting rights.

Where we, many of us, DO differ is our belief that we voted for a “Common Market”. But lied to by Edward Heath we were delivered into a potential Federal EU, dominated by a former 18 year term prime minister of Luxembourg whose record on tax evasion even exceeds that of Al Capone .

Mr Henders implies that young people should be given the vote at 16 to take back control of their future. Votes at 16 wouldn’t do that, it would merely add another group to a democracy that controls the present and future of all of us by majority.

Another letter raises the concerns of Mr Burgess about the demand of the Police and Crime Commissioner for another 5% increase in the police precept. It’s now an annual event. Mr Burgess hasn’t “clapped eyes on a bobby for three years” and now he wants the PCC post to be scrapped and the money saved and used on real policing that the public pay for. He also wants councillors to take a pay cut of 15%, at both LCC and WLBC.

Mr Burgess is clearly unhappy with what we all might conclude, that austerity from central government forces has increased taxation while lowering services at local level. Not to mention the appearance of so many cobble stones on our roads as asphalt is gradually eroded. Burscough has Victorian sewage, at this rate the whole borough will soon have cobbled streets back again and all in the country with the fifth largest economy in the world. Where has it all gone wrong?


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