Thursday, 8 December 2011

Do the young have a voice?

With 15.6% of 16-24 year olds not in education, work or training and almost one million unemployed. Is it fair that we must be 18 to vote and is it not alarming that people on average do not begin to vote until their mid twenties. Perhaps there is a correlation between the decreasing voting turnout and the increasingly worsening situation for Britain's youths and despite Cameron's hope of targeting gangs as a result of the London riots a recent survey suggested that a considerable amount of people felt that the government were partly responsible:

50% agreed that "The Government's response to the economic crisis (e.g. cuts to services, unemployment, reduced education funding) is helping fuel the rioters" and  61% agreed that "Government ministers failed to return to their desks quickly enough from holidays"

I would like to say that the riots were solely a result of the governments shortcomings but there were a few people who rioted purely due to the opportunity. However the government's choice to almost completely ignore the student protests, with an estimated number of between 2000 and 15000, is just idiocy, I accept that cuts need to be made but should it target the alraedy detrimental situation of Britain's yound adults?

The electoral comission is fairly against lowering the voting age to sixteen however even they concede that

"Most responses to our consultation supported a voting age of 16"
 So it seems people want the young to have a voice, however it seems unlikely that they will get one and even when they try to get heard, they just seem to be ignored. Despite optomistic schemes like Bite the Ballot and Young Persons question time, when it comes down to it, the young do not have a voice.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Disgusting but legal

Recently this video hit the headlines after a woman racially discriminated against other passengers on a London tram. I saw several posts on Facebook and decided to watch it, it oustounded me someone could be so blatant and unfair to others just on the colour of their skin. If im honest, it made me laugh how she was so stubborn and could diregard other's opinions so easily. I was particually amused by her being so hard to undersatand that it sounded like she told people to go back to Nicaragua a central American country rather than saying Nigeria or Niger like I am sure she was attempting to.

I need to be really careful now to avoid being labelled a racist and really need to stress how stupid she sounds and I must also say if she symbolises what Britain is then I do not want to be in "(her) British country". However I think her arrest is morally wrong.

I am in no means saying that the UK is borderline totalitarian however to jail someone for expressing opinions is simply not right, however offensive they were. If bodily harm had been caused then I could understand but at the moment my opinions resonate with those expressed in the Guardian article: 'My tram experience' is shocking – but should it be cause for arrest? by Sunny Hundal:
"I hate to write an article defending such a woman but I think calling for her to be arrested and then prosecuted is over the top. I don't think such behaviour is acceptable or have a problem with condemning it. My issue is that calling for the law to get involved is about the worst way to deal with such incidents".

I am sure some people were deeply hurt by the language she used and i think the humilition of 10,000 when I first viewed it then up to 3 million and now over 11 million people seeing it is punnishment enough, I think my opinion on this matter can be summed up simply by a quote:
"I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire.