Tuesday 4 May 2010

Should children get the vote?

I never write about politics. Hellfire, I never talk about politics. It’s just way too fraught and people are way too angry. I’m one of life’s ditherers – I just don’t see things in black and white. In my time, I’ve voted Labour, Liberal (yes, it was a long time ago!), Tory and Green. You could call me a floating voter – I say I see both sides of the equation.

Maybe it’s because of my upbringing. My father was a staunch Labour man, always had been, always would be. He was working class, ergo he voted Labour. Though quite what he would have thought of Gordon Brown saying we should all strive to be middle-class I have no idea (actually I do know – he’d have been hugely affronted). My mother, on the other hand, voted Tory (even though she read the Guardian and loathed hunting). Come election time we would go through the farce of each of them putting up their poster in the window, only to have it torn down by the other.
Anyhow, enough of all this.
I’ve just been tagged in a meme by Ellen Arnison on the rather fab new parenting website Readyfor Ten. In it she asked her son what he thought about the election. So, in the spirit of the meme, I put James in the hot-seat before school this morning and asked for his opinions (no leading questions; no interrupting – Radio 4 it wasn’t!).

Why are we having an election?
To change the power of the country; so we can get some change happening.

If you were allowed to vote on Thursday who would you pick and how would you decide?
Conservative. Because I like the name and the slogan. I don’t want to follow you or Dad – I just like David Cameron the best out of the three. The other two are just eeeughh. I look at Gordon Brown and he looks like a toad or something. Nick Clegg looks like he just killed someone and is going off in a Chevrolet Camero.

And what laws do you think the new government should bring in?
I’d keep most of it the same though I’d try and stop the war. I don’t know really. Um, free education and medicine - except for private. Try to get out of the credit crunch. I would get more people to pick up litter – there would be a fine if you dropped litter and more cameras to catch you. Adults have more power but children should have a little say.

(at which point I interject and suggest that, if he’s saying it’s all fine as it is, why isn’t he voting Labour?)

Cos Gordon Brown makes too many slip-ups. He’s a bigoted man. (knowing look)

Should children be allowed to vote and why?
No, they shouldn’t. Because they could just do something silly like vote for the Monster Raving Loony party and all the children could vote for that and then the MRLP would get in and you’d think, Oh God, the whole country will be on a downer.
People are silly about it. They like the slogans. A few people talk properly about it at school but not many. I think children would vote for smaller parties, like the BNP and UKIP so the country would go down and people would leave it and go to other ones like the US and then we’d be underpopulated and then we’d be attacked by Japan and Korea and be blown up.
Nick Clegg’s the same – he’s trying to get rid of nuclear stuff and so other people would come and blow us up.

So there you have it - keep it the same, yet make it different.  Don't vote for small parties. Don't run into Nick Clegg in a dark alley. 

Time is short – with the election tomorrow - so if you fancy this meme, just grab it. Out of the mouths of babes...


Ellen said...

Brilliant. James gets the prize for the sharpest political comment so far with "Nick Clegg looks like he just killed someone and is going off in a Chevrolet Camero".

Maggie Christie said...

I vote for the Nick Clegg comment too. Superb. I agree with your mother. To me it sounds as if she had the whole politics thing neatly balanced.

Ladybird World Mother said...

!!! Nice one, James. I too, liked the 'Nick Clegg in his Chevrolet Camero'... or rather DIDN'T.
And WHAT is wrong with the Raving Lunatic Party? :) xx

Exmoorjane said...

Ellen: I like the way the car is far more specific than anything else on this..

Mags: It did make me LOL. My mother used to crack me up with her politics.

Exmoorjane said...

LWM: Ah, I have very fond memories of Screaming Lord Such. Saw him in my first ever live gig in Carshalton Park.

Jon Storey said...

OUr twenty year old boy would typically comment


The eldest girl I quite politically astute but at sixteen hasn't quite got it sussed yet, the youngest girl?

"Who is Gordon Brown?"

Milla said...

love it! Very impressive. Love the way it sounds grown up and then veers, whenever possible into a little light (but possibly necessary) blowing up. F11by comparison (and dread to think what he might come up with when confronted with these questions, fear it would be lego-led) most affronted that children don't get the vote.

Exmoorjane said...

Jon: yep 'uuh' sounds about right for a teen.

Milla: would LOVE to know what F11 would say. Pretty please take the tag?!

Rob-bear said...

James was, well, impressive. Well done, James! Smarter than the average voter. Which, sadly, says things about the average voter.

What was Churchill's comment? Something like, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with an average voter.

As for thirtysomething son: "Don't vote; it only encourages them."


Good luck with the election.

Fire Byrd said...

Brilliant comments from James, he is obviously his mothers son, being able to talk about anything and everything.
Good comment about Nick C, even though he does get my vote.
BTW I voted for you recently and have been told I've wona prize of a bag of books... how good is that.
And NO-ONE has been to look at my house for weeks.... growl!!!

rachel said...

Wonderful! I wish I still had a boy to ask.

I won't mention anything about the election to my 38-year old son because it would be a case of Light Blue Touchpaper and Stand Well Back.....

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

Loved it . . .

Withy Brook said...

A great young man - a future politician?
I think both my now middle-aged children are as blue as their mother!!!

denise said...

What a cool idea for a blog! I have been absent from the blog world for months and months and I forgot how much I loved reading yours. I was too late to vote for your blog but congrats on the runner-up!