Don't get me wrong with that question, it isn't a loaded one. Personally if a teenager is bright enough, with an interest in politics and in what is going on around them in regard to society, then why shouldn't they be involved in politics.
On the other hand, do they have the maturity and the life experiences to be involved in party political politics at a local level, never mind a national one?
We probably all know of our most famous 'boy' politician, William Jefferson Hague who, as a squeaky (sorry, but it was true) voiced youth, was invited to address the Conservative Party Conference way back before the last two or three wars, oh, I remember it was 1977, aged just sweet 16. As far as I know he did not then go into local authority politics but went on to University to study, amongst other things, politics, before actually entering Parliament at 26 years of age.
But there are some who as teenagers do enter the local political arena and this blog has been prompted by a couple of them.
First there is Aaron Kiely a young Labour councillor on Thurrock. Just after he was elected last year he started following me on Twitter, so, I followed back Local Councillor and all that..... I think he was about 19 at the time. He made a silly remark one Thursday night during BBC Question Time and I took him to task over it, giving him quite a hard time. He did respond and engage, for a time, but then I noticed that he UNFOLLOWED ME on Twitter, which of course I thought was rather immature of him, but that's me, right. I did send him a tweet and he responded, eventually, saying that it was his phone, he changed it and when he loaded apps for Twitter, etc, it must have unfollowed me, yeah and pigs will fly..
Then today I noticed an article that another 19 year old Labour councillor in Basildon, Andrew Gordon, has a trembling lip because another councillor, party unknown and not really interested enough to look it up, has given him a bit of a hard time over his, Gordon's, second speech. Apparently it was lousy but I couldn't comment as I have no idea what it was about....
But there you go, two 19 year olds getting into politics and then going off in a huff because someone took them to task over something they said or tweeted, so, I will ask the question again,
DO TEENAGERS HAVE THE MATURITY AND LIFE EXPERIENCES TO BE INVOLVED IN PROPER POLITICS?
Based on the two incidents above, the answer has to be a resounding no. OK, I know that this is not a scientific approach to this question, which after all is a serious one for the constituents of these kids. After all they have been voted in to public office to 'look after our interests' but at the first sign of a 'telling off' they skulk off into a corner like a chastised child with a petulant lip!
And these are the 'kids' looking after our interests and who we need to be able to take a knock or two in the rough and tumble of politics and to be able to stand up to people like me and or other councillors without running off with their tails between their legs and then only 'engaging' with sycophants and hangers on.
So, maybe there needs to be a law passed saying that politicians, local and national must first serve time in the workplace / the services/ the community, and not just the local University or Sixth Form College, gaining life experiences, maturity and moral fibre, before being allowed to take up a position in public politics.........
What do you think?