Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Monday, 20 February 2012

Are 18- 19 yr olds to young for Politics?

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,


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?


  1. Well, if I use my teen years as a guide, I would guess they are a. too idealistic b. too emotional and c. too thin skinned.
    The political arena is not for the faint of heart.
    Oh, and d. probably busy staring at words on a woman's butt.

  2. I'd say 21 as a minimum. I'd use that for driving too.

  3. Julia: Yep, Not saying that the youth of today shouldn't be involved, after all they are our 'leaders' of tomorrow. But, if they cannot take a bit of criticism without pouting, they need to get some life behind them before they apply for public office!

  4. Ricky: of course the counter argument to that would be, 'if they are old enough to fight on the frontline..."

    and of course some 'youths' do mature better and faster than others, but these two just seem a little immature and petulant for the 'offices' they hold based on the one I engaged with and the other on what little I read...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Dear Andrew, Thanks for stopping by.

    The thing about Life and Politics is that people are always making assumptions....

    I didn't feel the need to email you as I was commenting on an article ....

    People who are vain enough to google themselves and who are in the 'public' eye are going to come across many things written about them, I suspect, where they have not been contacted by the author and as long as what has been written is not libellous/ slander .. it's part of life I'm afraid.

    I don't think I actually 'assumed' that you had gone to University! What I suggested was, " 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"

    And you're right maturity and life experience don't always add up to the same thing just like some intelligent people seem to have missed out in the common sense department too.

    You got involved in politics because of idealism, great.

    You wanted to make a change, great.

    The world has been "destroyed by generation after generation of corruption and a culture of not learning from their mistakes." Sounds as though you are describing politicians here, although I concede I have no idea what better system there could be, APART FROM ONE OF TOTAL HONESTY, and forgive the generalisation, but that is not something we APPEAR to get from politicians!

    Glad to hear you sat down and resolved your differences, this is a short anecdote from my earlier life from 25 yrs ago.

    What? Alan and I both said at the same time to a colleague who came into the pub where we were having a pint, a game of pool and a laugh. The colleague said, I don't believe you two, 5 hours ago the whole workshop thought you were going to kill each other the way you go at it every day!

    And your point is? We both asked.

    Well now you are here, in the pub drinking and laughing. Yes, well, when you grow up, you will learn that there is nothing wrong with an argument, no matter how loud or aggressive it is, it's work, it's life, and at the end of the day, life is to short to worry about it, and we will probably, no, we will (as, if he said it was white I most certainly would have argued that it was not, on any given day)do so tomorrow and the day after that. Doesn't mean we can't enjoy each others company in the pub later!

    You should join twitter, many politicians of all political hues are, and use it to good effect and I interact with a large number of many parties. As for being given a hard time and not liking it, this comes back to 'maturity' if you are in politics you have to accept that some of what you say is going to be, for want of a better word, 'attacked' and you just need to deal with it. It helps if you believe in what you are saying and can back up your statements!

    And to your final ? As the retirement ages is changing, and is likely to change again, when can you make that determination? But the same applies in general, old timers hopefully have life experience and maturity, but sadly looking at some politicians who you would think that criteria should apply to, but it doesn't.

    And, at least you got the right to reply

    Stop by anytime

  7. A response



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