You don’t usually read 18-year-old writers in i, but today we make an exception for a student I met recently at a Speakers for Schools talk in east London. (Barking’s impressive Eastbury Sixth Form.) Ethelbert Thomas was among a dozen who stayed behind afterwards to ask questions. Interested in business and politics, he spoke of his hope that he can contribute to public life. When he said he planned to vote for the Conservatives next year I asked him to explain why – and to set down his thoughts in writing.
More than 900,000 16- to 24-year- olds are unemployed in Britain – not as many as some other European nations, but pretty horrific for those involved. Some young people won’t share the optimism Ethelbert feels, while other readers may disagree with his take on Coalition welfare policy. But his comment article is unexpected and part of the variety of opinion we try to offer you in i.
For the sake of clarity: in yesterday’s paper, neither the seven-a-day fruit and veg article nor the T20 match report of England’s defeat to Netherlands were April Fool hoaxes. Sorry.
“I can’t believe I actually fell for your story on the 30p coin,” groaned the sporting Anthony Hacking from Blackburn. “It was pointed out to me by a colleague at work. Gullible.”
We provided one face of the coin – our chairman in profile, rather than “King Oliver” as Elizabeth Kitwood suggested – and requested designs for the other side. Highly commended are Maureen Beeken (a March hare on our masthead) and Des Farthing (Mr T bellowing: “Fool!”). The winner was Peter Windmill. Your prize is in the post, Mr Windmill: 30p from the Editor’s own pocket, made up of shrapnel in existing denominations, alas.