Young voters are the future – today’s leaders are still on the wrong side of history

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Sunday 23 December 2018 16:23
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Demographics are changing as older voters die
Demographics are changing as older voters die

I am a 70-year-old Remain voter. I agree with Scarlett Westbrook: “I’m 14 years old and Brexit is already affecting my life. Why won’t people listen to me?

Much of the older generation, having had the benefits of EU membership, and of the European peace that is an integral part of that, now seek to deny it to their children.

This is mainly due to a campaign of distortions, feeding on frustration with the way successive UK governments (not the “evil” EU) have treated parts of this nation.

The Conservatives ignore the fact that only a third of the electorate voted Leave, and that the referendum was intended as advisory to parliament, which is why no minimum majority was specified.

The result was stolen by the anti-EU brigade, its advisory nature ignored. In principle we could have been going through this nightmare on the basis of a Leave majority of a single vote.

Conservatives ignore, at their party’s peril, the reality that they are on the wrong side of history. Trade negotiations will take years, demographics are changing as older voters die, the hard copy media who largely favour Brexit are in accelerating decline, and these (currently voiceless) young are the voters of the future, more outward looking, interested in international cooperation and far less xenophobic than their elders.

As a result of the disaster the Tories are prepared to visit upon upcoming generations (for which the young will not forgive them), they need to prepare, not for government, but for a long, possibly permanent, existence in opposition.

Remember, Labour will not remain so unelectable!

Arthur Streatfield
Bath

How refreshing, the un-bigoted views and values of, clearly, a very well read young lady, Scarlett Westbrook. I would like to vote for you.

Tim Baxter
Tavistock

Donald Trump and border security

My name is Hannah Cashell, a second-year student studying geography at the University of Newcastle, and I am emailing in response to the Peter Stubley’s article US government shutdown: Billions for border wall will ‘never’ pass Senate vote, Democrats tell Trump.

Donald Trump planning to build the wall as a preventative for migrants moving across the border is ludicrous.

His post-modern form of an international border will not only cost the US over $4bn, but it will mean him losing the faith of millions of his supporters for his lack of human compassion. This recent government shutdown in an attempt for Trump to reconsider the building of the wall will not change his mind – as a stubborn and irrational individual it will fuel him to take more drastic action.

Simply implementing more border security would be an adequate way of controlling the flow of migrants crossing into the US, but that is not important enough for Trump as a bid to assert his dominance and power to the world, his allies and his enemies.

Hannah Cashell
Address supplied

The case for the £5 present limit

In my family (admittedly all now adult) we have set a £5 limit on Christmas presents. Much more fun, much easier to shop for, easier to wrap, and a lot less wasteful.

It is surprising what useful or consumable gifts one can get within that limit.

To make it clear, we are not called Scrooge, and have no limits on gifts for birthdays or any other time of the year when anyone feels like it.

Ian Turnbull
Carlisle

Farewell Paddy

In this era of political chaos, and frankly a surfeit of third-rate MPs and ministers, I found the news of the death of Paddy Ashdown particularly sad.

I think the most accurate tribute would be to say, if he was running the country before or after the referendum we would, without doubt, not be in this monumental mess!

Robert Boston
Kingshill

The three wise men commercialised Christmas

Personally, I blame the Three Kings/Wise Men/Magi for the commercialisation of Christmas.

They set the bar way too high with their boxes of blingy jewellery and top of the range fragrances.

Us mere mortals are left scrabbling around on the internet and in overcrowded shops trying to match them. Have you seen the price of frankincense and myrrh these days?

But at least the Famous Three remembered what Christmas is all about: the birth of a very important baby in a stable in Bethlehem.

We seem to have forgotten that bit. Merry Christmas.

Bernard Cudd
Morpeth

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Brexit is distracting us from what matters

I wholeheartedly concur with the gist of your editorial that Brexit has become a tragic diversion of resources from the nation’s genuine grievances, namely feral knife stabbings, domestic violence, homicides, homelessness, poverty, child sex abuse, etc.

It is disheartening that this government is doing everything to reignite the dark forces of nationalism, colonial nostalgia, unpalatable policies regarding social welfare, the NHS, education, anti-establishment distrust and the yawning chasm between the rich and the poor, that have led to Brexit.

I am not sure how Brexit would unfold and whether Britain would regain its clout on the global stage. However, it is time to acknowledge the fact that Europe is not about prisons or walls but about human rights, freedoms and dignities and the sooner May et al realise this the better.

Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

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