When I was a young English teacher in the late 1980s at a Home Counties comprehensive school, a pupil in my Lower Sixth articulated a strongly held view during a classroom discussion. ‘I just don’t think it’s right or fair that it’s actually the people who have to pay in their taxes for things like the Army and hospitals and schools and railcards and stuff. It should be the government that pays, that does all that.’ I pointed out to her that government doesn’t actually have any money. The expressions across the various faces ranged from scepticism to bafflement. I let the silence linger and then I explained that any funds that the government held were the result of what it raised in taxation. I didn’t think it was worth complicating things by talking about former Labour Chancellor Denis Healey and the humiliation of the International Monetary Fund bailout a mere decade or so earlier. However, the penny dropped (as it were) with those 16- and 17-year-olds, and I think someone may even have muttered ‘Oh yeah’. We went back to Paradise Lost.

I often think of that teenager when the issue of reducing the voting age to 16 crops up again, as it did again in the House of Commons on November 3. That was when a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Labour’s Jim McMahon had its second reading. There were shouts of ‘shame’ across the chamber when Conservative MPs were accused of filibustering to obstruct Opposition efforts to give 16-year-olds the vote. On the contrary. What is shameful is that politicians should be seeking to exploit the unworldliness and gullibility of the young in events as important as General Elections. This, however, is the cynical and manipulative position of all the Left-leaning parties: Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party.

One of their arguments is that if one is legally old enough to marry (with parental permission), join the armed forces (but not be deployed on the front line) and have sex, then it is only proper that one should have a say in what kind of government is in charge. There are, of course, other things one cannot legally do until the age of 18 (and let’s remember this is now the age up to which one has to remain in education or training). These include sue or be sued, open a bank account solely in one’s own name, serve on a jury, acquire a tattoo, buy cigarettes or buy and drink alcohol in a bar. It may be that all those Corbyn supporters who are so keen to get the voting age down to 16 believe in a one-size-fits-all definition of when one becomes an adult. That includes going to an adult prison if you commit an adult serious crime such as murder or rape. I don’t imagine any of them would be arguing for that, though.

No, what the Left craves is to capture the votes of 16-year-olds because it wants to capitalise on their ignorance and lack of life experience. It is confident enough in the covert indoctrination structure that has long been in place in schools to know that the young are easy to win over with facile notions of fairness and social justice; get hold of their minds before they’ve been able to trouble themselves with more complex matters of the kind of competent economic management that means jobs. That is to say, economic decision making on such things as fiscal and foreign policy, industrial relations, international trade, inflation. Get the hearts and minds of young people before they can start nosing about and learning the truth about Marxist policies, about command economies or finding out about former prime minister James Callaghan’s sober and unwelcome warning to grim-faced delegates at the 1976 Labour Party Conference during the IMF crisis, the speech in which he had to say that spending one’s way out of a recession was no longer an option. No, the last thing you want with youngsters is for them to have time to get their heads up from their smartphones and start reading a bit of history. Last thing you want is for them to think that spending is in any way a bad thing. Spending is fun. Makes you feel better. Even if you spend what you haven’t got. The economy? Boring.

Former PM Gordon Brown was open to the idea of lowering the voting age so long as it went alongside proper citizenship education. He knew that such lessons in the hands of Left-leaning teachers (and it’s a rare teacher who’ll let it be known in the staffroom that he or she is a Conservative voter) would be likely to deliver happy results for his party. Advocates on the Left who are enthusiastic about reducing the voting age to 16 can say all they like about tackling voter apathy and low turnout and increasing political engagement amongst the young. They are dishonest. They know full well it’s because they’re bullish about their access to youngsters through both schools and social media.

They can also say all they like about 16-year-olds being actually very well informed on current affairs and politics. But just because they claim it doesn’t make it true. Of course, there are certainly many over the age of 18 who are badly informed about politics – bigots, idiots, the mad, bad and dangerous to know – yet they still get the vote, while sane, decent, intelligent 16-year-olds do not. True enough. No system is perfect. But as the quotation often attributed to Churchill goes: ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.’ And a legal voting age has to start somewhere. Voters over 18 are at least going to have more life experience as regards earning money and paying taxes. Surely nobody is going to deny that.

The Left needs to tread with caution, though, because you don’t always get what you’re banking on. Nicola Sturgeon made sure 16-year-olds could vote in the Scottish referendum in 2014, and look what happened there. If Corbyn were to be swept to power, and then reduced the voting age, why stop at 16? Just take it lower and lower. Fourteen? Secondary school age? You could bring in a maximum voting age too. Or you could get rid of those nasty old polling stations that you sometimes have to tramp to in the wind and rain, and make voting all by social media. That’s the trick. That’s progressive. That’d see a lot of the old-timers off, all those selfish old Baby Boomers who just refuse to see the Corbyn light. You know what, though, the best thing would be just to keep running elections one after the other until the people are intelligent enough to vote correctly. Remind you of a recent Referendum result that people were too stupid to get right?

  • norman’s nonsense

    Its easy – pay taxes and you get to vote! It’s the government who are spending YOUR money – the tax payer makes the decision on who gets to spend it. It would put an end to Labour’s client state in an instance

    • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      A war was fought in 1776 because some colonists felt that “Taxation without representation is tyranny!”
      Representation without taxation can be its own form of tyranny if it is allowed to be. Let us not forget that.

      • I’m reminded that John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1815,

        “The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and in every respect diabolical.”

        Something worth remembering.

    • TotesBrave

      I like the idea of proof of home/land ownership gets to vote!

      • Those that work their socks off, pay all tax but are priced out of home ownership due to eye watering inflation would not like it.

        • Godfrey Sandford

          Instead of a minimum property qualification for eligibility to vote, how about a tax qualification, i.e. a minimum threshold of tax paid in previous five years?
          One might establish a tier of thresholds to allow those who have forfeit a greater sum of money as theft by taxation to be entitled to more than one vote.
          The Leftists adore what they describe as ‘progressive’ taxation because they prefer to spend other people’s money. We conservatives ought to sock it back to them with ‘progressive enfranchisement’.

          • digoridoo

            You’re full of interesting ideas, aren’t you? I just replied to another one.

            I’ve never heard of ‘progressive enfranchisement’ before but I promise you I’ll give it some serious thought.

            My first reaction however is negative: it sounds like a recipe for a ‘plutocracy with a democratic sheen’. I don’t earn much but I consider myself to be a well-informed, moderate and thoughtful contributor to our political society. Are the opinions of Richard Branson, Bernie Ecclestone, Fred Goodwin, et al worth more than mine? Do I want to live in a society where they and their circle of friends have the advantage at the ballot box? No, I don’t.

          • Godfrey Sandford

            Whatever way one calculates the ‘higher threshold’, the weighted votes of Ecclestone et al would only ever be a tiny proportion of the total votes cast.
            Progressive enfranchisement has the great advantage that the overwhelming majority of hard-working & decent people would get to vote, while the wasters & scroungers would be excluded.

      • WOW did you not pay attention in White Power Supremacy School that we’re all Forced to go to???? We already tried that & it didn’t WORK!

      • lizmilton

        If you read the key objectives of UN Agenda 21, you will see
        “The abolition of private property “
        Is very high on their list of priorities…
        Along with
        “An end to national Parliaments
        An end to western democracy
        The abolition of private transport
        The end of freedom of choice
        The harmonisation of incomes and redistribution of wealth across the globe “ etc etc
        See the pdf on
        Ukcolumn.org

        • JabbaPapa

          hmmmmm, can that whiff I’m detecting possibly be the stink of a conspiracy theory ???

      • MrVeryAngry

        Well, that was the case when all tax was raised as a tax on land values. And it makes an appalling sort of sense. As taxes on land values capture community created land value (not the landlords improvements) and therefore keep rents down for the not landowners and that the tax is redistributed for the benefit of everyone.

        Sound like another plan.

    • sfin

      This.

      Only net contributors to state expenditure should decide who spends it and how it is spent.

      • Mill House

        How would that affect the temporary unemployed at times of General Elections ? It ain’t gonna happen and you know it.

        • sfin

          And what part of ‘net contributor’ didn’t you understand?

          I haven’t worked, or paid tax in the UK for nearly six years now…I am still a net contributor to the UK exchequer, i.e. I’ve paid in more than I’ve taken out.

    • Get over your foolish $$$ worship- Equacdor grants NAture Legal Rights just for Existing as should the rest of the World! Children’s Suffrage Matters!

      • norman’s nonsense

        love your singing and your overweight body in too tight dresses.. but sadly haven’t a clue what you’re on about!

      • JabbaPapa

        FFS these moronic sockpuppet accounts !!! — Blocked.

      • Little Black Censored

        You can’t be Girl Power, Lesbian Solutions, etc, etc, because you don’t use bold type; or is this a clever ruse?

    • David R

      No it wouldn’t. Look at Wales where aquarter of the employed are employees os the Goverment or Local Government.

    • MrVeryAngry

      Interesting idea. That would, of course, include the 8 million people who are ‘tax consumers’. Every teacher. Every NHS employee. All civil servants (those that are not now just bureaucrats). Every quangoista. All BBC drones. People employed on HS2 and building aircraft carriers for example. All those ‘consultants, Capita, KPMG etc etc. All MPs (!) All those on full benefits, i.e. not employed in private business. And so on.

      Sounds like a plan to me.

  • I would allow a sixteen year old a vote if they were working full time. But since the government has decreed that no one is to leave education until eighteen, they don’t get to vote.

    The Political Class know that children are educated in a left wing ‘bubble’. Lowering the age would increase Labour, Green and Remain voters and all the “its their future” rhetoric will not wash.

  • There shouldn’t be a Age requirement in the 1st Place!!! WTF! If a Fetus wants to Vote- Then we should do our best to accommodate them! Democracy functions best with Inclusion not Exclusion! We really should lower the Voting age to 12 & then eliminate it all together!

    • Bik Byro

      With today’s technology it may be possible using ultrasound; this would mean that the unborn are not disenfranchised. Maybe a large percentage of them would vote to repeal current abortion laws.

      • With how the world is going I can just imagine an unborn baby being able to vote for Labour but not having a say in its abortion.

    • Little Black Censored

      Blocked.

  • Colkitto03

    Evidence from the Scottish referendum showed that the big advantage the SNP expected did not materialise from 16 and 17 year olds.
    Not surprisingly it turns out that most 16-17 year olds are actually heavily influenced by their parents political views, advise etc, and follow that.
    Also these kids (and they are kids) will all signal virtuous opinions in front of a camera or in from of thier mates but they seemingly didn’t always follow through with that when voting in the Scottish referendum. Not so daft after all…

  • Tom B

    Unless they could use an app on their phone they’re not going to bother .

    • Bik Byro

      If someone offers them free handouts like no tuition fees, they’ll bother.

    • TJB

      It’s only a matter of time until a Labour government, or even a weak Blairite Tory government, manage to push through electronic voting… after that it’s game over.

    • jdgarfunkle

      But that is being worked on…Lily Allen’s 12million twitter followers will be up and ready to press the right key in support of whoever she advocates, irrespective of policy. The same is true for others of her ilk.

  • digoridoo

    “Voters over 18 are at least going to have more life experience as regards earning money and paying taxes.”

    Be careful with your easy recycling of what used to be a common rejoinder. You gave the lie to it yourself earlier in the article:

    “There are, of course, other things one cannot legally do until the age of 18 (and let’s remember this is now the age up to which one has to remain in education or training).”

    The two contradict each other: if you’re legally obliged to be in education until aged 18, you’re unlikely to have any experience of paying taxes.

    Better to take the position that enfranchisement in a General Election is granted only on a more complex set of conditions, for example:

    1) For British nationals: Having been in taxable employment for a minimum period (say one year).
    2) For immigrants: Hold citizenship and been resident in the country for a minimum of 5 years AND condition (1) AND with a blemish free criminal record during that time.

    The list is not exhaustive, just a few examples off the top of my head. Education in citizenship seems like a good idea at first glance but is obviously open to abuse by the likes of Alex Salmond, Jeremy Corbyn and their cronies.

    • Godfrey Sandford

      Would it not be simpler to introduce, as eligibility for suffrage, a minimum threshold of tax paid during the last five years?
      And higher thresholds to allow those who have paid more tax to cast more than one vote.

      • l jess

        No – Paying taxes is a good requirement but giving the uber wealthy multiple votes is not.

        • Godfrey Sandford

          Look at this thing in the round. The weighted vote of those would with a greater entitlement would be tiny as a proportion of the total votes cast. Meanwhile, the implementation of progressive enfranchisement sends out a very clear message to everyone in this country that the more one contributes to this country then the more one deserves to be heard. Progressive enfranchisement sends out a positive conservative message. By contrast, the current system of progressive taxation sends out the exact opposite message.

  • John Smith

    The real issue is to get 18 to 25 yr olds to vote regularly.
    Once that is solved, review

    • Hertslass

      I’d rather they didn’t vote. I’d prefer it if they couldn’t vote.

      • John Smith

        That is the point they do not
        They think they have done all that is required on social meejah

  • Godfrey Sandford

    How about eligibility to vote based on the completion of a period of service to Queen and Country?
    Which means that someone who has never worn the Queen’s uniform is someone who never gets to vote.

    • digoridoo

      I talked about this idea not so long ago with a friend of mine. Ultimately I decided I couldn’t support it because it brings us too close to places like North Korea (or Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers).

      I think we need to leave room for pacifists in our society without punishing them by withdrawing their democratic contribution. We need voices of dissent in a world in which the likes of Blair has the use of our military to achieve his personal ambitions.

      • Godfrey Sandford

        With my sober judgement, I agree with you. I perceive that we need the contribution of all genuine people, from all walks of life.
        The challenge is how to exclude the wasters from the electoral roll.

        • TJB

          Excluding the wasters is partly done now by the requirement to attend in person at the ballot box. Once postal voting became widespread that was diluted, once electronic voting comes in democracy will die upon the altar of the tweet count of the most vocal celebs and their moronic followers. And with the political bias of pretty much every online social media platform being towards lefty bedwetters that means an end to right wing governments as their message will get quashed at source.

    • Bik Byro

      So somebody who has worked his backside off all his life and paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to the government in taxes doesn’t get to say how it is spent?

      Good luck selling that idea to the rest of the population.

      • Godfrey Sandford

        Starship Troopers doesn’t appeal to you?

        • Bik Byro

          I thought the starship troopers in the novel wore “world government” uniforms as opposed to the “Queen’s uniform”

          Still, if the EU gets its way with its military thinking, it will bring us one step closer to that I suppose. One more good reason for Brexit.

          • Godfrey Sandford

            Of course, Starship Troopers is clearly a dystopia.
            The challenge for us is to build a society where (1) those who contribute are seen to be rewarded and (2) the wasters are prevented from sabotaging the body politic.
            How many people actually support the Leftist agenda? Virtually no decent & genuine person supports Leftism. However, our politics is completely driven by Leftist policy. Clearly, there is a vast democratic deficit in our ‘democracy’.
            We must find a way of rewarding those who contribute and excluding those who do not.

          • Bik Byro

            Democracy sometimes is three wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
            Or another way, British democracy right now is students, dole scroungers, immigrants and civil servants voting on how much working people’s money to take and what to spend it on.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Second uptick from me to you today!

            Or in the case of Brexit three Leavers outvoting two Remainers and then one unelected Remainer stopping it from happening.

          • Join the Mobile Infantry Royal Marine Commandos and save the Galaxy! Britain!
            Service guarantees citizenship.
            Would you like to know more?

    • TJB

      Now i’ve hung mine up i’m happy to go for that 🙂

      • JabbaPapa

        This user is blocked.

        This user is blocked.

        This user is blocked.

        This user is blocked.

        The gift that keeps on giving … OH !! not you, TJB !!!

  • John Thomas

    I well remember Harold Wilson bringing in the vote for 18-year-olds, thinking all the youngsters would vote Labour. They didn’t (still, maybe today’s youngsters are less bright than those in the past … all that CM (cultural Marxism) propaganda from birth …

    • Royinsouthwest

      Those of us old enough to be affected did not have the “benefits” of modern schools.

  • Bik Byro

    Older people should get their votes upweighted because they’ve been around long enough to gain experience and knowledge and lose the naivety of youth.

    People in employment should have their votes upweighted because it is their hard work and money that is actually paying for all the government’s ideas to be put into practice.

    • David R

      Not Civil Servants presumably? Oh except Nurses and Fire Fighters and Police.

      • Bik Byro

        It’s not perfect. But even a civil service bean counter is at least doing something which is more than a dole scrounging weedhead does.

  • discoveredjoys

    I’d like to establish a ‘no allowing for death’ voting system where I can (until my ‘estate’ is wound up) vote by proxy. It’s true that more dead people would likely vote Conservative, or UKIP, but as long as their money is identifiable then they should have a vote. No taxation without representation etc.

    No more daft than letting young people vote who you do not trust to get married on their own responsibility, fight in the front line, drive particular vehicles, or use credit cards.

  • 39 Pontiac Dream

    If I were in charge, I’d raise the voting age to 25. I know this will be controversial to some but let me explain.
    The left have indoctrinated practically ever part of our institutions and public services. Schools, colleges and universities have all suffered from left wing indoctrination and our youth aren’t (at the moment) given the chance to delve into real world politics or experience. We’ve seen this with safe spaces, no platforming, identity politics, intersectionality, ‘hate crime’ (in terms of what is classed as offensive speech – which can be as little as calling someone love or a trans boy, a girl), cultural appropriation and micro-aggressions. While our youth are stuck in places which encourage and promote these things, they will never be able to break from the system and argue against it. Wait until they’ve left uni (for the ones who have), gained some real world experience for themselves, learned independent thought and then allow them the vote.

    • Owen_Morgan

      I agree, but it can’t be done. Handing the vote out ever more widely can be made to look democratic, even when the motives are as anti-democratic as in this instance, but the right to vote, once bestowed, cannot very well be taken away. Parliament, elected by the voters, presumably has no constitutional right to deprive those electors of their votes.

      On the other hand, I suppose we could put everybody between eighteen and twenty-five into the House of Lords. It could hardly be more of a madhouse than it is now.

    • LoveMeIamALiberal

      Science would support 25 as the right voting age. The prefontal cortex – the part of the brain that manages abstract thinking, thought analysis and is responsible for regulating behaviour – is the last part of the brain to develop and is not fully formed until about the age of 25. This is why otherwise intelligent and sensible teenagers and young adults engage in high-risk or excessive behaviours even though they understand the potential dangers. It’s almost certainly why criminal behaviour is greatest in those under 25.

      • JabbaPapa

        Roman adulescentes 15-25 had rights that were recognised but did not amount to the same rights as a full adult.

        You’re quite right in what you say, just these are not novel ideas requiring knowledge of neuroscience, but just basic common sense of how we know ourselves to be … 🙂

    • Bridget

      I take your point, but wouldn’t this contribute to the ‘them and us’ mentality that is currently helping to feed Corbynism? We mustn’t give in and just hand over this turf, our institutions need to be reformed.

      • UKCitizen

        Good luck with that!

        • Bridget

          I know, and was thinking the same as I typed. But it’s too easy to be negative. We proper Tories must aim high and not give up.

      • 39 Pontiac Dream

        Fair point, well put but our institutions will take many years, perhaps decades to reform. It doesn’t help that our incumbent Tories are playing the same game as their opposition. Unless we get strong Conservative voices in positions of power, the left will continue to have control and power for the foreseeable future.
        By the way, I don’t know if you’ve read that Toby Young has been forced to resign his position on the Office for Students quango? As much as I hate quangoes and would abolish the lot were I in power, I find it odd that he has bowed to the relentless pressure of the Twitterata. This is another problem. We need figures on the right to stand up for themselves. If one knock of the dominoes from the left can send the whole lot crashing, what chance do we have on anything?

        • Bridget

          Yes. It’s dismaying both how vicious the chatter has become and how rapidly people succumb to it. Conservatives seems to have lost all confidence, partly the result of their not being authentically conservative.

        • Bridget

          Maria Caulfield appears to be sticking up for herself today. Whether or not one agrees with her, it’s cheering to hear her riposte to the Twitterers. Or whatever they’re called.

    • David

      25 is not too far from the current system: General Elections are normally every 5 years, so your first eligibility to vote comes sometime between age 18 and 23, with some practice goes at council elections in between. Only 1/5 would expect to get to vote in a GE at age 18, with everyone over 23 having had one chance to vote.

      More interesting to make it dependent on contributions to NI as suggested by others. i.e. those who have been earning over £650 per month (NI lower threshold) for a period get to vote, others don’t.

      • 39 Pontiac Dream

        I don’t have the figures to hand and I’m sure that someone will correct me if I’m wrong but am I right in thinking that the 18-24 year old bracket has the worst voter turnout from all demographs, in all elections? If most of that age group can’t be bothered to take themselves away from social media and vote then why do the Corbynista’s think that 16-17 yr olds will be any different?

        • David

          The Corbynista teachers and lecturers will be bussing them to the polling stations, as apparently happened on some university halls of residence last year.
          ….and today instead of teaching you chemical engineering we’re all going down the polling station after a half hour of party political from the lecturer.

  • hereward

    The Electoral Reform society supported votes for 16 year olds years back and still campaign for it . That is why I withdrew my membership of that organisation .
    I remember my ignorance of governance and politics when I was in my teens plus the fact that I had no interest in such things . My two daughters when sixteen were just the same .
    What is needed is electoral reform and a new proportional Voting system which would do much to alleviate the PC timeservers problem, that dominate our not fit for purpose Parliament .
    Votes for sixteens under the FPTP voting system is just more of the same rubbish that the disenfranchised voters of this septic Isle are subjected to right now .

    • UKCitizen

      Not noticed the PV systems on the continent cutting back PC or representing the people any better.

      • hereward

        Due to the vote in Germany under a PR system . Merkel has been scuppered by a completely new Party the AfD just as Shameron was in the last EU elections . It was that and the 4 million votes in the General election that made him give us a referendum . The elites across Europe are PC true but cracks are appearing in their support . PR will widen those cracks . Sticking with the system that has got us where we are in Britain is NOT an option .

        • And in other news, last year in the United States, Donald Trump took over the Republican party in a series (50 of them) of first past the post elections. It’s not the system, it’s the electorate.

          • hereward

            Totally different situation with the President election . It does not equate to the General and Local elections in the UK .

        • UKCitizen

          Merkel and her ragtag of PR hanger ons have been in power for 11 years.
          She is only scuppered by the AfD because she refuses to work with them. She could probably quite easily go into coalition with them and suppress what she doesn’t like and continue to stay in power..
          What position are we in that is any different than the continent?

    • God grief you are stuck record. It is not the system at fault. It is the voting habits of the people. They just need to stop putting their X next to any of the three stale political parties.

  • UKCitizen

    I wouldn’t worry too much! If the EU referendum was anything to go by most of them couldn’t even be bothered to get out of bed!

  • UKCitizen

    You should only be allowed to vote if you are a net contributor to the tax coffers.
    As voting is basically about what you want the government to do with your money it is only right that those putting in should be the ones who decide.

    • TJB

      I expect if anyone were to articulate that in the House of Commons during a debate the Labour benches would pass out in a faint, before rallying and looking for the pitchforks.

    • 39 Pontiac Dream

      What if you were a net contributor but are now no longer working due to retirement, ill health, etc? Also, isn’t everyone a net contributor in some way since most products are taxed.

      • JabbaPapa

        ALL products are taxed, sundry offshore etc. situations notwithstanding.

    • JabbaPapa

      You should only be allowed to vote if you are a net contributor to the tax coffers

      So you think that only those whose sum of taxation is superior to the sum of their functional income in real terms should be allowed to vote ?

      What, are you some sort of Wilson & Callaghan flunky, desirous of 97% tax rates ???

      Or more likely do you have zero comprehension of what the phrase “net contributor” actually means ?

      Non-contributors to tax in this life are children and others who for reasons good, bad, sad, or mad are devoid of all forms of personal monetary expenditure.

      • UKCitizen

        Eh!
        Net contributor – You pay more in than you take out.
        I believe the income figure for a single person is around 26k before they become nominal net tax contributors.

        • JabbaPapa

          In Accounting terms, “net contributor” would mean someone who loses capital in the fiscal year. Which would translate as “paying more to the Government than you receive from your activities and interests”. As opposed to “net beneficiary”, who would be someone whose situation is the opposite one.

          Take note that these are utterly abstract terms having no relationship to any particular sums nor amounts of money.

          There may very well be disenfranchised homeless beggars on the street who are “net contributors”.

          • UKCitizen

            As an example. Someone pays 20k in tax to the government but they receive government services and handouts to the tune of say 15k. They are then a net contributor to the tax pot. They put in more than they take out. What is the problem with that. It seems you are just being pedantic for the sake of it.
            I am just looking at income tax as other forms of tax are difficult to quantify as this would depend on your lifestyle and if you were not liable to income tax then you are not earning or you are being paid from the pot anyway.

          • JabbaPapa

            It seems you are just being pedantic for the sake of it

            No — I’ve lived under a tax régime where the rate of income tax is a fixed 0%.

            Your error is that you’re trying to quantify “what they take out” as cash and nothing else.

            “What they give in” too, of course …

            It’s as if the material benefits of public infrastructures were to be simply excluded from the category of what you receive, simply because the road by your house hasn’t added you to its list of financial beneficiaries.

          • UKCitizen

            I think most people reading this particular discourse will think you are just being pedantic!

          • JabbaPapa

            I am not a tax expert.

            Nevertheless, your own opinions about “net contributors” certainly seek towards deliberate pedantry.

          • UKCitizen

            JP, stop digging!

  • Jenni Wren

    “They can also say all they like about 16-year-olds being actually very well informed on current affairs and politics. But just because they claim it doesn’t make it true. Of course, there are certainly many over the age of 18 who are badly informed about politics – bigots, idiots, the mad, bad and dangerous to know – yet they still get the vote, while sane, decent, intelligent 16-year-olds do not. True enough. No system is perfect. But as the quotation often attributed to Churchill goes: ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.’ And a legal voting age has to start somewhere. Voters over 18 are at least going to have more life experience as regards earning money and paying taxes. Surely nobody is going to deny that”…..well, sane people might.

    • Bill Quango MP

      You left out the In.

    • Colonel Mustard

      You’d prefer anyone who disagrees with your politics to have no vote at all. You really believe in a single party state, like most socialists, and are intolerant of amy dissent, characterising it in absolutist moral or psychological terms. That’s why you are here, sneering, because you are an intolerant bigot.

      • Jenni Wren

        Baseless lies, as I have come to expect.

        • Colonel Mustard

          No, the empirical evidence of your own comments, as I have come to expect too.

  • Clive Price

    When I vote, I am in effect thinking of the future and the party that might work towards a better future.
    When I was 16, I was mostly thinking about Now, Today.
    When I was a youngish family man I was starting to think of at least a short term future to make life better over the coming year or two.
    In my 60s, I am thinking of the future of my grandchildren. With fewer years of my own to live, I find myself thinking of their future, 20-30 years ahead.
    No, 16 year olds should not be voting, though 18 isn’t much better!

    • JabbaPapa

      Good principles.

      Though one should not undervalue the desire to vote in accordance with a desire to preserve the existing values inherited from our forebears.

      • Clive Price

        I agree. For me, “a better future” includes retaining, nourishing or returning to those values that have proven to be good and right and useful over many generations, as well as making necessary improvements.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The Corbyn fans are not old enough to remember the Winter of Discontent. Anything that happened before they were born is totally prehistoric, unless it is the crimes of the British Empire.

  • TJB

    The SNP up here in Scotland are, as was said in the article, keen for the voting age to be lowered to 16. Hell they’re discussing giving voting rights to refugees, powers over whom they want to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Presumably so they can ship in a whole batch of Scot Nat voters who have yet to learn a word of English and know simply to look for the right symbol when filling out the family postal ballot papers en-masse.

    That aside the SNP are, of course, also pushing perhaps the most insidious bit of legislation of recent decades, the so-called the Named Person scheme whereby all children born in Scotland will be given a state appointed watcher to ensure that the child is brought up according to state approved standards and ask the children if their parents are treating them kindly at all times. Funny enough that child’s state guardian will oversee their lives right up until the age of 18.

    • martianonlooker

      Sturgeon, wasn’t she a solicitor?
      Reminds me of that old joke: What do sperm and solicitors have in common. They both have a 1 in a million chance of becoming a human being.
      You can see what way Scotland is headed, cant you?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Will the state approved guardian be locked up as well if the child, having grown up, ends up in prison?

      • TJB

        When was the last time that any state appointed apparatchik was ever properly held accountable for a failing that they’ve overseen?

  • bs

    First thing – there has to be a minimum age for the right to vote because any other attempt to define the starting point of the right to vote will be inconsistent with the concept of universal suffrage. Once you accept that, it is inevitable that the minimum age will involve an arbitrary cut-off with ‘unfairness’ to some – changing the age will not avoid that.

    Second thing – where is the least bad place for this arbitrary cut-off? I think voting is for adults, not children, and only at 18 do we acquire all the legal accoutrements of adulthood – only at that age do we become truly and wholly individually responsible for all the consequences of our actions. Prior to then we are regarded as ‘children’ who are protected from full responsibility for our actions in the vast majority of the various spheres of life. I do not think people should be entitled to vote for representatives in a legislature when they will not be treated in law as adults. If those who advocate votes at 16 would like to change their status from child to adult (i.e. allowed to appear in pornographic films, or not treated as ‘child’ refugees &c &c &c), I’d have more respect for their consistency, but I’d still disagree because I think we have it about right in delineating adulthood at 18.

    • Labour_is_bunk

      As the author has intimated, the definition of “adult responsibility” or adulthood in general, can be flexed to suit the needs of the moment. Witness the row about “refugee children” a while back, when many needed a shave and were just a bit on the tall side.

  • fred finger

    Agree, why else would charlatans like Labour, SNP and Liberals want them to vote.

  • Malcolm

    Anyone still in full time education will not be paying any taxes at all. As the writer correctly points out the government has no money but that raised in taxes. It is therefore, to take the young 16 year old’s argument to its logical conclusion, unfair that those who have never paid tax should be able to take part in electing a government that spends the taxes of those those that do. Students at university, many studying for degrees that are all but meaningless but simply a strategy to put off that fateful day when the workplace (and tax paying) beckons should therefore not be able to register for votes until they complete their education and start contributing through taxation. Paying taxes and deciding upon the government that will be trusted to spend those taxes should be linked. It is a wonderful way of concentrating the mind at the ballot box.

    • fred finger

      The argument gets very silly. If 17 and below should vote because it affects their futures, then you would end up with women and men getting two votes. Their own and a proxy for the children they may have in the future. A very silly argument but taken to the extreme.

      • Royinsouthwest

        What about proxy votes for their future grandchildren, great grandchildren etc.? Perhaps immigrants should have even more votes since they tend to have larger families.

    • JabbaPapa

      Anyone still in full time education will not be paying any taxes at all

      That is a false statement.

      Even the homeless beggar on the street pays taxes.

    • JohnB

      Actually when I was an undergraduate I worked 30 hours a week in addition to my studies and did pay income tax, plus alcohol and tobacco duty and VAT.

  • Owen_Morgan

    The school system is already awash with indoctrination, for the EU, for wahhabism, for the global warming druids, for every “social justice” issue under the sun… Schoolchildren are receptive to that kind of thing. In a much more benign form, it is called “teaching” and it is why we send children to school in the first place. Politically motivated teachers, of whom there are many, can have a decidedly malign influence, producing the new Pavlik Morozov, or the next wave of jihadis.

    I don’t believe children of sixteen are mature enough to vote. I suspect quite a lot of teachers aren’t, either, but they do have the legal right. They do not have the right and should not be given the opportunity to impose their opinions on other voters, over whom they have control, after a fashion, and to whom they stand in loco parentis.

    • Royinsouthwest

      They are taught what to think under the guise of teaching them how to think. The same is true in universities as far as the more PC lecturers are concerned.

  • Owen_Morgan

    As for the argument that one can get married at sixteen, well, now a girl of nine years may be married in Erdogan’s ever more dystopian Turkey. Given islam’s well-known concern for the rights of the female, I wonder if the franchise is to be similarly extended. Would Corbyn see that as a good or a bad thing, or just as one of the many on which he refuses to express an opinion?

    • RobertRetyred

      For boys, it’s twelve – but, somehow, I don’t think you need to be twelve to marry a nine year old girl.

  • My frequent annoyance is the individual who has some ‘bee in her bonnet’ who likes to keep saying that “the government should do something about it”.
    Very occasionally they are right, but more usually they tend to get quite cross when I interpret their words as “You want this to be done and you believe that everyone should contribute towards it”.
    There are lots of adults, who you think would know better, who still seen to believe that the government has a magic money tree. So I suspect all the talk of government borrowing and deficits goes well over their heads.

  • Nockian

    Unless you are paying tax you shouldn’t have a vote. The Government redistributes wealth and that’s what people are voting on.

    • Philip Meikle

      This! – Any other argument is just trash.

    • JabbaPapa

      Everyone pays taxes.

      You are proposing a distinction that is not grounded in material reality.

      • He’s trying, I think, for something we talk about here, restricting voting to people with a pay more federal tax than receive net federal direct benefit (not including Social Security). It makes a fair amount of sense in the US. Sales taxes are state taxes, not federal, and restricting it to direct benefits, not directly contributed to makes it reasonably fair. I’m not sure how that translates to the UK, probably not overly well. The point is valid though, because we all know that people will always vote to put more money in their own pocket.

        • JabbaPapa

          Thank you for your kind effort, but no — he isn’t.

      • Nockian

        Payroll taxes. Surely I don’t need to be quite that explicit ?

        • JabbaPapa

          So voteworthy income should be restricted to that of payroll taxpayers ???

          You **do** I hope realise that this would amount to a system of institutionalised universal slavery ?

          • Nockian

            That’s exactly what it is. We all work on the tax plantation and we vote to get more/less of someone else’s effort. It follows that only those actually working on the plantation, or those who have worked on it, should have the opportunity to vote.

            I don’t vote, but then I accept that it’s an immoral system and hence I don’t participate in it.

          • JabbaPapa

            We all work on the tax plantation

            hmmmmm, not quite, but it’s cheering to see that you have some knowledge of the history of taxation in the West.

            What you propose actually existed during the so-called “enlightenment” period, and it was eventually scrapped because it mechanically generated a situation of clientelism and deeply entrenched universal corruption, and eventually it simply turned out to be both economically and politically unsustainable, as people fell into situations of political servitude to their tax farmer patrons (who in this day and age would be employers and social service bosses).

            As bad as the present state of affairs might be, it’s still nowhere near as bad as certain situations of the past.

            I don’t vote

            At least you have a choice — I can’t.

  • Kenneth

    The left wing bias in schools and on the BBC means impressionable 16 yr olds don’t stand a chance of having a balance view.

    Yes, it’s exploitation

  • blingmun

    Twenty-five.

    That’s the age trust funds mature because trustees want the money to make a lasting difference to the person’s life, not blown in a couple of years living it up.

    Car insurers charge higher premiums for young people because actuarial data shows that they are far more likely to drive dangerously and make insurance claims.

    The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain which enables us to plan and work toward long term goals. It is the last part of the brain to develop, often as late as the mid-20s.

    • digoridoo

      Interesting point about trust funds, I didn’t know that. Leave it to the clear-eyed money men to identify the best age without any sloppy political motivations.

      Dante’s age of adolescence (period of growth) stretched from infancy to 25. Only after that came the age of youth, till 45. And this from a 12th-century man when life expectancy was half ours.

    • Terry Mushroom

      Can be 18. A will is a trust.

      Although I think 25.

    • JabbaPapa

      I’d actually propose one vote when you’re 18, then count it as two votes after 25.

      Yep — “discrimination” …

  • I’d make it at least 40. And I’m only 36.

    • The_Mocking_Turtle

      And equalise the school leaving and retirement ages to get rid of all those pesky NEETs at a stroke.

    • martianonlooker

      I would go for 55 to 60. That is enough for life experience but 5 years short of dementia setting in.

  • martianonlooker

    Churchill is quoted as saying: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.
    My suspicions are that there are many over 18 that couldn’t tell a voting slip from a Big Mac wrapper.

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    If he voting age is lowered to 16 surely that would disadvantage the Conservative party hugely if a majority of the new younger voters cast their ballots in any local or general election? Number-wise the Conservative party has been failing for years as the party has consistently failed to attract new members. (John Strafford claims less than Conservative membership is now down or below 70,000, which. if true would mean that the Tories are the forth biggest party in the UK after Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrat parties.) Despite desperately wanting and needing to woo younger voters my bet would be that no Tory government will ever lower the voting age to 16 and commit electoral suicide as a result.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Which is why the collective of socialist parties you mention want it to happen.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        In a word: yes. Personally, since you can be elected an MP at 18, that age seems like a sensible voting age to me.

        • Colonel Mustard

          It is ridiculous that someone can be empowered to make laws for others at 18. That should be raised to require an MP to at least have some working life experience, preferably other than being a party wonk.

          But the direction of travel is ever towards politically empowering the young – ironic as people in general are living and working much longer.

    • ale bro

      the conservative party long ago abandoned all attempts at engaging with the youngest generation (except at the universities of oxford and cambridge, hmm i wonder why)

    • ancientpopeye

      You seem to miss the point, one does not have to be a member of a party to vote for that party. UKIP was largely responsible for 17.4 million voting to leave the EU but they certainly did not have that number of members.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        The point is that in the UK it is parties that pay for electoral campaigns (which are noot funded by public monies) and if the Tory party continues to dwindle into next to nothing it will either blink out of existance or look very suspicious and odd when insignificantly small in membership while being kept afloat by donations from foreigners, ex-pats, private business and wealthy business people.

        • CRSM

          Really wealthy business people tend to be left wing. After all, they can afford to be.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Like who for example? J. K. Rowling is the only one I can think of.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Most pop stars, especially those who have good accountants.

    • JohnB

      Let’s face it, nothing can actually save the Conservative Party. It is a walking corpse, unfit for purpose. It chases after left-wing policies every day and still the young and working class despise it and characterise it as the sort of top-hat wearing capitalist that the Soviets would propagandise about.

      It has an image problem of immense proportions and should be killed off so that people young and old, rich and poor, can vote for a new party based on sensible governance without being affected by their ancient prejudices.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        Or change the voting system to encourage a proliferation of new political parties alongside the old with a real chance of having candidates elected to parliament. A democracy with only two parties competing to for the next government is bound to end up unheathy.

        • JohnB

          I’d rather not, PR voting always produces horrible coalitions of nothingness where people become entrenched in government despite their unpopularity.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Then we will plod on forever with only a few choices politically with most of us ending up voting for what we consider to be the least worst option, rather than for someone we admire, agree with and like, or abstaining from the ballot altogether and the current undesirable status quo will be maintained ad infinitum.

          • JohnB

            I’m astounded people vote for things they don’t like frankly. I hate the political parties, all of them, so I don’t vote. If the Tories had properly lost in 2010 then they would have collapsed and a new party could take their place, but for unknown reasons people keep voting tribally instead of using their brains and not voting at all.

            There is some small hope that the Tories will split and a new party can come into being that way, but it should have happened years ago since there was no “least bad option”, both parties in the 2010 election were New Labour.

            PR would not be any better, we would have a load of centrists parties, propped up by parties out on the fringes but with little real influence. Just look at the mess of instability and inaction that European countries get routinely after every single election due to PR.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            If you stand by passively best to bend over quietly and let whoever gets elected have their way with you without complaint.

          • JohnB

            How is it passive? I’m choosing not to vote because there is nothing I wish to vote for. It’s much more passive to keep voting for a zombie political party.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Because if you abstain from the ballot you have tacitly agreed to accept the majority decision made by others and so have no right to complain about whatever happens afterward. If you don’t want to vote for “any of the above” at least go to the polling station and spoil your ballot paper as a protest; spoiled ballot papers are counted and if all the disgruntled vandalised their ballots we would have a better idea of how much disapproval there was for the main parties.

          • JohnB

            I haven’t tacitly agreed to anything and I do spoil my ballot paper.

          • JabbaPapa

            You are Nick Clegg and I claim my £5.

          • Royinsouthwest

            There has been some talk of “modernist” Conservatives breaking away to form a new party, possibly including the few remaining Blairite Labour MPs. Talk of killing two birds with one stone.

    • CRSM

      A party that will raise it to 21 would get my vote.
      Even better if there was some form of property or tax-paying qualification.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        Since you can be elected an MP at 18, I doubt that the voting age could ever be lower than that – which is what it is currently, coincidentally

    • Royinsouthwest

      In the 1950s and 60s the Young Conservatives were one of the largest political organisations in the world, if my memory serves me correctly. Labour had a mass membership too, even if a lot of those members were really members of trade unions affiliated to the part or members of co-operative organisations. Debates at party conferences were real debates, and were not stage managed. During elections candidates would address open public meetings and the more quick witted and eloquent ones would welcome hecklers for the opportunities they provided the candidates to show of their debating skills and demolish opposing arguments.

      All that has changed. The attempt by both main parties to exercise control from the centre has made participation in constituency organisations seem pointless and it is no wonder the Conservatives lack fresh blood. Labour under Corbyn has revitalised its grass roots membership by throwing its doors open to all disaffected trouble makers with its “Trots for a tenner” scheme. (I am not certain if its membership fee is £10 but it is something quite modest). It has worked for Labour because trouble-makers know that Corbyn will listen to them because he is one himself. A similar scheme for Conservatives would be much less successful because people with Conservative values know that Mrs May is not one of them and few people in the upper reaches of the party have been since Cameron became leader.

      • Sean Toddington

        I believe that full Labour party membership is £50 pa, with a reduced rate £25 for retired, unwaged etc. Students pay £3 per year. For the Tories membership is £25 pa, £15 pa if you are in the armed forces, and £5 a year if you are under 23. I assume that the Trots for a tenner business refers to Labour registered supporters rather than members. I don’t think the fees really are the differentiator here.

  • ale bro

    the government can print money so the student was correct in that it doesn’t need to levy taxes to pay for services.

    personally, i think the benefit that 16 year olds receive from gaining the vote outweighs any perceived disadvantage that comes from ignorance. bishops can vote but nobody complains about that!!

    • Terry Mushroom

      Would 16-year-olds benefit from being liable for breaking a contract? Held liable for debt? Being named, appearing in an adult court and sentenced as an adult? Sent to adult prisons? Buying knives, alcohol, tobacco?

      Your remark about bishops voting makes me wonder if you are, indeed, a 16-year-old who has somehow stumbled into a grownups’ website.

      • ale bro

        love the ad hominem, thanks mushroom you sound like a fun guy. 16 year olds already pay taxes, e.g. VAT, so no taxation without representation!

        • JabbaPapa

          sigh, that is NOT an ad hominem.

          Please refrain from any pretenses to understand rhetorical figures of argument if you don’t.

          • ale bro

            ” you are, indeed, a 16-year-old who has somehow stumbled into a grownups’ website.” – pretty sure that is ad hominem. if not, it’s just a general insult

          • JabbaPapa

            Direct insults for the purposes of direct insult do not constitute ad hominem.

            I very much doubt that you have any formal study of Rhetoric.

          • ale bro

            i love standing on the beach with a mouthful of pebbles

          • JabbaPapa

            Whatever floats your boat mate … I love standing in a beach on a mouthful of someone else’s pebbles.

          • ale bro

            I blame Sophocles for this mess

          • ale bro

            i would love to spend time on the beach with pebbles in my mouth, but these days it’s not very practical

        • Terry Mushroom

          Pick any age under 16 where children make purchases and you’ll find they pay VAT too.

        • James60498 .

          So do 15 year olds. And 14 year olds. And 13 year olds. How young do you want to go?

    • JabbaPapa

      the government can print money so the student was correct in that it doesn’t need to levy taxes to pay for services

      That’s a failed Communist/”Socialist” ideology that doesn’t actually function as claimed …

      Money has no intrinsic value, but only a representative one — this was true even when money was represented in such metals as gold, silver, and copper.

      That it is currently defined as the representation of credit versus debit does not alter the fact that it is accepted because it relates to some meaningful values for living people — not abstract ideologies.

      Your naïveté and clear ignorance BTW are tediously unpleasant in principle.

      • ale bro

        failed socialism lol – we all live in a socialist state, e.g. the cost of fire insurance, policing, some education, and the military have already been socialised, and that will never be reversed.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Actually the government has been creating money by fiat ever since the financial crisis that started in 2008. The banks get the money, to stop them failing, and they lend it to the government. You don’t want the NHS to collapse do you, at least not when you or any of your relations need hospital treatment?

        • JabbaPapa

          Actually the government has been creating money by fiat ever since the financial crisis that started in 2008

          For far longer than that, and it’s being going on ever since Banks have been authorised to lend more than the total sum of their deposits. The multiplier of those deposits that they’re allowed to lend (i.e. lending non-existent capital, therefore creating money out of thin air) has been increasing non-stop for many decades.

          Nothing like this was possible under the gold standard, but that created problems of its own …

  • JabbaPapa

    I’ve never paid a penny of income tax in my life, and have never broken any laws by not doing so (though a couple of my situations in the 1990s were technically arcane, and involved accidental attachment to three Nation States simultaneously plus sundry errors by the EEC) …

    BUT, quite simply, everyone pays taxes, and especially through VAT which is unavoidable, and also IMO the fairest of all taxes.

    Even the homeless beggar in the street is a man who contributes a portion of his personal income via taxation to the benefit of the State and of his fellow citizens.

    • UKCitizen

      I would be happy to remove income tax and push it all to consumption tax. Most income taxes are fairly recent and most were introduced as temporary measures (yeah right!).
      That would be far fairer and then I would not have an issue with universal suffrage adult citizens.

    • The_Mocking_Turtle

      Mark 12:17

  • hugodegauche

    Remember leftism is based on exploitation. The “workers” in their mind are a mass of rootless humanity who they can conveniently use to justify stealing your money, The left cares not a jot about any actual workers otherwise they would not be promoting open borders. Similarly children are their to be used as voting fodder using emotional exploitation. Many on the left would give the votes to 5 year olds. They would use some ‘fairness’ argument – as if fairness means doing something stupid and injurious to the majority. The Left want to send everyone to university – in effect then destroying the role of university in working class mobility. The Left want to keep the poor in their place – passive victims in hock to the State – run by the left. Children will not get any of this. I was a lefty when I was 15. In the same way when I was 15 I used to chuck apples at passing cars. At that age people are still finding themselves and as part of that will make many mistakes. The Left know that for sure and will use it to their advantage. If they can keep on persauding new generation of kids to vote for them they will be able to achieve their aims without ever having to formulate an adult argument (which they cannot do in any case)

  • Little Black Censored

    It is quite common to read of a certain category of people being “denied the vote”, and that doesn’t mean people in prison. A tricky use of language.

  • derek

    21 and a taxpaying qualification of some sort. It is always about the money so only the people contributing that money should have a say. You are always free to get with the programme if you feel disenfranchised.

  • Richard Parry

    I had served two years in the Police Force before I was able to vote. During that time I was required to undertake supervision duties at a General Election. Didn’t bother me at the time.

    • JabbaPapa

      I admire that good sense.

    • Lamia

      I didn’t get to vote in a General Election until I was 21. I managed. If I had voted at

      16 I would just have been recycling the views of people around me.

  • Mill House

    Anyone supporting the right of 16 and 17 year olds to vote at elections should also be supportive of those age groups going to war and dying for their country but it is highly unlikely that they would support such a proposal.

    If you’re old enough to die for your country then without a doubt you have the right to vote. But if you’re not old enough to die in a war then you should not have the right to vote. The current voting age of 18 is quite young enough.

    • Colonel Mustard

      16 year old girls on their way to join ISIS were apparently “vunerable” children and not responsible for their actions so all this is the usual left wing double standards tripe.

      • Hibernating Dormouse

        Very good point, Colonel.

    • MikePage

      Yes but service personnel tend to lean right. Can you see a Momentum goon joining up?

      • P_S_W

        I’m not sure Momentum types would be able to survive the environment and black humour.

    • Barry Guevara

      You can join the Army at 16.

      • C McKinnon

        But not deployed into combat until 18.

      • P_S_W

        That isn’t man service.

  • DAWWolds

    I have considerable experience of working with people in career change situations. Many of my clients were graduates in their mid to late 20’s who had decided that the career they had entered on leaving university was not for them. During in-depth discussions with them it became very clear that they were starting to move towards something approaching maturity. Indeed one young, and well educated, woman actually said to me: “I’m just beginning to think about doing grown up things”. She was 30 years old.

    From this experience my guess is that young people begin to move towards maturity somewhere between the ages of 26 and 34. In other words when they began to develop self-knowledge and an understanding of the world around them and how they fit into it.

    On that basis, ,my view is that there is considerable evidence for putting the voting age up to, at least, 25 rather than reducing it to 16.

    • JabbaPapa

      Professionally, starting Univ when I was 29 was an unmitigated disaster moving onwards (well, apart from the couple of years I was able to spend surviving professionally from my writing alone — until family issues kicked in and (I think) permanently killed it for me), but intellectually ?

      2nd best decision I ever made.

  • aintnolibtard

    Just give 16 year olds the vote and get them engaged in politics. They won’t all be leftards.

    It is almost as if the right are scared to try and win over younger voters.

    Maybe it would force the right to do something about the real concerns of young people. Like, will I ever be able to buy a house; how can I afford an education; where will I find a job?

    Alternatively, the right can just bury their heads in the sand and let Jezza bribe the yoof with free stuff.

    • Mill House

      Yes but at the moment at least he cannot bribe 16 and 17 years old with free stuff.

      • aintnolibtard

        Labour will be more likely to pick up the votes of 16 and 17 years olds five years later if they miss the cut and feel that they were denied a vote on issues which they feel impacted on their life.

        You either believe in democracy or you don’t. The right look like cowardly weasels on this issue.

        The right need to come up with policies that will help young people with the things they are concerned about, instead they take their ball away and leave the field like cowards.

        You can’t blame young people for going full Jezza if the right effectively tells them to ‘get stuffed, we know better than you and we don’t care and don’t want to hear about the issues you are concerned about’.

        Great strategy righties!

        • Mill House

          If 16 & 17 year olds become old enough to vote then they can also become old enough to go to war to fight and perhaps die for their country.

          • Jim

            The argument is about knowledge and awareness, not getting children killed.

          • Mill House

            I wasn’t having an argument – just positing that children of 16 & 17 years of age should not have the vote if they are considered too young to fight in a war.

            Adults should have the vote and adults should be considered old enough to fight for their country.

          • aintnolibtard

            The argument is about democratic engagement. Plenty of adults still voted for Jezza. Should we also deny they the vote because we don’t like or agree with their opinions.

          • aintnolibtard

            My grandfather was 15 when he (and his mates) signed up for WW2.

          • Mill House

            But they did not sign up legally and in those days there were not the checks that would be expected today.

          • aintnolibtard

            It might not have been legal but the army knew full well they were 15. They needed the people and they took them.

            My grandfather simply said that they all knew their responsibility (even at 15) and that all signed up to fight for their country.

          • Mill House

            Yes and once upon a time we used to stick little kids up chimneys to clean them but that doesn’t mean it was right and neither does knowingly taking 15 year old children into the army make that right.

            Are you suggesting that 15 year olds nowadays should be allowed to sign up for the army and possibly fight for their country ? If not and you think it would be wrong now then it was obviously wrong back in World War II.

          • JabbaPapa

            Are you suggesting that 15 year olds nowadays should be allowed to sign up for the army and possibly fight for their country ?

            We’re not “nowadays” in the midst of a major war with a powerful neighbouring European country.

          • Mill House

            Thanks for stating the bleeding obvious – but we might be in the future so will it then be OK to recruit 15 year olds ?

          • JabbaPapa

            I don’t know, as my stupid pseudodragon familiar broke my crystal ball by accident, and someone stole my TARDIS.

          • Mill House

            If you don’t know the answer to my question it’s more likely he broke your moral compass.

          • JabbaPapa

            LOL, giving you a +1 for the joke.

          • Mill House

            Thank you – we should never take ourselves too seriously on here a la John Lindsay.

          • aintnolibtard

            No. I am suggesting that 16 years olds are old enough to participate in democracy.

          • JabbaPapa

            Well, you’re wrong.

          • Mill House

            I am suggesting they are not. At 18 you can join the armed forces and are deemed old enough to take part in armed conflict and that is where the line should be drawn with the age for voting. A 16 year old is not allowed to marry without parental consent.

            If the voting age was lowered to 16 how long would it be before the lefty scumbags would be demanding it be lowered to 15, 14, 13 – where would it end – the womb ? ! The left don’t care about the young, they just want to manipulate them in their quest for power.

            It is only the left who want the voting age lowered because they see and hope it would be to their advantage.

          • aintnolibtard

            You think the line should be drawn at fighting age. I totally disagree.

            If we ever have another situation of total war and we were on the back foot (like we were against the Germany in the second worlds war) we both know the 16 years olds would again be asked to fight and I am also still sure that they would join the army and start training to protect this country.

            Why you’re fascinated by the army and whether someone can fight for their country is beyond me. Most women will never be able to fight for their country on the front line. Maybe we should also deny the vote to women who are not strong enough to fight on the front line!

            The way things are anyone just under 18 years of age at the time of a general election could end up paying just short of five years of tax before they ever get a chance to vote against the dipshits that are taking their money and wasting it (think useless slimy Tories and their precious foreign aid budget). To me, that’s way too long.

            In my humble opinion, if you are technically old enough to create the next generation you should be old enough to vote.

          • Mill House

            For Your Iinformation – 16 year olds were not asked to fight in World War II as well you know so please stop disseminating and they would not be asked to fight in another war.

            Even so if there was another war in Europe it would be nothing like World War II, probably little combat for the infantry – it would be all about bombs and missiles and if it went nuclear then it’s game over for all of us and the infantry would be about as much use as a one-legged man at an a rse kicking party.

            As far as old enough to create the next generation then let’s give the vote to 12 and 13 year olds then but 16 year olds getting the vote isn’t going to happen unless, God forbid, the Marxists masquerading as the Labour Party came into government.

            There is no doubt that Corbyn, McDonnell and their acolytes would dearly love to turn this country into a one party state where the voting age would be immaterial and the military would then become our only hope of salvation.
            You advocate 16 years old getting the vote but do you also support their right to get married without parental consent ?

          • aintnolibtard

            Nope. No doubt you also believe that age of consent should be raised to 18; or perhaps 35 when people become ‘proper’ adults.

          • Mill House

            Now you’re just being childish whereas up to now we seemed to be having a reasonable discussion even if we disagreed with each other.

            I can only assume you are not yet 18. Bye.

          • aintnolibtard

            I am only under 18 for the purposes of my asylum claim, which I am sure Amber Rudderless will be very diligent in not checking. If only I had the wisdom of all the old people then I could also vote for politicians of such exceptional talent.

            I suppose we might have had a reasonable discussion if you hadn’t decided to conflate my opinion that 16 years olds should be given the vote with an argument that 13 years olds or even 12 years olds should be given the vote. That’s when things got childish!

            The article was about whether or not ‘16 year olds’ should be allowed to vote.

            Many 16 year olds will not vote the way the left seems to think once they are in the privacy of a voting booth. If you listen to some of the non PC jokes that teenagers are telling these days you would realise that they’re not all lefties. Most teenagers will probably actually have views that are similar to their parents political views by the time they reach sixteen.

        • James60498 .

          So why not 14 year olds then?

        • P_S_W

          If they would vote at 21 in a fit of pique because they felt they missed out at 16 then the decision to withhold the vote from them was the right one.

          • aintnolibtard

            Everyone votes in their own self interest, let’s not be naive and pretend otherwise. You think all those unionised corbynistas are voting for the good of the country!

    • JabbaPapa

      You’re delusional

      • aintnolibtard

        Why? Because, I believe that it is highly unlikely that 99.9% of 16 and 17 years olds will be leftards?

        Either way there is next to no difference between Labour and the Conservatives. They are all the same same bunch of useless dipshits. David Cameron delivered gay marriage, Sharesa May is now delivering on the diversity quota.

        Maybe it is the senile gullible old fools who keep repeatedly voting Tory that should not be trusted with the vote? I mean Labour would do well to give away and waste more of our taxes than Sharesa does.

        • JabbaPapa

          No, because you imagine that 16 year olds have “real concerns”.

          I do not disagree with your other positions.

    • David davis

      The problem is that socialism will “just tell -’em” that they _have a right to a house and a job_, and they _Will Buy The Message_ . I know. I teach them, and they think I am a moron for denying that.

      • Barry Guevara

        Or, my favoured option, you could just have a one party state.

        • MikePage

          The Soros Option.

          • Barry Guevara

            Well, no. You just have the Tories in power forever and do away with the faff of elections.

    • MikePage

      The story of the human race is one of falling for lies. You can’t win that one. Corbyn wins that one.

      Either come up with a better lie or a better voter.

      • Jim

        or a better Media.

    • C McKinnon

      Free stuff works for the SNP.

      • Jim

        Only if the English pay for it.

  • Father MacQuire

    When the voting age was 21 people generally left school at 14, so had 7 years of working and paying taxes etc. before being allowed to cast a vote.

    To make the voting age 16 when children don’t leave school for another 2 years is blatant gerrymandering by left wing parties.

  • MrVeryAngry

    I was in the first cadre of 18 year old voters.
    Luckily my dad was in business and I had an enlightened economics teacher, so I knew where ‘government’ money came from.

    Mind you with a choice between Ted heath and Harold Wilson I was hardly given a low tax low spend small government option.

  • MikePage

    It’s getting worse. When I was a kid, my friends and I couldn’t wait to get started on adult life. But kids these days express an open fear of responsibility, and rejoice in their freedom from it. Many of them won’t begin “adulting” until they’re nearly 30!

    • Barry Guevara

      Is adulting so great? If so, why?

      • MikePage

        QED.

        • Barry Guevara

          I’ve been an adult for a number of years, and it seems to have nothing at all to commend it.

          • MikePage

            You’re making my point very well for me.

          • Barry Guevara

            Again, if you have any positives to being an adult, do tell me what they are.

          • Barry, you need to read his original post again. But I fear you will still fail to grasp why you are doing the debating equivalent to “hitting yourself”

          • I don’t think he understands – I don’t know if it is because he is just desperate to oppose you, that he doesn’t think.

          • Greenlander

            You can go to bed when you want.

          • Barry Guevara

            Not if you have a job.

    • There is a growing list of ailments linked to it too. ADHD, Dyslexia, anxiety disorders, mood disorders… Anyone can mimic the “symptoms” of these to avoid “adulting”

  • Patrick Selden

    Lower the voting age to sixteen? I know it’s anecdotal, but based on what I was like at that age, plus my years of experience working with young people, I think instead that there’s a very good argument for raising it up to thirty.

  • Barry Guevara

    You could equally say ‘you’re old, you’re afraid and Dr Alzheimer’s is knocking on the door so you shouldn’t vote either.’

    • Greenlander

      Sixteen year old’s get afraid and are subject to mental problems too.

  • David davis

    Another idea is to move the voting age to 31 or 32, to just make sure. For both Genders, and indeed for any other imaginary ones. By then, people will have had a little rain fall into their lives, and as we all know, The Facts Of Life Are Conservative. Also, fixed-property-ownership will be a pre-requisite for the Franchise. Otherwise, what can you tax?

  • Hibernating Dormouse

    Someone should be old enough to be paying tax before they can vote.

    • No representation without taxation!

    • Greenlander

      If they have bought a burger with their pocket money they have paid a tax. If you mean income tax, say income tax.

  • CaptainRight

    No vote until you have worked in the private sector for at least 5 years… with the exception of true frontline public sector workers (army, police, doctors…)

    • Barry Guevara

      You should also be allowed to sell your vote or remove your name from the electoral register in exchange for tax concessions.

    • I’d rather that rule applied to parliamentary candidates!

      • Royinsouthwest

        They would get around that rule by registering all lobbying organisations as private companies, even if they were set up by “charities”, “human rights” campaigners, “ambulance chasing” legal firms, trade unions or private firms in receipt of large government contracts.

  • All the various age related events should have the same starting age. Voting, drinking, smoking, driving, getting married, adult criminality should all have a common starting age. If you have the mental capability of making a decision on a major matter like electing an MP, surely you have the mental capacity to decide whether you should, say, smoke as well as being aware of the penalties for committing a crime as an adult. There is no logic for any other age arrangement.

    • JabbaPapa

      All the various age related events should have the same starting age

      Sorry, but that’s just naïve.

      • I’m not so sure. I know the right to vote is taken rather casually these days, but people have fought for this right as it is considered one of the most important rights in any country. In order to exercise this right one has to be of a certain age where it is believed that you have the intellect to make an informed decision.
        If you can make an informed decision on voting why can’t you make a similarly informed decision on smoking or any other lesser aspects of life? If you can’t understand the arguments against smoking or committing a crime, how can it possibly be claimed that you are fit to contribute towards a decision on running the country?

        • JabbaPapa

          Because it is false to claim that understanding of various things does not commence at various ages.

          • If you had the voting age less than that for other things, it would be easy to temp youngsters with promises like “I support driving at 16” or “I support drinking alcohol in pubs at 16”. Many youngsters would be far more interested in going for a drink than understanding that the party involved might be suggesting, say, massive borrowing.
            The age of voting needs, if anything, to be higher than all the age restricted activities.

          • JabbaPapa

            I started drinking in pubs when I was 9, but even now when I am 53 I’ve still never been enfranchised with a right to vote.

            And crikey, I’ve certainly no desire to go and reside in the UK for any period lengthy enough to establish that right !!

            We used to say the country was going to the dogs — my impression of it nowadays is that it’s just one great big woof-woof.

          • Depends on which part of the media you believe and where in the country you live.

          • JabbaPapa

            and where in the country you live

            Yes, I’m still aware of that — even some parts of Kent are still well provisioned in traditional Englishness, which was rather a surprise to me when I stumbled into them once or twice by accident.

        • Barry Guevara

          I think you should be allowed to sell your vote or to remove your name from the electoral register in return for certain tax concessions.

          • Clearly you wouldn’t approve of the Australian system where voting is compulsory and you can be fined if you don’t vote!

          • Barry Guevara

            How much is the fine?

          • No idea. When I worked near Aldwych I remember the queue outside Australia House to vote and I asked why they bothered and was told they get fined if they don’t, even when they are abroad. But the are allowed to return a blank or otherwise invalid ballot.

  • David Kane

    Our Children have been brainwashed by state schools to accept the biggest lie ever told by the Left, that mass immigration is good for the country and that Muslim immigration is no different from non Muslim immigration. This insanity is also accepted by our so called Conservative politicians and it is killing our nation, and not just our nation. We have a Muslim gang rape epidemic going on across Britain while Muslim migrants continue to pour in, where’s the “real anger” for the child victims in Newcastle, Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Manchester and on and on. yet no politician will ask the question we all want to know the answer to, why are we continuing to import Muslim rapists and murderers? Anyone ever been to Ireland recently? Thanks to the Muslim immigration being adopted there lock stock and smoking EU barrel you don’t need to worry about the old “Troubles” anymore , they have imported much much worse. On January 4 , after another stabbing the now diversified Irish police issued the following statement: “A 24-year-old man has died and two others were wounded in a stabbing incident in Dundalk. The first incident happened on Avenue Road at around 9am, where the victim, who was from Japan and had been living in Ireland for the past year, was attacked on the street and stabbed in the back. He died at the scene.” So, Happy New Year, but no names of the alleged culprit. Turns out the slayer of this particular poor Japanese infidel is called Mohammed Morei, a Syrian or maybe an Egyptian national, no one knows, least of all the authorities but he’s still living in Ireland, on benefits. Japan, of course , has no Islamic terrorism due to the fact they allow no Muslim immigration but our people are expendable apparently, in the name of diversity. This is becoming a crisis, but one none of our politicians care to acknowledge, and Ramadan is rapidly approaching (read: “2030: Your Children’s Future in Islamic Britain” by David Vincent, Amazon and Kindle).

    • John Smith

      Blair’s indiscriminate immigration has landed this country in a problem it may now not escape

      We are all collateral damage now

      • evad666

        Blairs country estate should be seized by the state.

        • C McKinnon

          Blair should be seized by the throat.

          • Harley Quin

            Blair’s towering self esteem is matched only by his total lack of common sense.

        • John Smith

          More facing a war crimes tribunal in the Hague

        • TANFIELD

          and then executed by hanging !!

          • Barry Guevara

            You can’t hang a country estate. It’d go all floppy.

  • evad666

    Everyone over the age of five should be given the Vote.

  • Anna Goggins

    True but the argument there, is there’s lots of 19-100 year olds who are too gullible to vote

  • Richard Brady

    Entrenched Labour voters too !!

  • PierrePendre

    The minimum voting age in Scotland is already 16 in Scottish parliamentary and local elections which creates an anomaly. A 16-year-old can vote for his MSP but not for his MP which cannot be logically justified unless one wants to argue that Westminster is more important than Holyrood. Dave legalised same-sex marriage to prevent Labour getting the credit for doing so. Don’t count on Theresa or another Tory PM not lowering the voting age for the same reason. It’s probably unstoppable under either party regardless of the fitness of 16-year-olds to vote. Conservatives fear they have more to lose by the reduction but it was already in force for the last Scottish parliamentary election at which the Tories made gains.

    • JabbaPapa

      A 16-year-old can vote for his MSP

      And My !! look how well that’s turned out then …

  • Big Les

    “What is shameful is that politicians should be seeking to exploit the
    unworldliness and gullibility of the young in events as important as
    General Elections….”…..

    …… and let’s not forget of course that was the tactic used by Alex Salmond to hijack the Scots’ Indy Referendum. Fortunately there are a lot of canny Scots who appreciated the full implication.