Monday, 24 April 2017
The airwaves are alight with alarm as influencers of opinion try to peddle an imaginary resurgence of nasty, xenophobic, right-wing ‘populism’. The language of broadcast media paints right-of-centre ideals - independence, self-determination, thrift, small-c-conservatism, decency, tolerance and sober patriotism – as being spawned from a hatred of some out-group or other. But the left-wing principles of authoritarian government, big state interference in the minutiae of everyday life and unsustainable profligacy in public spending are given a free pass as the desirable status quo.
Following round one of the French presidential elections, Macron is hailed as a ‘centrist’ while Marine Le Pen is vilified as being ‘far-right’ when in fact she actually represents a huge proportion of the electorate in mistrusting the ambitions and means of globalist socialism. If you want extreme politics you need look no further than the unbelievably naïve, schoolboy Marxist politics of the British left wing whose fantasies, as espoused by Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott, Farron, Lucas et al, are becoming more unhinged and intemperate with each passing day.
But, of course, the easy passing of the magic wand over all your problems is far more appealing than the dull, grey truth that your life is your business and it’s up to you to make something of it. Who wants to hear that it’s uphill all the way when there is an alternative narrative that suggests you can coast your way through life and let somebody else ensure your passage is unimpeded? Ask your children what they would prefer; sitting in rows, paying attention and putting in real effort to learn, or playing with the glittering toys of educational technology and supposedly absorbing knowledge without breaking a sweat.
We define adulthood as the point at which we accept responsibility. In the UK this is nominally at eighteen but the behaviour of many supposed adults gives the lie to that arbitrary designation; those calling for votes for sixteen-year olds, for instance. Because, they say, they will have to live with those decisions for the rest of their lives. Firstly, that is utterly ridiculous because the opportunity to change our government comes every five years; even if you’re only 13 this June you will have the opportunity to have your say at the next general election... if you can remember then what your current opinion is.
But, but, but, they say, at sixteen you can join the army, or get married. Yes you can, with the permission of your parents. But, they splutter, if you are considered responsible enough to carry a gun, or become a parent... Woah there, boy, in the forces you follow orders and who in their right mind would encourage breeding before you have anything to offer your child, before you have experienced anything of life? And besides, the oft-repeated advice ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure’ didn’t spring from thin air. The argument that the vote of 16-year olds is as valid as 86-year olds could only possibly come from a 16-year old... or somebody who wants their uninformed mandate.
Those who want to milk the young for their consent haven’t really thought it through have they? Where would you be now if you had been forced to live your life according to your world view as a child? The simple fact of human longevity means that, barring some bizarre explosion in fertility rates, there will always be more ‘old’ people than there will be under-twenties. John Major whined about the tyranny of the majority; would he prefer the tyranny of the juvenile minority instead? Give young people the vote? You must think we were born yesterday...