I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Howard
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Howard » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:06 am

I can't speak for all young people (any more than others here can) but my son (aged 23) and his friends are very concerned about politics in the UK. They are especially aware that their futures are being destablised by older men in positions of power. They are very conscious that with an
ERG heavy Cabinet after this election the most likely outcome is that we drift into no deal at the end of the transition period as Tories have stated that there will be no extension beyond December 2020. So, the "no-dealers" just sit tight for 12 months and have achieved their objective.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:20 am

Keltz wrote:...I doubt there was too much interest in leaving the EU 5 years ago but now everyone has an opinion on it. Young people are much more free thinking and should be encouraged to have their say.


Before Cameron decided to hold a referendum the EU never appeared in the top ten issues concerning people in polls. Immigration did always appear but it is a complex issue. When talking about immigration people conflate many different issues under a single label, e.g. legal immigration from the EU, legal immigration from non-EU countries and illegal immigration/asylum seeking/refugees. The concerns themselves are also quite varied and often misunderstood, e.g. benefits, housing, schooling, healthcare, suppression of wages, different cultures and simple fear of the "different". A significant part of the population hold beliefs on these issues that are demonstrably factually wrong but the views persist, are encouraged by politicians where they fit their agenda and influence voting patterns.

"The young" are a very disparate group of people. Here I am talking about people under 18. Some are "free thinking" while some don't think at all and some are very easily persuaded by the thoughts of others. Some are very engaged with politics but I suspect the majority are not. It wouldn't surprise me if those in public schools and grammar schools are more engaged than those in a sink school in a deprived area, although I have no figures to support that view. Most people in politics who favour reducing the voting age do so because they think they will gain some advantage from it while others who oppose it do so because they think they will lose some advantage. I am not sure there is a rational way to decide what the voting age should be. When I was young the majority of young people left school, started work at 16 and hence started paying taxes. On the principle of "no taxation without representation" you could argue that the voting age should have been 16 back then. While formally the school leaving age is still 16 there are a lot of rules that impose other conditions which mean that the majority no longer start work and paying taxes at 16. The rules also vary among the four countries of the union so changing to 16 on the taxation basis is not as clear cut.

The programmes listed by Kamisiana, Maud, basically consist of socially inadequate people allowing themselves to be forced to perform demeaning and degrading acts, in the hope of becoming celebrities, for the "entertainment" of other socially inadequate people, who gain pleasure from watching. A bit like the coliseum in ancient Rome except they don't normally get to die, apart from those who find it so demeaning and degrading that they kill themselves afterwards. Some programmes attempt to see how far they can push the barrier between what most people call acceptable behaviour and hard core pornography. Some involve Z list celebrities and has-beens trying to boost/regain their ratings. Many years ago I was "forced" to watch one of them every night for a week when I was staying with a relative who had to get their daily fix. I suppose I could have gone to bed early and read a book but it would have been rather churlish. To be fair some do involve people with talent but even there the entertainment value seems to come mainly from demeaning and degrading the ones that don't rather than appreciating the ones that do.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:36 pm

Thanks for the explanation Warwick. - The thought of watching such a programme makes me cringe! I hate watching anyone make a fool of themselves in any situation, let alone for ‘entertainment.’ Being a comedian is one thing, but a reality show....!

Check back in the thread Howard you will see that Keltz and I were referring to teenagers getting interested in politics, rather than people in their 20’s. I think your son.....along with my own two offspring and their friends.......are all politically aware. I also have some insight in to the minds of teenagers, as although I am now retired, I spent my working life teaching 11 to 18 year olds. I have never taught in the private system, but have worked in comprehensives, secondary modern and grammar schools. Although I have no statistics to support Warwick’s comment, my experience tells me that certainly grammar school pupils, (in general), are more aware of politics than other students. They often have a syllabus that is ‘broader’ for non core subjects. This is because children learn at different speeds, and those that need more help in basic subjects do not have the time to ‘expand’ in to other areas. Other children learn quickly and get bored unless you occupy their minds, so they are the ones who benefit from extra studies in subjects such as PPE, - studied during a PSE etc timetable.

It is important that ALL youngsters have the opportunity to learn about politics. The problem is that not all schools have the time to teach it in their non core subjects. I go back to my original comment about Greek families discussing politics over family meals etc. In Greece it is a way of life......probably due to their recent turbulent past. In the U.K. I would even question what percentage of families sit down together as a family to eat these days? We all have a responsibility towards helping children understand politics and government....both at home and at school.

Finally, I have just watched a programme about the election on the BBC. A group of guests from across the country were invited in to the studio to discuss it. Their views were diverse, but what astonished me was that some of them did not know who any of the Party Leaders were, apart from Corbin and Johnson. These are people who had volunteered to go on national tv and talk about politics! - People who are going to be deciding the UK’s future in a few weeks time! I don’t think there is any argument to stop well informed teenagers voting, when there are adults who can vote and don’t even know who the party leaders are! Nothing is perfect, and I know teenagers are influenced by peers and parents, but there are also those out there that are very politically motivated and informed by their teens. - William Hague....like him or hate him.....is an example!

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:07 pm

Maud wrote:... but there are also those out there that are very politically motivated and informed by their teens. - William Hague....like him or hate him.....is an example!


I wouldn't dare to suggest that Harry Enfield's "Tory Boy" character might have been based on Hague? His speech to the Tory Party Conference has some interesting comments that resonate with claims made about Brexit, the intentions of Corbyn and the adulation of their leader by the tory party faithful. today. Harry Enfield's Yerp Speech also gives a graphic argument for staying in the EU, warts and all.

My maternal grandmother was very active in politics, Maud, being in the Townswomen's Guild, I think chairwoman at one point, the Cooperative movement and the Socialist movement. Unfortunately she died when I was 4 so I can't really remember her. I wished she had lived into my teens so I could have talked to her about the people she had met in the 20s, 30s and 40s. I think she met Gandhi when he visited the UK in the 30s but I am not certain. As a teenager my mother was made to help cater at the various political gatherings her mother hosted so she detested politics and had no interest in it at all. As a teenager I was more inclined to the Liberal Party rather than Labour. They always seemed more interested in people and local issues rather than grandiose schemes and ideology. I think Hugh Gaitskell, John Smith or Jo Grimmond would have all made better PMs than any of today's crop.

Warwick

bobscott
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby bobscott » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:40 am

John Smith in particular! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:19 am

A personal, anecdotal, reflection on young people’s engagement in politics.

My daughters (14 and 13) were born in Netherlands and Kenya respectively- we lived in Africa for 8 years as a family - and we homeschooled then in Crete for a year where they learned Greek. They now go to a grammar school and get a great education. Last week my elder daughter had a German exchange student for a week (who was great to have around) and she has a return visit in June. In between times, she is in Brussels (for an Economics trip), Berlin (for a History trip), and Thailand (for a Textiles trip - surely they could go to Lancashire for this, but anyway). And we are in Crete for Christmas. She was at the local climate change meeting in town where the ranks were swelled by 100 students from Cheltenham Ladies College. Both daughters are very aware of what is going on in the World and are worried about their future being decided by old people like me. They had debates at junior school about the EU referendum and a mock election.

They may have travelled more than average, but it’s not so unusual- I didn’t get on a plane until I was 17. They also have much greater access to news and views through the internet. The point being they have a far different experience of the World from me than I did from my parents.

As a result they have wider views on politics than most of my peers at their age (I was the exception - a sad geek who got excited by being given a board game called ‘Election’ for my 11th birthday; you can Google it if you don’t believe me - regrettably none of my friends wanted to play it with me).

That doesn’t mean they are right or have all the solutions, but it’s interesting and fun to talk to them and get a different perspective- recommended, if you can get them away from their IPhones.

.

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:02 pm

It goes back to my argument Guy that children that are interested in politics, climate change, social issues etc are the ones that would vote in their teens. The ones that are not won’t bother to make the trip to the polling station.

The comment has been made above that some teenagers would vote according to their peer group or parental influence. This might be the case, but nothing is perfect! (And perhaps they would be getting good advice anyway?). I strongly believe teenagers should be encouraged to take a broader view on life........beyond their own communities and friendships. I think this is starting to happen with climate change and other world affairs. - Agree with her or not.....Greta Thunberg is a good example for her generation.

The future of this planet lies in the hands of the young people of today. Politics and climate change are inextricably linked, and as such, youngsters should have a say in such matters.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:57 pm

Aren't adults also influenced by their peer group? Also by their parents although perhaps that influence caused them to do the opposite. It is still an influence.

I have some reservations when it comes to Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion. I applaud the fact that she/they is/are raising the profile of the issue and I admire the way that she is not cowed by authority figures, at least in part because they clearly don't like it. I think the demand to reduce global greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2025, however, is not achievable. I totally agree with the idea of acting now and in a far greater way than is happening but we still have to be realistic. If people see that the demand is not realistic they will ignore it altogether which defeats their whole objective of accelerating action.

I also think that some claims are being misinterpreted in a way that undermines their mission. Many people are interpreting claims that "if we don't act within x years humanity will be wiped out" as "climate change will wipe out humanity in x years". The figure x varies depending on who is making the statement. Clearly the two statements are not synonymous but many people treat them as if they are. If it is clear that humanity will not be wiped out in x years, and I think it is, then again people ignore the whole concept. Climate change can become irreversible if it passes a tipping point, which is the reason for the claim that action is needed within x years. Even if it passes that tipping point it will still be many more years before humanity is wiped out but it will then become inevitable. That message needs to be much clearer.

Finally some of the actions of Extinction Rebellion are counter productive. I don't have a problem with peaceful protest and the fact that it inconveniences some people is part of the game. If your aim, however, is to get more people onto public transport like trains or the underground then it doesn't help to disrupt trains and the underground. Such actions will cause some people who might have been sympathetic to simply dismiss them as a pack of idiots.

Warwick

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:16 pm

Kilkis wrote:Aren't adults also influenced by their peer group? Also by their parents although perhaps that influence caused them to do the opposite. It is still an influence.

Warwick


Well I was certainly influenced by my mother. When I was young she told me in no uncertain terms that if I ever voted for a certain party I would be disinherited. A large incentive. She died 23 years ago and I still don’t dare disobey her.

Maud
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Maud » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:20 am

I agree with you Warwick, which is why I was confused by the comment made earlier about youngsters being influenced by their peer groups and parents. Surely that is a fact of life? It happens at all ages.....and for ever in Guy’s case!

I hope you got your inheritance Guy? If you need any help spending it please let me know!

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:40 am

Maud wrote: I hope you got your inheritance Guy?


Got it, spent it. Fear of extravagance was not a virtue my mother instilled into me - far from it in fact. :D

Kookla
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kookla » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:01 am

I am again reading your posts and agreeing with the main points. ( Especially John Smith!) Also Maud I do think that we are shaped by our parents and peers to a degree. Also by location. We moved from the north to Surrey when I was 7, and I remember being in tears after school,trying to argue that there is no ‘r’ in pass, after being tormented for my dialect.My father was very forward thinking, my mother more conservative.(Big ‘C’ and small ‘c’)Growing up as a child in the 70s we had The Times, Observer, and Daily Express delivered. I remember many times where I would read an article in one of the papers and try to fathom how another portrayed so differently, when on the same topic. I believe I was extremely fortunate to have parents who encouraged my brother and I to explore and make our own decisions, without their own political bias. If I had a question for them, rather than give a direct answer of black or white, or yes or no, we were often told ‘but what if...) and open up more avenues of objective thought and debate. We obviously didn’t have internet ( dad was Mr Google). We were also encouraged to read, for which I am very grateful. To this day I still like to have two books on the go one fiction and one factual. I remember at about 11or 12 reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (again) and Edward de Bono. I think today’s youth are more aware politically, but that immediate generation after me, not. Incidentally my parents never had a cross word, yet they were poles apart politically.

Kilkis
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kilkis » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:45 am

When I was young I used to hate people who took the Sunday Times and the Observer. Nothing to do with their politics - just their weight and the fact that they wouldn't fit through most standard letter boxes. Anybody who took both were the scum of the Earth as far as I was concerned. I became a pragmatist at a very early age.

Warwick

Kookla
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Kookla » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:51 am

Valid point Warwick. During the school holidays, I had a paper-round too! I quickly decided working inside the newsagents was better choice, with the temptation of sweeties by the 1/4!

Guy M
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Re: I smelled a rat, and I found a rat

Postby Guy M » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:53 pm

Don't just teach your students to read.
• Teach them to question what they read, what they study.
• Teach them to doubt.
• Teach them to think.
• Teach them to make mistakes and learn from them.
• Teach them how to understand something.
• Teach them how to teach others.

Richard Feynman


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