Sunday, 13 March 2016

My week ahead, 14 - 19 March 2016

Monday 14 March – 3pm, Visit to Ipswich Gymnastics Centre
4pm, Culture Portfolio briefing
6pm, Labour Group campaigning

Tuesday 15 March – 5pm, Early Warning Group

Thursday 17 March – 6pm North East Ipswich Partnership Working Group
7pm – North East Ipswich Area Committee

Saturday 19 March – 10am, Labour campaigning in North West Ipswich

We are now into dual campaign mode, with important local elections in May followed by even more important referendum on our continued membership of the EU.

There is no doubt in my mind the result in June will be close – and I wonder if Cameron made a serious error in not supporting the introduction of voting at 16. Like Cameron (and Gummer) I strongly believe we should remain as part of the EU and would have added Boris Johnson to those keen on staying in the EU before he put his own leadership aspirations ahead of the future of this country.

Cameron like many Tories knows that letting 16 and 17 year olds may hurt the Tories in future elections so like Johnson, Cameron may have put the selfish interests of his party ahead of the country.

Must be strange when the local Tories are out campaigning with Ben Gummer on his occasional visits to Ipswich, do they even ask about Europe? Do they have separate ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ leaflets?

I also hope our own national Labour leadership starts to campaign harder to remain in the EU, so far we have heard little from Corbyn and even less from John McDonnell. The only positive campaign so far to ‘remain’ in the EU has been led by former Labour Ministers whilst the likes of Livingstone and others from the left have been more interested in internal party politics.

The Tory/Cameron ‘remain’ campaign seems to be based on a ‘fear’ factor whilst the ‘leave’ groups is also confused with internal bickering and seems to have no concrete plans for what we would do in this country once we have left Europe – ( though Johnson and Howard attempted to say a vote to leave could actually mean we do not leave but just try and get a better deal).

So it is the Labour Party that must be the team that tells voters the positive reasons to stay in the EU.


Ben Redsell said...

I'm surprised at you supporting 16-17 year olds being able to vote. Do you also suport them being able to stand for elected office? If they are considered old enough to understand the vagaries of voting, they should be considered old enough to hold office.

16-17 year olds are not allowed to marry without parental permission. They are not allowed to buy alcohol. They are not allowed to buy tobacco. They are not allowed to serve in a war zone. Most of them are not allowed to drive. The clear delineation of adulthood in this country is 18. Adults are allowed to vote, children are not.

When I was 16 and 17 I also thought it outrageous I had to wait. When I was 18 I thought it disgraceful I couldn't become a town councillor until I was 21 (when the law promptly changed and allowed others in at 18!). I was wrong. I didn't have the life experience at that age to make an informed decision.

Alasdair Ross said...

If they could vote at 16 for Scottish referendum why should they not vote on EU?

It is their future we are deciding, people do not vote in great numbers anymore- getting them to vote at 16 - with more time on PSHE spent covering democracy will help get a generation to start voting if not we will have politicians from all groups just protecting pensioners - the grey vote will rule