Monday, 12 June 2017


When I woke up on Friday 9th June to early reports that the voting turnout in 18-24 year-olds had risen to around 72%, up from 43% in the last General Election, I could not have felt more proud. To have so many young people interested in politics and looking for change made me happy to be a part of this demographic, no matter who these people voted for.

However, I feel that since then, this pride and happiness has been overshadowed by something else. The nasty, sour comments from some individuals (and I say *some* because I don't want to tar everyone with the same brush - I know most of you are decent people!) in the older generation who think it's okay to berate and belittle young voters for their choices.

I'm 19 years old and Thursday was my first opportunity to vote in a UK General Election. Much like in the EU referendum, I placed my vote with pride and I felt truly honoured to be in a position where I was able to vote for the future of my country, unlike the millions of people across the world who can't.

Ever since the election results began to trickle in, I have seen so many people saying on social media that young voters were 'bribed' by the supposedly false and impossible promise of the abolition of tuition fees. I urge these individuals to consider the fact that not every young person goes to university and that a large amount of voters in the 18-24 year-old category will have already been and left, meaning that this change wouldn't affect them. I might go to university in the future, I might not; no tuition fees sounds amazing, but at this moment in time, it does not personally affect me. If I choose to go to university, I will go whether I end up with £27,750 of debt or not - and yes, to all those out there who were privileged enough to go to university before fees were introduced, that is how much 3 years of tuition fees will cost, not to mention maintenance loans.

We were not bribed. We were not naive. We were not 'blinded by lies'. Quite frankly, I think anyone over a certain age who claims these things should be downright ashamed of themselves. To think that you can take the moral high ground because of your age is insulting and, rather ironically, very immature. You may have more 'worldly experience', of course, but that does not take away from the fact that the vast majority of young people are much more intelligent than you may believe. I think anyone making these statements wildly underestimates the autonomy of young people and their ability to make decisions for themselves.

No, I was not bribed. I knew who I was going to vote for without influence from anyone or anything, whether that was my parents, my friends or the media; nothing was going to swing my vote as far as I was concerned. I looked at the policies, I watched the debates, I witnessed the campaigns, I read the manifestos. I made my decision and I voted based on what I thought was right for our country.

I voted for hope in this world of doom and gloom. I voted for change. I voted for the NHS, for public services. I voted for the young, the old and everyone in between. I voted for excellent education for all, no matter their income. I voted for those in poverty. I voted for the disabled and those with mental health issues. And let's not forget the awful, shocking stories you hear of people dying either directly or indirectly as a result of welfare reforms. The list goes on, and on, and on. If you read this and think that it's nothing to do with you, that it's not your problem, then that's on your conscience and speaks volumes about you as a person. But my hope is that most decent people would read this and agree wholeheartedly.

I am not bashing anyone who voted differently to me; that was not the point of this post. The point of this post is that we must get rid of the hateful rhetoric that young people are less worthy and less capable. We are, after all, the future of this country. We do, after all, live in a democracy. I don't know whether it's down to pure bitterness or trying to hide the realisation that young people - who are LEGALLY eligible to vote, may I add - can really make a difference, but either way, it's simply unacceptable. In the past, young people have been ridiculed for not voting and now, we're being ridiculed for voting "wrongly". It's a classic case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Why alienate young people? Why patronise them and disrespect their personal views? It is not okay for anyone to say that older people don't deserve the right to vote because it 'isn't their future', so why has it suddenly become okay for people to do the same directed at young people, despite it actually being their future at stake? All I can say is that it truly baffles me; hypocrisy at it's absolute finest.

I want to end this on a positive note, because despite all of this, I am still so proud of my generation for turning up in their masses and voting for what they felt was right. I truly hope that this momentum and interest in politics continues; who knows, maybe the turnout will be even higher in the next election... whenever that may be!


  1. Replies
    1. Hello there - so you really do read my posts! 😂 Thank you xx

  2. This is utterly brilliant!!! I think that "The youth of today" did an amazing thing and, as a teacher, it gives me hope for my future as well as theirs. Cate (TTT) xxx