Home > blogging for Britain, politics > It’s time to take control

It’s time to take control

My 16-year-old son was not happy about the referendum result, and nor were his peers. His analysis of those who voted Leave (“the old and stupid”) may not be polite or entirely accurate but it’s better than apathy. He was engaged by this event, and that’s worth celebrating in a democracy.

We – my wife, daughter, son, his girlfriend and I – had talked a couple of days ago about the repercussions of a Leave vote and I outlined some of the possible positives and negatives as they related to their generation. The only positive they responded to was the possible collapse in house prices. I may not have argued the Leave case very well.

As much subsequent reporting has borne out, most teenagers feel European and can not comprehend for a moment why anyone would vote to leave something they think is working. They’ve grown up in a free and peaceful Europe and are fearful that a Leave vote might change that.

When they saw the result, they were (in their own words) surprised, angry and upset. (Exactly as I used to feel when my country voluntarily voted for a Government which included Jeffrey Archer.) Katie, my son’s girlfriend, asked me specifically to tell them why it might be ok. So here goes.

This vote proves that politics matters. It’s not something that happens to you or around you; you have the chance to change the world and shape it to reflect what you want.

If you don’t like what’s just happened, use your energy, intelligence and passion to change it. Because the 73% of under 25s who wanted to Remain will soon be 25-35s, and in positions of influence.

Don’t want a Government that ignores 98% of health professionals and tries to impose an unfair contract on them? Change it.

Don’t want a Government that looks likely to ignore the will of the people and allow fracking, when we’re expressly told by nearly every scientist on the planet to leave the remaining fossil fuels in the ground? Change it.

Don’t want a society where it’s easier for Chinese millionaires to own two or more properties in London than for many Londoners to own one? Change it.

Don’t like a system that means four million UKIP voters and a million Green voters have two MPs between them? Change it.

Don’t want a society that increasingly champions ignorance and prejudice at the expense of education, and uses expertise as a pejorative? Change it.

Because if the last couple of years have proved anything it’s that there’s no need to feel impotent and ignored. If you find yourselves surrounded by likeminded people who recoil at the casual racism expressed throughout this campaign, or at a political class that has bent over backwards to accommodate multinational companies while ignoring working people in their own country, or that wants to privatise vital goods and services that should be run for the public benefit rather than to line the pockets of already obscenely rich individuals, change it.

You can. You have the power. You have youth, passion and energy on your side, because it’s your future you’re fighting for. You can take control.

And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


  1. Ian Nicholson
    June 25, 2016 at 6:26 am

    Super comments and your kids are lucky to be living in a household with one sensible dad!!

  2. Kevin Rush
    June 25, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Excellent – sounds very like our family’s experience!

  3. Ian
    June 25, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Control, other than over the immediate, cannot be exercised by individuals. A vehicle (I would say a coalition but that is a doubly discredited term) needs to exist to carry the views of the non-nationalist, progressive and creative soul of youth and those of us burdened by experience. The after-shocks may well be as powerful as this initial seismic shift. I have just heard that Scotland are putting forward legislation to enable another referendum on independence – at times knee-jerk reactions and gesture politics look a little similar? Brexit may well cause schisms within all existing political groupings – not so much wrong leader as wrong / defunct party with one side trying to create the 1950s and the others retreating behind the slogans of the first half of the last century. One thing is for sure: ugly compromises will be necessary to deliver a majority against the reactionary forces of Brexit and our newfound very unpleasant far right European friends. Compromise is rarely a strength of the young so let’s not leave it all to them .

  4. June 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    A bit of that passion could be put into signing the petition for a re-run. After all, even Farage was demanding there be a second referendum if he lost 48-52. Over two million signatures already:


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