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Letter: Us ‘Wrinklies’ Have The Right To Vote Too, Based On Plenty of Experience

Published on: 26 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 26 Jun, 2016

EU & UK FlagsFrom Bernard Parke

Hon Alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

It was very saddening to read in the national press for those of us over retirement age as “wrinklies” and as such should not have had a vote in the referendum.

It seems to be a growing trend these days to show a considerable lack of tolerance to people over the of retirement age.

Many of us who are retired have learnt their experience of life the hard way.

We could not even vote until we were twenty one years of age but nevertheless we were conscripted to fight for our Queen and Country.

Is such experience to be cast aside and the younger generations left to learn from the same mistakes made by us?

Yes, our life expectancy is not so great, but many of us have children and indeed grandchildren who we are anxious to protect from the follies which we made in our early lives.

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Responses to Letter: Us ‘Wrinklies’ Have The Right To Vote Too, Based On Plenty of Experience

  1. Sue Doughty Reply

    June 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Absolutely Bernard we should never disenfranchise people. I’d have liked to see 16 – 18 year olds have a vote as they did in the Scottish referendum.

    We might disagree about whether some older people were thinking about life in the future for their grandchildren but we should instead be encouraging younger people to really participate in the democratic process.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      June 26, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Sadly bringing in voting for the teenage brigade has certain draw backs. When I was 16 I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Being a practical person my Dad put me into an apprenticeship and I knew nothing of Politics. At 18 I was two years into a four year apprenticeship (paid for by the Government in a government establishment) and still knew nothing of politics.

      I doubt I was/am any different to any average person of that age. It can and would be giving a vote to those uneducated in the ways of the world.

      Birds don’t force their chicks to fly the nest until they have feathers; young people need to grow “feathers” before the make that decision how to vote. The majority under 21 don’t have enough experience to make rational decisions.

  2. Michael Aaronson Reply

    June 26, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Quite right! And interestingly, there is research showing that age was not a determinant of how people voted in the EU referendum, but the holding of certain values – particularly how much people identify with authoritarian positions – was. See here: We need a more grown-up debate about these matters – whatever our age…

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    June 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Well said. Bodies age – but minds don’t. And some things are eternal. Otherwise why does anyone bother to read Euripides, Plato or Pericles, or bother to remember 1066, 1588, 1689, 1815, 1914 or 1939?

  4. Gordon Bridger Reply

    June 27, 2016 at 10:04 am

    One wonders how many “young people” are aware of how many representatives we have in the EU? Or that our representative is only one of 22 directors? While we do not have a single vice president on the EU despite being the second largest country.

    How many know our weighted vote is only 8%? How many know of the EU audit record? How many know that the EU director of the their foreign aid programme – £15billion said last month “50% of our aid has gone down the toilet ?”

    There is something to be said for age and experience in decision making.

    I find it insulting that it is claimed that older people do not care about future generations – in fact it is for them we are concerned, not ourselves.

  5. Bernard Parke Reply

    June 29, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Ben Paton is correct there are pivotal points in our history.

    1066, 1485, 1815 and now 2016.

    Let us hope that the people that we elect listen more to those who elected them and not break their election statements.

    This applies equally to local government.

    We shall never allow them here to forget their election pledge that, “The Green Belt is Here to Stay”.

  6. Jenny Procter Reply

    June 29, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Many younger voters did not vote Leave and I suspect those that did, in the wealthy city areas, are lying low in order to avoid the torrent of abuse, anger and accusation appearing daily on Facebook and other social media.

    As an older voter I voted to Leave precisely because I feel it will provide a better and brighter future for Britain and for my children and grandchildren. The EU is a lumbering giant, staggering under mountains of regulation and legislation.

    Britain inside the EU has little room for independent action or manoeuvre. Of course there will be short term dips and economic consequences but the future picture is not predictable or necessarily rosy inside either. Britain’s power to make changes inside, as was demonstrated in David Cameron’s recent negotiations, is limited.

    The Brexit vote has exposed how divided the nation is and how disaffected and neglected people outside of the economic hubs feel. It has exposed the rifts within the parties and how out of touch our politicians are with their electorate.

    Perhaps wealth production at any cost and uber concentration on ever greater expansion and growth in London and the South East may at last come under scrutiny and the benefits begin to be more evenly spread countrywide.

  7. Chris Fox Reply

    June 29, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Gordon Bridger’s points that young people might not be aware of are points that old people are also probably not aware of.

    However, in truth do many of them really matter? I am somewhat ashamed that Gordon Bridger was once a Liberal Democrat, or perhaps still is?

    • Jim Allen Reply

      June 29, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Chris Fox should not be ashamed of Alderman Gordon Bridger or how his views might have change over the years. We are not in North Korea and have the inalienable right to change our minds at any point in time, admit we were wrong on some occasions and prove we’re right on others.

      Thanks goodness this country is a free speaking democracy else The Dragon simply would not exist.

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