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Letter: Young Person’s Frustration At EU Referendum Vote

Published on: 16 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 16 Jun, 2016

From Megan Rosslyn-Smith, aged 15

I have written to express my frustration at the vote on the EU referendum.

EU & UK FlagsAs a 15-year-old I am not yet old enough to vote on this matter. However, this is my future and others of my age and I consider it to be sad that we cannot vote on such a decision.

I am doubly frustrated because so many of the older generation are voting leave.

For example, I volunteer at an older persons’ group for my bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and so many of them are planning to vote out.

Many of my peers agree with my concerns about the vote, so I have written a poem about the issue to emphasise to those who do have a vote why it is so important to vote in for society’s benefit right now and for future generations.


If we leave what good will it do?

If we leave does it directly benefit you?

If we leave surely we’re on our own,

Better you say,

But really it’s unrooting the seeds we’ve sown,

“We survived on our own for two wars” you say

But this isn’t 1945 I’m afraid

This is a world where connections matter

Where we can fly, text and Skype for a natter,

We need our neighbours more than ever!

Vote stay NOW it’s better late than never!

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Responses to Letter: Young Person’s Frustration At EU Referendum Vote

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    June 16, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Perhaps we have moved on from as late as the early seventies when the voting age was 21.

    Many young servicemen were regarded as old enough to fight for their country but not old enough to vote.

    Indeed women of any age were not allowed the vote until 1928.

  2. Stuart Barnes Reply

    June 16, 2016 at 9:27 am

    What a pity that they do not teach the great history of this country in state schools any more. The young are taught that to be patriotic and love our country is somehow bad.

    • Phillip Robinson Reply

      June 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Mr Barnes, are you aware that without the help of the Prussian army under the command Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, the most pivotal European battle of the 19th century would probably have been lost, and the great history you speak of, might not have been so great – Vive l’Europe!

    • David Pillinger Reply

      June 17, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Mr Barnes appears to be obsessed with an obsolete and rare form of patriotism.

      Today patriotism is different. It is about supporting your team and being proud of a vibrant economy and culture. You celebrate patriotism in a pub with people from all over the world together.

      Patriotism is not about vitriol and the subjugation of an empire as it used to be. Most young people find that rather vile and divisive nowadays. They see what happened in the former Yugoslavia, they see the English-hating SNP, they see Trump, they see hooligans waving flags of St George and they don’t like it. They are the future, not us old fogeys.

      Megan Rosslyn-Smith is more patriotic than Mr Barnes thinks because she wants our country to succeed.

  3. John Perkins Reply

    June 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Megan Rosslyn-Smith is right to be frustrated at being unable to vote for she may well be denied the opportunity to do so in the future, if we vote to remain.

    The EU has shown its tendency to do this several times in the past, even within her lifetime. Ten governments proposed to allow their people to vote on acceptance or rejection of a Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, later known as the Lisbon Treaty. Three (Ireland, France and Netherlands) voted against, only two (Spain and Luxembourg) voted in favour. Following those rejections, the governments of Poland, Portugal, Denmark, the Czech Republic and the UK ‘postponed’ or cancelled their votes. Ireland was later given a second vote and that time voted in favour. No country has been allowed to vote since on the issue.

    Greece voted to reject the terms of the EU economic bailout of their country, once in a referendum and twice for a government which supported that view. The EU ignored them and imposed the measures anyway.

    There is nothing to be gained from voting to remain in this referendum: if the result is ‘remain’ then nothing will change, though another vote will never be allowed; if the result is ‘leave’ then negotiations will begin which at least appear to offer benefits to the UK and a second vote will be arranged. Only if a second referendum returns ‘leave’ will the UK be taken seriously. Even those who wish to remain should vote to leave this time.

  4. David Roberts Reply

    June 17, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Well done, Megan Rosslyn-Smith. She is quite right, as the muddled comments above show.

    She is going to have to live with the referendum outcome much longer than most of us.

    If only older people could still think as clearly.

  5. David Pillinger Reply

    June 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Well done Megan Rosslyn-Smith. Those her age are the future.

  6. Paul Handley Reply

    June 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    I just wanted to re-assure Megan Rosslyn-Smith that at least one member of the older generation will be voting Remain as the best position for now and for the sake of future generations, including my children.

    Agreed there are imperfections with the EU (as there are with UK government – nothing is perfect) but, taking the broad picture, in this highly-connected, and increasingly troubled, world I believe that the old adage, Together Everybody Achieves More, can apply as much to nations as much as individuals.

    Incidentally Mr Barnes, I will also be voting Remain because I want our excellent country to continue to be “Great Britain”, rather than risk becoming merely “Little England”.

  7. John Perkins Reply

    June 20, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    The claim that the young have a greater stake in the future than the old is spurious.

    Yes, they will probably live longer and so have a greater personal interest. However, on average, older people have children, grandchildren and, possibly, great-grandchildren, and are concerned for their future too, not simply their own.

    They also have experience, something that children necessarily lack. The logical extension of the argument is that the newly-born have the most future and therefore most rights.

  8. Jim Allen Reply

    June 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    While first I must congratulate Megan for coming forward to voice her views, I would point out that manufacturers like: Volvo in Sweden, Mercedes in Germany, Citroen in France and Fiat in Italy, if looking for workers, employ their own country’s citizens before outsiders.

    This is accepted as normal and patriotic throughout the rest of EU except in England – where it is considered better that foreigners are used in place of training our own teenagers. It is considered better to house and provide for immigrants and asylum seekers than provide homes for our own. In France they expel Russian Football hooligans while in England we consider a loss of a cat a human right excuse not to expel seriously dangerous criminals.

    Sadly, Megan while your pro’s are excellent your logic has been tarnished by those who think that an open door is the best way to keep the house warm and infinite supplies of water, electricity and homes are simply a matter of providing them, taking no consideration for the natural resources and resultant pollution caused by simply supplying them.

    Rational thinking requires the simple action of, “What if?” nothing more, nothing less. The process of the EU Remain or Exit simply boils down to questions such as: “What if,” the water supply runs out in the UK due to letting so many people on to our island?

    Everything in nature is finite.

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