Friday, 3 November 2017

The Tories just filibustered the votes at 16 debate

We all know that the self-serving Tory party hate the idea of allowing 16 and 17 year olds the vote because it would not be to their political advantage.
  • We know they've forced hundreds of thousands of young people to work for free, with no labour rights, for giant and highly profitable multinational corporations via their "Workfare" scams.
  • We know that the Tories have fuelled homelessness and blocked millions of young people (even victims of domestic violence and abuse) out of the extortionate private rental sector by scrapping their entitlement to housing benefit.
  • And we know that the Tories have allowed exploitative employers in the gig economy and zero hours contract sector to take terrible advantage of millions of young workers.
With a record in government like that of course the Tories are going to be record-breakingly unpopular with the youth vote, so it's obvious that they would do everything they could to derail the parliamentary debate on votes at 16.

The tactic they used to stop the vote is called filibustering, which means taking turns to talk on and on and on, just to run the clock down on the debate so there's no time left to actually vote.

Even though MPs like Tracy Brabin withdrew from speaking in this crucial debate to try to save time, the Tories successfully talked nonsense until time ran out, so the vote couldn't be held.

The hypocrisy of this is obvious. How dare Tories stand up to accuse 16 and 17 year olds of being too immature to be allowed to vote, when they themselves are using a shockingly immature tactic to derail the vote; an utterly snide obstruction strategy that any well-mannered 12 year old would be embarrassed to use?

Another element of hypocrisy within the Tory party is that they allow children to become members and vote in Tory leadership elections at 16, but they've deliberately trashed a motion to allow 16 year old's a vote on who their local MP is.

Had Theresa May's allies in the Tory Party and the right-wing press not bullied her leadership rival into quitting before the vote could be held, a small pool of around 100,000 Tory party members (including 16 and 17 year olds) would have been in the position to pick the next Prime Minister.

How is it even remotely possible to simultaneously believe that 16 and 17 year olds are too immature to help pick their local MP, but plenty mature enough to help pick the actual Prime Minister of the UK?

It's simply not possible to justify such hypocrisy, just as it's not possible to justify cynically talking out a debate so that MPs couldn't actually vote on the issue.

The self-serving hypocrisy of the Tory party is unjustifiable, and surely this will be remembered by the under-18s they've just insulted and patronised today, and reflected in election results when this demographic comes of age to vote.

If the Tories hadn't obstructed the vote with their cynical filibustering tactics and actually had the courage of their convictions to vote against enfranchisement of 16 and 17 year olds, it would have been bad enough, but using such a cynical and immature time-wasting tactic to derail the vote shows absolute contempt, not only for young people, but for democracy itself.

It's almost beyond belief that the Tories can see that they're sitting on a demographic trapdoor, and instead of thinking of some way of winning back some appeal with the youth vote, they've decided to treat the next generation of youth voters with absolute disdain.

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