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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017

We can win the vote at 16!

16 and 17-year-olds protesting to demand the vote, 3.7.16, photo Ian Pattison

16 and 17-year-olds protesting to demand the vote, 3.7.16, photo Ian Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

Theo Sharieff, national chair, Socialist Students

The Tories have once again tried their level best to sabotage the futures of young people in Britain. On 3 November, MPs debated a new bill to lower the voting age to 16 in UK general and local elections, as well as referendums.

However, the Tories sabotaged the bill by 'filibustering' it, deliberately giving long speeches in the Commons to waste time and have the debate timed out.

In two years' time, today's 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to vote either way. They will remember who blocked them from having that democratic right.

In spite of this, the Tories had good reason to sabotage the bill. It was young people, after all, who were the driving force behind the Corbyn surge in the June general election.

Up to 67% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted for Corbyn's policies. These included free university and college education, restoring 'Education Maintenance Allowance' further education payments - and, yes, lowering the voting age to 16.

Handing the right to vote to 16-year-olds would ensure the end of their already weak and divided government. And once they're out, what young person would want them back in?

But we don't need to wait for five years to see Corbyn's policies become a reality. Since the general election, the Tories have already been forced into retreats over a number of issues, and are in the throes of yet another scandal.

School, college and university students should join Socialist Students' national day of action on 22 November. Organise a walkout on your campus in protest against the Tories' sabotage of the democratic right to vote.

Actions like this, starting on budget day, could help build a movement of workers and young people which can force this already dying government out of office. Along the way, we can win hundreds of thousands of college students their right to vote.

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In The Socialist 8 November 2017:


What we think

'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us


Socialist Party news and analysis

Westminster sexual harassment scandal

Walk out against tuition fees!

Bosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

We can win the vote at 16!

Child poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

PFI privateers dodge tax

What we saw


Workplace news and analysis

Pay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members

BA mixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

Unite union sector conferences: coordinate action over pay

Picturehouse strike: "evil corporations are evil"

Arriva bus strike still solid


International socialist news and analysis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS

Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign

Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

Thousands march in London for Palestine

Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

Orgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Obituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

The Socialist inbox


 

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