This is a plea to all Facebook and Twitter users, to check the facts before you share or retweet. The recent attempt by the Conservative Party to pass off their Twitter account as fact-checking is a reminder that it is very easy in the current febrile environment to simply pass on things that are not true. I have been guilty of that as well, but I am now being more careful about what I share with others.
Before sharing or retweeting I check the source and ask myself if it is unbiased and from a reputable source. So-called facts by some newspapers are not facts but opinions. We no longer have a ‘newspaper of record.’ The Times which I do read regularly but not daily is owned by an Australian, living in the USA and has very right-wing views. The current editor does seem to be less influenced by the owner than previous ones, no doubt because of the backlash against the News of the World. The Telegraph is owned by the Barclay Brothers who live in an offshore island off Sark. High wealth individuals who have their own agenda. Incidentally, it’s no good sharing articles from either of those newspapers as they have paywalls so I can’t access them. Nor can may others and headlines alone are not of much value. The Guardian is owned by a trust and is quite open about its left-wing bias. You may disagree with them but at least you know where they are coming from.
I don’t even consider the ‘redtops’ as there propensity for misrepresentation is legendary.
I’m really suggesting that when you consider your vote, think for yourself about the issues you think are important rather than the soundbites.
When I studied politics at University, Professor Bernard Crick said we got the government we deserve.
We have a very poor choice as leaders of our two main parties, but there are good MPs who deserve their seats in Parliament, some are members of a political party, some are independent. Perhaps we should try and elect honest people as MPs rather than those who simply follow the party line.
As always it’s your choice.
I ask the questions tongue in cheek because I believe in universal suffrage but I ask the question because of a report in today’s Guardian that a university lecturer has been criticised for ensuring that her students are registered to vote both in their university town and their home address. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/nov/12/academics-facing-furious-backlash-advising-students-vote
The operative word is register. She doesn’t suggest they should vote in both places. This is perfectly legal and indeed the same advice is also on the Government website. By registering in both places they are not deprived of their vote by being in the wrong place on the date of the election. To insist they should only register in one is an attempt to disenfranchise the very people who should be encouraged to vote. After-all it’s their future.
If those over seventy-five were denied the vote their would be outrage, yet their view of the future is limited to the next few years. But more older people do vote and this may be one of the reasons that governments of every persuasion have policies that favour older people rather than the young. I don’t pretend that all pensioners are well off or don’t need help but for the first time the youngest generation will have less than their parents or grandparents. Yet there is an outcry when the right to a free TV licence for everyone over seventy-five my be withdrawn. A luxury compared with a roof over your head.
Then there is the question of the climate crisis — children standing outside their schools protesting while we go on holidays abroad, drive our fuel guzzling cars and burn fossil fuels rather than spend our money on finding alternatives. I’m as guilty as anyone of that behaviour. If old people didn’t have the vote perhaps these courageous youngster would win the argument.
Think about them when you cast your vote.
PS I’ve donated my £75 to Crisis at Christmas.