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Votes - and indoctrination - for politically suspect 16-year olds

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There are quite a few on the ‘progressive’, lefty side of the divide who believe that votes for 16 year-olds is a guaranteed way to lock in a majority for evahh.  

Hmm.  The more rational actors are not so sure: I know for a fact that within Starmer’s camp there are those who don’t agree.  Maybe they’ve seen that chilling series of interviews conducted a few years ago by some brave lady in Israel, asking teenagers what they thought should be done with Palestine / Palestinians.  Progressive?  No, their views were not that way at all.  And you just know that a couple of weeks before a GE in any country with 16 year old voters, the progressives would be blind-sided by some virulent populist www-meme that would have who-knows-what consequences.  Even Trump fears the reach of Taylor Swift.

Which brings us to Andrew Tate and the Labour Party.  A friend of mine was recently asked to give a talk to a mixed high school.  On arrival, he was begged by the staff not to engage, if and when some of the boys raised the subject of Andrew Tate.  It’s that bad.  

And the Labour Party knows it.  So what’s the plan?  This is seriously horrific, as well as being seriously bonkers. 

Labour to help schools develop male influencers to combat Tate misogyny: Shadow education secretary says party would help schools train role models as ‘powerful counterbalance’

Labour would help schools to train young male influencers who can counter the negative impact of people like Andrew Tate … [she] expressed hopes that some of the young men who became leaders in their schools could then reach more people by becoming online influencers themselves. “I would hope that the young male mentors involved would then also be able to share their experiences more widely, to kind of shift the discussion around what it is to be growing up as a young man today in modern Britain,” Phillipson said. Under the proposals, Labour would send “regional improvement teams” into schools to train staff on introducing the peer-to-peer mentoring programme.

OK, it’s doomed from the start because stroppy kids ain’t signing up for crap like this.  Generations of well-meaning priests and do-gooders have tried.  Unless you’re willing to go the whole Jesuit hog at age 7, it ain’t gonna work.  The idea that a Labour-appointed schoolboy “young male mentor” is about to become an online influencer could only have been devised by someone with (a) no teenage children of their own, or never even met one; and (b) with their head squarely up their backsides.  The poor lad is most likely to get a kicking.

But then …  “regional improvement teams“?  Didn’t Mao send them in, during the Cultural Revolution?  The fact that anyone even thinks these thoughts is pretty chilling.

That’s ‘progressives’ in 2024, folks.  Culture War?  We ain’t seen nothing yet.


PS:  here’s a (relatively) intelligent progressive (not quite an oxymoron) who’s also deeply skeptical of this nonsense, sharing some of the above concerns and another of his own – he’d prefer Labour to be expending its energies on something more salient to the state we’re in.  From about 30 minutes in.


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