31 4 mins 7 yrs

When I read the above headline, I had to check the publication date twice, just to make sure that the previous day’s date was not March 31st. But, unfortunately, not only was this decision newsworthy, it was an accurate description of the political awareness standards of millions of British people aged between 18 ~ 25.

Dan Brooke, Channel 4’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer was quoted as saying:- “Less than half of under-25s voted at the last election so we’ve engaged the most powerful weapon that we have at our disposal to try and boost that number – switching off their favourite TV channel for the day!”

Mr. Brooke, along with his cohorts in the higher echelons of Channel Four’s programming and production, with their presumably vast knowledge of their target audience, have decided that the only way to encourage the people whom normally slump or slouch in front of the flat-screens to actually accept that they live in at least a good replica of a democracy, is to switch off all the re-runs and interminable repeats of all the American garbage which is pumped into their audience’s antennae, and tell them, repeatedly, that it might be a good idea to vote!

Times without number I have heard variations on the basic theme of ‘There will never be any change’ or ‘politicians; they are all the same, and to vote only encourages them’. These lacklustre statements infuriate me beyond belief, for I am a child of the Second World War; I was born in the North-East as the Battle of Britain was being fought in the air over London and the fields of the South-East of England, when Nazi bombers were randomly bombing British cities, when a ruthless dictatorship was attempting to prove, in the prophetic words of King George Sixth, that “Might was right!” To understand my anger, try reading the matter-of-fact diaries of the War, typical of which was that of  Thursday 15th August 1940, up here in the North-East. We were fighting for our lives in those dark days; and our descendants cannot even be bothered to go out and bloody well VOTE!

My father, along with many tens of thousands more, had volunteered for the British Armed Forces on Day two of the War; my Uncle who served in the Royal Artillery paid the ultimate sacrifice, and is remembered in a sleepy Normandy village. They volunteered, and sometimes they died, so that their grandkids might live, snug in their centrally heated homes; cocooned with their televisions, their computers, tablets, smartphones, and all the other techno-freakery which allows them to photograph someone, and send it halfway around the world in a second: and they have to be reminded to VOTE!

Give me Strength!

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31 thoughts on “E4 shuts down on election day to encourage young audience to vote

  1. Good second link there Mike, but Driffield aerodrome wasn’t knocked out for the rest of the war as stated.
    It could no longer accommodate heavy bombers due to massive cratering of the main runway, but fighter planes could and continued to operate from there ’til the end of the war.

  2. Politicians should legislate to make voting compulsory, with a “none of the above” option. That would give elections much greater legitimacy, so what’s stopping them?

  3. Great, “compulsory” voting, as if I’m not busy ignoring enough laws as it is.

    Any chance of of a bit of liberty breaking out? Of course not: all elections are statefests.

  4. Peter

    Any election which has to be made compulsory has automatically lost any legitimacy

  5. Pete

    Maybe I should have added that I have not been on the electoral register for 15 years, so I am committing an offense there. But I would support compulsory voting with the opt-out.

    We have the worst of all systems:

    1. It is an offense not to be on the electoral register but you don’t have to vote, so that is clearly a “big brother” issue as the register can be sold to commercial organisations and is used for jury lists.

    2. The first past the post voting system is undemocratic. UKIP will get maybe 12% of the vote on Thursday and will win 0-5 seats out of 650 (with 0 much more likely than 5).

  6. Any election which has to be made compulsory has automatically lost any legitimacy

    Yes if you had to vote for a candidate, but not if you don’t.

  7. Peter –

    Yes, FPTP is undemocratic*, if you think that a general election is a national election.

    A general election is 650 local elections. It is 650 localities voting for a criminal liar to apparently represent them in Parliament. You have to understand this first to understand FPTP.

    The failure of British FPTP is that those localities have no effective means of sacking the criminal liar they voted for once they realise how schmucked they were.

    (*Caveat: I’m not a democrat and couldn’t give a stuff how statefest organises itself. I’m an adult who just wants to be left alone. Against statism/FPTP/PR/whatever, I’m clearly the sane one.)

  8. Peter

    Politicians have no right to make you vote in a ballot. They have an obligation to persuade you to participate but not to legally order you to complete a ballot form regardless of the options on it. There is absolutely no moral legitimacy to compulsory voting.

  9. FPTP is the most democratic way to select someone who is supposed to represent the interests of a specific district. It may be fairer nationally, but less fair locally.

    Pete

    You have effectively called retired politico Ron Paul a criminal liar. That would not necessarily be true.

  10. Colm

    It depends how important you think deciding the leadership is.

    Though truth be told IMO most who do not vote have no clue on most things. But having to vote may persuade them to try to learn a bit of something.

  11. Yes that is pretty much what happens in a working democracy . ( not a Shelly Adelson bribe-ocracy )

    We are not isolated atoms in space. Humans are organized.

  12. “We are not isolated atoms”

    This is a given reason for choosing who will confiscate half of your earnings, who you are supposed to hate, who you will go to war with (thousands of miles away) and who will decide which people you cannot – under pain of punishment – trade with peacefully or visit.

    Democracy is clearly a scam. Lead yourself, decide for yourself.

    If you have to delegate decisions to others about your own life then you aren’t fit enough to make that decision in the first place.

  13. A general election is 650 local elections. It is 650 localities voting for a criminal liar to apparently represent them in Parliament. You have to understand this first to understand FPTP.

    Pete

    A general election is held to elect a government in a nation state. Local elections are held to elect local authorities.

    But in any case the argument for FPTP fades in a multi-party system. Its “winner take all” rationale (Thatcher won 65% of the seats with 40% of the votes) no longer applies and the dreaded “darkened rooms” are the result. In that case, why not have a properly proportional voting system as they do in nearly every other democratic state?

    I’m not a democrat and couldn’t give a stuff how statefest organises itself.

    So your alternative is? Anarchy? Monarchy?

  14. Peter –

    “A general election is held to elect a government in a nation state.”

    You see, there you’re wrong.

    (In theory) a general election is held to elect members to Parliament. It’s Parliament which introduces, discusses and votes on Bills, not “government”. In fact “government” has no constitutional authority.

    The Queen is not obliged to invite the leader of the largest faction to form a Cabinet. (Notice, not “government”.) The Cabinet can be formed with any number of members from opposition factions.

    The political parties also have zero constituional significance. It’s supposed to be about individuals, which is what we all are.

  15. Pete

    You are totally correct. But not since 1840 or so as regards parties. The constitution may not recognise them, but they have been the reality since the time of Robert Peel, if not earlier.

    And since 1688 Parliament has appropriated the executive power of the monarch. I make that 327 years ago.

  16. nd since 1688 Parliament has appropriated the executive power of the monarch.

    Really? Who signs mere Bills into Law? Whose presence recalls Parliament? Who alone can dissolve it(though She doesn’t do it often enough)? Who alone can invite a criminal liar to form a Cabinet?

    The facts are always on the pitch.

  17. We don’t have a Constitution. We have a series of piecemeal statutes and embedded traditions. There is no such thing as constitutional authority in the UK. Whatever form of governance Parliament/the people/ the current political culture accepts has legitimacy. For example until 2010 we had no such thing as fixed Parliamentary terms, now we do. That’s how our system works.

  18. If you have to delegate decisions to others about your own life then you aren’t fit enough to make that decision in the first place.

    Every human society that I am aware of has had leaders.

    You may wish to think a bit about this one.

  19. “If you have to delegate decisions to others about your own life then you aren’t fit enough to make that decision in the first place.”

    So you consider yourself to be so intelligent, experienced and well informed, in fact an all round ‘know-it-all’, that you have no need to ask for advice from your many superiors?

    That we have a government of what amounts to no more than a group of greedy, corrupt, self interested frauds, who have been delegated their power by a monarchy that loves the respect, but just cannot be bothered with the details, and who have other interests besides those of, the euphemistically named, ‘United Kingdom’, is not denied.

    Of course our system of ‘democracy’ has failed and in such a miserable fashion, that it should be obvious to anyone who takes any interest in such matters, that urgent action is needed – if not already too late – to restore the respect for our national leadership, in whatever form it might take, whether a monarchy – a form of dictatorship, or whatever else the new global economy throws up, the EU being a particularly poor example, – whatever, it is bound to be another step towards some form of ‘new world order’, – and that will be a very long and rocky road!

    Respect for the electorate, personal and intellectual integrity and honesty are all ingredients that have long been forgotten in Westminster.

    Why are we all so surprised at this outcome? – it is all a repetition of history… the generic title goes something like – ‘The Decline and Fall…..’ – just fill in the rest of the title for the era of your interest!

  20. Ernest Young –

    I ask for advice all the time. What’s this got to do with your assumption that government knows best how to spend half of my income?

  21. Pete,

    I didn’t say they were any good at it. Turning your back on them is exactly what they want, – at least you might show your concern by voting for someone – even if it is UKIP.. 🙂

    Face it, the current pathetic set-up suits your ‘duck and dive’ philosophy.

  22. Pete

    Although you don’t believe in Government I presume you do accept at least the need for a Parliament to make the laws under which civil society must operate. How do you think the members of Parliament should be chosen ?

  23. Ernest Young –

    I don’t believe in politics. I don’t accept the legitimacy of political intervention in peoples’ lives.

    Colm –

    Why must a parliament make laws? English laws against violence and murder and for settling contract and property matters all far pre-date Parliament. The vast majority of our laws have not been made in parliament. The idea that this chamber makes our laws (that’s not even to consider the EU elephant) is to greatly misunderstand English judicial history.

    All we need government to do is get out of the way. The people can do everything else.

  24. Not true Pete. All Statute Laws in England and Wales are only given their status by Act of Parliament. Yes we have had a large historic body of law determined by Judicial review but all based on references to the meaning of Parliamentary statutes. While we may need far less law making we will always need a system to review and oversee the application of law, and some body or individuals have to decide who does that. Do you have any views on how they should be chosen ? Who chooses the Judges ?

  25. Colm –

    No, judge made law is, in great part, not at all determined with reference to statute law. This is how law was actually developed.

    Look, murder is a common law offence. It was a common law offence for a thousand years before parliament made statutes about it, and even then, as is common, the statutes simply compile and tidy up the centuries of judicial development of that area of the law. We don’t need any chamber to decide what is right or wrong. The English judicial system specifically allows society to do that. If you think you’ve been wronged you have recourse to the courts and that judgement then developes law further. That’s how the endlessly flexible system works.

    I don’t mind so much who chooses the judges as long as politicians don’t do it and the system is absolutely transparent.

  26. “All we need government to do is get out of the way. The people can do everything else.”

    So the Yanks have it right when they quote in their description of government – as being ‘by the people, for the people!’ Of course they were starting from scratch, having fled the dictatorship of a monarchy that had also rather ‘lost the plot’.

  27. It’s worth noting from Pete’s link that the Fianna Fail candidate is the only one with balls.

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