The government is launching a new campaign this week to encourage better reading among the young: "Read On. Get On". Based on a report that links the inability to "read well" with potential joblessness later in life, it's the latest of many articles and reports bemoaning a decline in traditional reading skills among young people.
The main parties shouldn't be tripping over themselves to out-do UKIP, allowing the far-right to set the debate, and dance to Farage's tune. Instead politicians should be focusing on one of the most neglected demographics, giving what will soon be the people running society a sense of hope and inclusion - regardless of their country of origin. Politicians instead, should be chasing young voters.
It's not that I don't like music. I like music, loads. All different kinds of music. It's not even that I don't like camping. I have voluntarily, repeatedly, slept in a field without a tent in February with the Army Reserve. Festival camping is veritable luxury compared to that. You don't have to poo in a bush. You don't have to eat cold yellow soup of an indeterminate flavour out of a foil bag.
In the Queen's speech this week, the Queen stated that delivering the best schools and skills for young people remains a government priority with further reforms under way to prepare school pupils for employment. In addition, the government will increase the total number of apprenticeship places to two million by the end of the Parliament. This very public commitment is a step in the right direction...
We hope to see, over these next few days, some of these campaigns have an impact on the number of young people across Europe going to cast their vote. However, catchy campaigns are not enough to make the difference. Educating young people in political life, how to vote and what political parties offer them on the issues that they care about, is also vital.
Politics is a rare aspect of British life that people under 18 are not allowed to be part of, which merely underlines how outdated the existing voting age has become. Young people are perfectly capable of making choices, so it's time for the Westminster classes to lower the drawbridge for a democratic election to everyone bound by its result.