My youngest sister has just turned 16 and about to receive her GCSE results this week, she cannot buy a drink in a pub, drive or vote but she could join the Army, she could even choose to commit herself to the life of a soldier until she was 22. All this before she could even vote for those deciding her fate.
It is clear from the worryingly low turnout at the local elections that more needs to be done to get people voting, and in particular young people. This is far from a new problem and it is time the government committed to tackling this serious issue by thinking more creatively about how to engage the youth in the future of the country they live in.
In an elegant experiment on empathy sociologist Sam Richards attempted and succeeded to encourage an auditorium full of Americans to sympathise with Iraqi terrorists.
'If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not conservative by 40, you have no brain'. The question is, are students with conservative views ahead of the game? Can they see beyond youthful idealism to the realities of their future life which will inevitably be governed by capitalism?
I can't help but think it's not the kids that are "sick," but the world they are growing into. Our world, where fast money and reality tv stardom has usurped hard work and steady earnings, where sports or music seem like the only options for kids who never thought they were clever, where laziness is bred and spreads like disease, where aspiration stops at money and forgets about dreams.