Author Topic: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill  (Read 7682 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« on: April 14, 2010, 09:22:00 PM »
BBC Points West visits Penhill. 

Broadcast on Wednesday the 14th April 2010

For techy wonks: Available in 360, 480 and 720p :)


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/QzhIpRdUZRs&amp;hl=en_GB&amp;fs=1&amp;" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/QzhIpRdUZRs&amp;hl=en_GB&amp;fs=1&amp;</a>




Offline Chav

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 09:56:26 PM »
 ;D   :emb:   ;D
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Mart

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 10:20:40 PM »
For techy wonks: Available in 360, 480 and 720p

Cor, cheers.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Chav

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 10:55:05 PM »
For techy wonks: Available in 360, 480 and 720p

Cor, cheers.

the 720p works rather well in HD  ;)
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 11:18:43 PM »
Seeing this just breaks my heart, you can't say that the young lady is typical of the estate, so there's a selection effect in interviewing her, but nether the less why is she not aware of the importance of her vote...

She seemed to be saying that politics is too removed from her life, is that because:

1. the cabinet system of local politics means that wards only get attention when thier local councillor is part of the winning team, so what's the point of voting as it won't make a difference? an expanded 'what difference can i make' attitude
2. that the choice is confusing between parties and that there is little to choose between them, seeing that penhill is an area that struggles with economic depression, which is a shame cos it certainly doesn't suffer from lack of community spirit. a 'there all the same' attitude
3. Being a council estate is it that the lady doesn't understand, because no one can explain or doesn't know how to reach these young mums. 'I want to understand, but no one is talking to me' attitude
4. That politics is seen as being some how ,just out of reach. 'i'm not listened to or thought of' attitude.

CPCP has been discussed to by TS for some time, but until CPCP or real people, real places or whatever it is in the future, reaches out to the likes of the young lady and her kids, i think we will see the further spread of the 'non-voter'. 

Mind you certain types of people just won't bother anyway, but to me its a real shame when you see some one who can't understand. its a failure of society and a shame :( seemed to me and i could be wrong, that she wasn't the cleverest, but that's no excuse.)

Nice to TS members on telly though. Points well made i thought (and by penhill residents!)
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Offline komadori

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 12:07:43 AM »
I think centralisation should take much of the blame fro voter apathy. The setting by central government (of all colours) has taken a large amount of decision making away from local government. So whereas once upon a time your vote for local councillors could affect many things, nowadays it's not much more than how they empty the bins. IOne of the largest parts of a council's budget is education, yet it has no control over that. Social housing is another area where local government has little control (the budget for social housing is set centrally). And so on. So the most frequent elections (local council elections) are seen to have little effect. So why bother voting? [Rhetorical question]

Nationally, the difference between the main parties is much less than it once was, so again, voting seems to have little effect. So why bother?

The statistics show that when voters feel their vote will make a difference (when there's a big local issue, for example) the voting rate goes up.

CPCP has been discussed to by TS for some time, but until CPCP or real people, real places or whatever it is in the future, reaches out to the likes of the young lady and her kids, i think we will see the further spread of the 'non-voter'. 
Can't see CPCP, or RPRP having any affect on people like this, as it's little more than a sop from central government to hide centralisation. Devolving powers from central government to councils would have a greater effect in my opinion.
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Offline Chav

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 08:42:58 AM »
It is very very sad !
The very brave young lady in the video is typical of how it is not only in Penhill, but also in other areas.
It is such a shame. These are people who matter very much and it feels/they feel (I do speak to people) that they are forgotten.
I know some would say, well its up to them to find out about politics/the voting process etc, but sometimes it really is not as simple as that.
I am in no way suggesting these people are stupid, but they get all this stuff through letter boxes (and yes I know there are people who do knock doors when then canvas) , but some people cannot read, or they wont answer the door because if they do not understand it, they feel at times they don't know what to say !

There is a change in the way society is in general.
Years ago, when I was a kid, my granddad was always a Labour man for example, and it was almost like a following in the family for generations, you all voted.
Mind you by the time it got to me - yes I did vote as I have always had an interest - I did not always follow the same path they did, but the interest in politics and voting was there, and with my own children, both my eldest son and daughter, I do have discussions with them about voting and we talk about what matters to them.

I think that you do need that interest and you do need to understand the voting process and why you are voting/for whom/ and what difference your vote can make!

If young people have not got that interest possibly for a variety of reasons, then they will find it more difficult.
I would like to see democracy covered as part of the National curriculum - especially as some schools are now taking students to the age of 19.

I have been involved in conversations where it has been discussed that lowering the voting age (16) might work - I am not convinced it will as these young people need a bit of 'life's experience' as part of the process of understanding the theory behind why they should vote and party policies. - They need to have experiences of issues that affect them if you like, and to identify with this first and then look at where politics comes into it.

I am a fan of the UK Youth Parliament .

Chav
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Offline Muggins

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2010, 08:54:25 AM »
Agree with Chav, but when picking apart why people don't go out to vote, don't get bogged down in styles of government - like the cabinet style for instance.  The young women similar to the one in the film have NO idea about these issues. It's all much more basic.
It could be that they are just too shy to walk through the door, will they get help? will someone explain the process to them?  Or they just can't see why they should, and if they did would they have the time or the will to sit and listen or read about the issues and personalities. 

Between shopping and worrying and getting the kids up and to school and worrying and how long will it be before the electric bill comes in well that'll be a big one this year and how can I get Johnny in to buy his new shoes and where in heavens name will that money come from and worrying.   Who gives a fig about flipping politics and who's standing? well I don't know him, someone told me he's an idiot, oh no the balls gone through next doors window, worrying etc., etc., 

You get my drift!

Sometimes Chav I think they don't even think about being forgotten, they never expected to be remembered in the first place. Neither did their parents.   

I think sometimes that they are happy and prepared to let the rest of us do the worrying and thinking for them and plan their lives out for them.  Do they think about it or do they not think about it?   After much thought I can say that I have never got to the bottom of it.  The answer is a lemon.....
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2010, 10:06:07 AM »
I spent my formulative years in Harpenden in Hertfordshire and went to St George's School from 1961 to 1967.  These years encompassed two General Elections and we had full blown mock elections at the school including all the then political parties.  School members chose candidates to represent those parties and meetings were held in the old fashioned way with pupils delivering speaches.  They were heckled and it was really good fun.  On General Election Day we voted for our choice.  There is absolutely no reason why this cannot happen at any school today and it would make youngsters aware of the issues that affect all of us and make them feel empowered by being involved.  St George's may not have been too good academically but I am very grateful for the way in which we were all educated to think.
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Offline ZPW

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2010, 10:53:02 AM »
Hmmmm... this clip was almost enought o make me a Tory.

Apathy is not the word for it; disconnection more like.
Kom. is right in that the further from the people issues are dealt with the less engaged they are...
These breakfast clubbers are ripe for the picking. Low hanging fruit. But then again... why bother..? No.one there is going to vote for JayTee and the Labour group have all the voters they need in the older population.

Not at all sure what the blonde woman thinks the Youth Parliament is going to do for Penhillians. Just another slami slice off the population turning into politically charged frustrates. No.one like an alien and Youth Parliament champions are on afast track to Rob Magic's planets.

The first woman that had a child draped over her shoulders was blinding for me... How can she pick up a paper and not realsie her plight ( and it's not an attractive plight) is caused or at least affected by the politics of the land? She's not think very hard.... what's she too busy doing to care about the environment her child grows up in? Busy with what?


Mr Harpenden.... when you've been in education as long as I've been in education, you'll know running a mock election is pretty normal. Glad you think the couple you voted in amounted to a good education - suggest you pass this bon idee onto Garrie Perkins

Offline Muggins

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2010, 11:48:40 AM »
Mock elections in school are all very well, but nothing else in school really relates to the real world - well not to kids it doesn't, I thank my teachers for teaching me to read and numerate but apart from that, nothing at school  fitted me for the real world. Of course that was a long time ago, things could have changed. Though it would be useful to break down barriers if kids wer shown a proper polling booth and guided through the procedures when you get through the door.

The posts on this really show the total lack of understanding of how people function.   You simply cannot judge that they think the same as you or that they would want to if they could.  Probably there are some people who go through life and a useful one at that, that have never voted and never will.   There are some that are a bit interested, and just want an honest caring person to represent them, as those representatives are rarer than hen's teeth, they soon lose interest.  By dint of we are are sending in posts to TS shows we are more tuned in than most.   

You are right though ZPW, there are 4/5th of the Penhill Ward electorate that are ripe for the picking - what would you do to get them out?.  Or do you think that they are too ignorant or unworthy to deserve a vote??  Would you want them to be compelled to vote?

As to Youth parliaments - I do wish they would let kids be kids,  be young whilst they are young. They'll come to politics soon enough if they are interested enough.   

However some, never get the benefit of a youth as we know it. 

PS don't make assumptions that people read newspapers or watch the news.
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Offline Rochelle

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2010, 11:52:55 AM »
I'm usually reluctant to post on these sites mainly because I'm a bit hopeless with technology and I find it all a bit confusing!
However this is a subject that is so close to my heart that I thought I'd attempt to add my thoughts for once...
I spend a great deal of time, election year or not, trying to explain to younger people the importance of taking part in our democratic process and it is an uphill struggle, even with my own kids, who should by now have a pretty good grasp of things!
Like other posters, I think the key to encouraging people to engage is to put the time in, make a point of meeting people, don't just post leaflets, and actually DO something, don't just talk and sit in endless committee rooms talking nonsense.
Personally I have never voted for anyone I haven't met.
National politics confuse me and I've been politically engaged for a very long time. BUT I totally believe in the real power of local politics. Change for the good does happen and ordinary people can take power back.
I think all the major parties have let their voters down and it's time to get back to reality and get back onto the streets where the real people are.

Offline Chav

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2010, 12:43:10 PM »
Hmmmm... this clip was almost enought o make me a Tory.

Apathy is not the word for it; disconnection more like.
Kom. is right in that the further from the people issues are dealt with the less engaged they are...
These breakfast clubbers are ripe for the picking. Low hanging fruit. But then again... why bother..? No.one there is going to vote for JayTee and the Labour group have all the voters they need in the older population.

Not at all sure what the blonde woman thinks the Youth Parliament is going to do for Penhillians. Just another slami slice off the population turning into politically charged frustrates. No.one like an alien and Youth Parliament champions are on afast track to Rob Magic's planets.

The first woman that had a child draped over her shoulders was blinding for me... How can she pick up a paper and not realsie her plight ( and it's not an attractive plight) is caused or at least affected by the politics of the land? She's not think very hard.... what's she too busy doing to care about the environment her child grows up in? Busy with what?


Mr Harpenden.... when you've been in education as long as I've been in education, you'll know running a mock election is pretty normal. Glad you think the couple you voted in amounted to a good education - suggest you pass this bon idee onto Garrie Perkins

The blond woman said a whole lot more during filming - but like anything, you just get a snap shot of what they choose to put in.   ;)
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Muggins

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 04:01:02 PM »
Richard said "I spent my formulative years in Harpenden in Hertfordshire and went to St George's School from 1961 to 1967"

Well, I went to jeening St. Sec Mod from 1956 - 1960, the only way I knew about elections was when someone asked me to help out number taking - goodness knows why I was asked - as far as I know our fmaily knew no one that close to politics.  Our schooll certainly didn't bother our heads with it in any way.  When I look back I realise that my destiny was pre-cast - by them.   Them that had parents inside (the GWR) would get jobs, probably doing what their fathers did before them.  Those who didn't would 'serve' them that did - either as shop assistants' hairdressers etc or if you were in the 'A' class an office worker. 

It was no good having aspirations, they wouldn't get you anywhere.  I know that's moved on, but there are 'end of rolls' left of it throughout society.  Whether that's parents 'hobbling' their children or our betters :angel: the barriers and brick walls are still there.

 

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Simon

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 07:16:36 PM »
I'm usually reluctant to post on these sites mainly because I'm a bit hopeless with technology and I find it all a bit confusing!


If I may digress from the main subject of the thread for a moment...

There are quite a few tech-savvy members here who are happy to help out, so if you have any questions you can always post them on the How do I...? board, or if you want to ask for help in private you can always send me a PM (private message). The admin team are also very helpful if you'd prefer to PM one of them instead.

We now return you to the advertised programme...
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline ZPW

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 07:37:38 PM »

The posts on this really show the total lack of understanding of how people function.   You simply cannot judge that they think the same as you or that they would want to if they could.  Probably there are some people who go through life and a useful one at that, that have never voted and never will.   

We all project Muggins. natural state of being.



You are right though ZPW, there are 4/5th of the Penhill Ward electorate that are ripe for the picking - what would you do to get them out?.  Or do you think that they are too ignorant or unworthy to deserve a vote??  Would you want them to be compelled to vote?




No. I don't really belive in voter compulsion... although I could be persauded. It may help us over this huge abyss we are wallowing in.

No..I don't think they are too unworthy of a vote. what a strange thing to say.
No..I don't think them too ignorant to vote either; another strange thing to say. Should be  only allow the educated to vote? How would you determine the bar - Classics scholar? Might as well just let the Men vote.
Muggins you seem to think that only people who don't read newspapers and don't have 'time' to work out the voting process should be allowed to vote.. or are they the only people that should be allowed to vote Labour? Not sure what you are on about really.

How to get the low fruit out to vote? I've been thinking about this today..
Not leaflets.
Not billboards
Not internet stuff.
Has to be personal. Has to consistent. Has to give a reason.
Not necessary for the candidate to be the agent, suspect that the 4/5th of Penhill et al would not be persuaded by JayTee or the other wannabee. They need good honest clever local activists like Fay and Bob beating the breakfast clubs doors down. They are the secret to success - good advocates.
Have I answered all your questions?

Ah hah!
Newspapers. No... I do not belive that 4/5ths of the 4/5ths don't see or read a paper. That brekfast place will have at least 4 lying around. Don't have to read them to follow the pictures.

Offline ZPW

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 07:43:34 PM »
......aspirations, they wouldn't get you anywhere.  I know that's moved on, but there are 'end of rolls' left of it throughout society.  Whether that's parents 'hobbling' their children or our betters :angel: the barriers and brick walls are still there.

isn't his the attitude that stops people from climbing over the barriers?
Whaqt are these barriers that exist now? What?
Clearly you see yourself as one that has had their aspirations thwarted...and you seem to be saying that there are still articles in place to prevent the aspirational... what are they?

Offline Simon

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 08:41:34 PM »
Should be  only allow the educated to vote?

I was almost with you there Zippy, until you said

How would you determine the bar - Classics scholar? Might as well just let the Men vote.

During my failed attempt to get myself a university degree, I spent a short time being the boyfriend of a Classics student. It seemed that her degree consisted only of learning Greek and Latin, and seeing as she already had A-levels in those subjects and was sufficiently fluent in those languages to understand any texts put before her, she breezed through university life. So she'd qualify to vote.

But I wouldn't. My Latin is non-existent, and my Greek is just about sufficient to remember what some of the letters from their alphabet mean when cited by physicists. I don't know how to say yes, no, please, thank you, or beer in Greek, and I can't even count up to 1, so my Greek isn't even up to tourist level.

Does this disqualify me from voting?

I suggest a slightly different test for voting eligibility.

Newspapers. No... I do not belive that 4/5ths of the 4/5ths don't see or read a paper. That brekfast place will have at least 4 lying around. Don't have to read them to follow the pictures.

No doubt at least one of those papers will be the Sun. Ask the potential voter to read said paper and then question them about what's going on in the world, and what the most important issue currently is.

If they reply with a paraphrase of the headline on the front page, or of the contents of the speech bubble assigned to today's page 3 girl, then disqualify them. Likewise for anyone who replies with a paraphrase of the day's editorial.

If they point out discrepancies between headlines and the text underneath them, or discrepancies between the reported news and actual reality, then hand them their ballot paper and advise them to use it wisely.

If they refuse to read the Sun then give them a different newspaper and repeat the process.

I know this isn't particularly scientific, and it'll leave quite a lot of people in the grey area between qualification and disqualification, but I think you get the idea...

We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Muggins

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2010, 02:01:30 PM »
ZPW   No, I didn't have my aspirations thwarted - what I meant was that with the hindsight of age and experience I realised that I had had no aspirations instilled in me. No one, had ever said to me 'you can do that'. If you ain't got 'em you don't aim for them.

That didn't happen to my children (one of whom did learn Latin Simon :) teachers by then were completely different, or was it that my kids were a bit different?  I don't know.

I see this lack of aspiration now in those who fall off the education radar.   As it happens the breakfast club did buy papers, about four different ones. I think on offer was the Adver?  The Mail? The Sun? Gave up looking then.  The last time I went in there, there wasn't one perhaps they were not read and therefore a waste of money.  Plently of inter community chat and support going on though and you are right, it needs someone to talk to them about it, at length, and NOT lecture them on it and that goes for practically everything to stop them being excluded from most things. this is expensive and time consuming so usually does not happen, even with special funding.  Your list of approaches is handy and I hope other people read it and realise how difficult it is to get them involved.

I notice however that you used the words 'low lying' to describe them.   

There are also some people who avoid registering to vote at all - do they completely fall of everyones radar? or do you respect their right to opt out?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Mart

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Re: BBC Points West: Voter Apathy In Penhill
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2010, 10:19:53 PM »
So many words.

Here we are, stick £5 a month on the Council Tax.

When you vote you get £ a redeemable voucher to the full value of your monthly £5's. It's cracking, invest the fivers between elections for a bit of income, keep the fivers from the people who can't be arsed.

Stop it out of benefits to close that little loophole, and Bob's your uncle and, very surprisingly, Defence Minister.

Probably a tad draconian, but this is either important or it isn't.

Voting at 16 is bollocks by the way.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.