Blaise Tapp: Our kids should have some understanding of politics

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It was always going to be a good summer with the Euros, closely followed by the Olympics to keep me away from the weeding and the pruning.

But, now that we have a General Election slap bang in the middle of it all, 2024 promises to be a vintage year for armchair sports and politics fans like me. What started off like any other rainy Wednesday, suddenly became filled with excitement once the rumours of a surprise early election began to surface. News nerds like me had heard it all before and been left bitterly disappointed when it had all previously come to nothing.

So when we heard that the nation's best known wearer of half mast trousers was preparing to make a statement outside Number 10 in a downpour, we knew it really was happening and I have been clicking my heels with joy ever since. It's safe to say, however, that my genuine excitement that we now have six weeks of election countdown has not been matched by those who I share a house with, although I am working on it.

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Trying to get a 14-year-old to take an interest in anything that isn't on TikTok is akin to trying to convince a Scouser that the Stones were better than the Beatles but I'm nothing if not a trier and she will watch at least one live television debate between now and July 4, even if I have to double her weekly allowance. Why bother? Politics, although mind numbingly tedious at times, is something that everyone, especially children, should have some understanding of. After all, the people who ultimately make the decisions that impact most aspects of their lives are where they are due to the mechanics of politics.

We need to get our children off Tik Tok and taking an interest in who runs the country. Photo: AdobeWe need to get our children off Tik Tok and taking an interest in who runs the country. Photo: Adobe
We need to get our children off Tik Tok and taking an interest in who runs the country. Photo: Adobe

It's therefore thoroughly depressing to hear people - grown, bill paying adults - proudly express how they have no interest in politics or elections. I heard a woman on the wireless, just minutes after the PM fired his starting gun, brag 'I've never voted and I never will' but I imagine she will moan about having less money in her pocket than she once did or about the potholes at the end of her road. Democracy must work for everyone, even the disengaged, but we need to teach our kids that those who seek to run our country need to know that we are watching them, rather than being distracted by singing cats on the internet.

I will most certainly be watching for the next month and a half - I suspect the state of my lawn on July 5th will be evidence of that.