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Voting to remove words...

Comment
By Mike Gaunt


There are two words that I have heard far too many times. They are not rude words, or even offensive words.

One wasn’t even a word until it was ‘invented’ in 2012, by a chap called Peter Wilding. These words are ‘Brexit’ and ‘Trump’.

Each word has surely generated far more hot air discussion than would have been thought likely a year ago?

I am heartily sick of hearing about Brexit this and Brexit that. I see so many interviews, read so many articles about Brexit, that I wonder how much money has been spent on simply discussing it?

Every time an ‘armchair expert’ appears on a TV programme, or a reporter lurks in the corridors of power in Westminster, eagerly panting the latest expose regarding discussions regarding Brexit, I ask myself how much are they being paid to simply talk about something which didn’t even exist a few years ago?

Trump, on the other hand, has been in the news for a little while, but has been mentioned remarkably frequently for the past year.

Now and again I watch the news programme CNN. I like ‘breaking’ news and have fond memories of watching CNN during the Gulf War, when it was the only news channel that had people crawling around on floors in the Rashid hotel in Baghdad and pointing cameras at tomahawk missiles flying by.

Trump seems to be a word in almost every other sentence now, though.

CNN has become obsessed with him and devotes hours to discussing him and asking armies of invited guests to offer their opinion about him; I guess that they are all paid, so Trump has, in a bizarre way, kept some people employed.

If I could somehow vote to have the two words banned from being uttered, I would.

This makes me think, though: I didn’t vote regarding Brexit. I had been out of UK for too long, it appeared.

I would have voted, if I could have, as I did have a view.

I even have a theory that votes about these ‘big’ issues in referenda should be ‘weighted’ according to the age of the voter.

What I mean is that when votes are cast for an issue, the vote of an older person should somehow be worth less than that of a younger voter.

The reason?

Because they will have to live with the consequences of their vote for fewer years.

So if each vote was divided by the age of the voter, then it would still count, but its value would be in proportion to age.

I understand that it is a hundred years since some women received the right to vote in UK.

It seems remarkable that there are still parts of the world where women cannot all vote, but that is the case.

I suppose it is related to the view society has of women; or perhaps, more realistically, the view which men have of women in some societies.

Interestingly, I believe the only place in the world where women cannot vote is… Vatican City.

Mike Gaunt is a former headmaster at St Christopher’s School, Bahrain – mikegaunt@gmail.com

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