Political parties are being incentivised to govern Britain only in the interests of the elderly – because they are the one generation which reliably votes, a leading Labour politician has warned.
As all three main parties kicked off the election campaign, Sadiq Khan told the Independent he was worried politicians courted “silver voters” and neglected the young simply because they were less likely to vote. This in turn, the shadow Justice Secretary said, exacerbated levels of disengagement among people in their 20s and 30s and contributed to a sense of alienation from party politics.
If you speak candidly to a campaign manager of any of the mainstream parties they will say that they concentrate their energies disproportionately on those they know are going to vote.
If you’ve got a candidate with an hour spare and a choice to go to an old people’s home or a sixth-form college, 99 per cent of campaign managers will say you’ve got to go to an old people’s home.
- Sadiq Khan
Mr Khan said the whole election campaign risked being skewed towards the interests of the elderly unless more young people could be encouraged to vote.
He called for far-reaching reform of Britain’s electoral rules to help deal with low turnout and restated Labour’s commitment to lowering the voting age to 16 – when schools could be used to encourage participation.