Don’t let pensioners shape your future! - UK’s youth MUST register and vote

Rachel Moore says the over-65s will have a large share of the vote at the forthcoming general electi

Rachel Moore says the over-65s will have a large share of the vote at the forthcoming general election unless eligible young people register and vote - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There's no point having a political opinion if you're not going to vote, says Rachel Moore

Threats of spoilt votes, polling station boycotts and ferocious arguments ripping families apart, it's not only the most important election for this generation, it's the most furious.

People are furious; about Brexit, the quality of our politicians, the tone of their rhetoric, how they behave, austerity and their visions for the future.

This time it won't be apathy that risks this election attracting the worst turnout on record; it will be fury.

But refusing to vote and staying away in anger is effectively disenfranchising yourself. Opting out takes away any power. Not voting means you have no right to moan, object or have any opinion on our political system.

Folding your arms and sitting in the corner in a sulk will get no one anywhere.

And, with almost all pensioners registered to vote and only one in three eligible teenagers not registered, we risk the over-65s determining the shape of the country for future generations.

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Put like that to young people, they should stampede to the polling booths.

It's trite to say people have died for the right to vote, and our democracy, however rotten we think it is, look at us with envy.

Even a spoiled paper is a vote and a protest about the quality of the people in charge of our future.

Lifelong political animals are refusing to take part in this general election because they feel no party represents them or they can identify with, or, because they live in a safe seat, feel their vote won't count anyway.

But not to vote is tantamount to giving politicians free rein to do what it wants with the economy, the NHS and every other public service. Not exercising our democratic right at this time would be a terrible waste.

Yet more than nine million people are believed to be missing from the electoral roll or not registered at their current address - with young people, ethnic minorities and the poor most likely to miss out on the chance to have their say.

Everyone should participate in this, the most critical election, especially young people who will be voting on the shape of their future.

But one in three eligible teenagers is not signed up to vote, with less than a week until the deadline.

Non-registration is almost as high among 20 to 24-year-olds (at 32 per cent) and among 25 to 34-year-olds (26 per cent).

Meanwhile, one in four black and Asian people are not on the electoral roll.

Yet only six per cent of pensioners are not registered.

Unless young people get their acts together and vote, this will be the silver vote election and young people's future will be determined by octogenarians.

This is not what anyone wants.

This election is so fundamental to the future of the UK, it is critical that young people register to vote to have their say.

They need to be drawn into the political system, see they can make a difference and and debate - though looking at the choice and the debate it's hardly a surprise that they have switched off, or never switched on, and see no relevance.

It only takes five minutes to register to vote online.

Universities are helping by giving students five minutes at the start of lectures to register to vote.

And, according to the Cabinet Office, only two % of homeless people are on the electoral roll - with 48 councils in England not having a single rough sleeper signed up.

Unsurprisingly, many of them do not know how to register, but, even those without a fixed address can put down details of somewhere they spend a lot of time such as a day centre or night shelter, or even an address nearest to a park bench, bus shelter or high street shop front. There is still time and a lot of rough sleepers are some of the most political people.

As I write, I'm fielding texts and calls from my 20-year-old son studying in Russia and sorting his proxy vote, because he wouldn't dream of letting an election pass without having his say.

Make sure your young people are registered, show them why they should value their vote and participation in an historic election.

Change never comes by not being part of it.

Being offensive, rude and aggressive get nobody anywhere.

How we speak to each other, and about each other, determines not just our relationships but how we are perceived in the workplace, organisations, sports clubs and wherever we go.

Losing your cool and being insulting means people don't want to work with you, do business with you or hang out with you.

Still people think it's the way to be important, get their point over and their own way.

Being direct and straight talking is different to being rude. But, sadly, too many people don't get this and resort to rudeness to pull rank, even when it comes to ordering a coffee or dealing with an apprentice.

It's the worst trait. And, in the workplace, becomes contagious. 'Group think' happens and one rude person, especially someone up the hieracrchy can breed an office full of toxic rudeness.

I meet rudeness with extra smiles and syrupy niceness to highlight how hideous the other person is being.