DEMOCRACY: Don’t dictate use of freedom

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I was a young man in the 1960s, a time of youth, long hair and protest.

My generation was often subject to comments from the older generation of the “We did not fight the war (Second World War) for you to behave like this” variety.

David Brown’s letter “Time the young grew up” (Gazette, August 31) took me back to those comments.

What those gallant fighters forgot and David Brown overlooks (in his comments about the young and their use of mobile devices) is that the older generation should unconditionally safeguard the younger generations’ freedom and not dictate how that freedom is used.

Elsewhere in the Gazette, the examination results of our local schools were published.

They demonstrate that young people work extremely hard, achieve excellent grades and gain places in university. What David Brown, like many of our generation, does not grasp is the concept of multitasking.

The majority of young people are able to use smartphones and tablets and work hard for what they want; indeed they use these devices to assist their work.

My experience of my contemporaries in the 60s and many of the young people of today is that they were and are outward looking, inclusive and accepting of the world beyond our shores.

The young also recognise that sovereign states need to work together and pool their sovereignty for their common good.

The referendum showed that the majority of young people wanted to remain in the EU. It is their future.

When the current Brexit negotiations are concluded, probably sometime after 2019, it will be quite reasonable to ask the population, a changed population in a changed situation from that which voted in 2016, to ratify the conclusion in an election or referendum.

No vote in Parliament can bind future governments. Similarly, no referendum should bind the future population. That is democracy.

As a young person I did not vote for the status quo into which I had been born, I sought to change it.

The young of today should be encouraged to argue for and vote for their preferred policies. To do otherwise is to act like a dictator and seek to reject dissent and change.

Geoff Hoskin,

Whittingham