Sunday, May 09, 2010

a politics lesson

Back to the politics, although of a different kind. Here's the Guardian's piece on Alfie McKenzie, the 14-year old socialist who succeeded in voting on Thursday. What strikes me as politically interesting here isn't that Alfie's a socialist, or that he pulled it off, or even that he refused to speak to the Daily Hell on principle, but this bit from the news story:
He went home, changed into his uniform, and got the bus to St Aidan's school, where he made the fatal mistake of confiding in a few friends, and telling a teacher in strict confidence. "The teacher went straight to the head, and the head called the council – but I don't think the council had a clue what to do about it in the beginning."

What a wonderful human being that teacher must be. There's a political lesson for you - if you tell them anything in confidence, they'll rat on you. Alternatively, the behaviour of responsible adults is to snoop and betray confidences. Obviously, which lesson is learned will depend on the pupil.


Anonymous said...

obviously the right thing to do by the teacher.

Aren't you vaguely worried that we have an electoral system that allows 14-year olds to stroll up and vote? How many other people abuse the system?

Its unlikely anything will happen to the pupil, but we may get some more controls on voting fraud.

And its a lesson for the young lad - people in positions of authority always act in the interests of authority, never as friends.

Christie Malry said...

Just because a child wants something to remain confidential, it doesn't mean it can or should remain so.

In this case the teacher had to make a tough call - they were privy to an illegal act, which made them an accessory. It's not surprising that they felt they had to pass this information on.

I agree with your previous commentator, the fact that he could vote at all is the interesting/worrying bit of this story, however cool the kid sounds.

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