Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Starmer on voting rights - is he consistent?

The Telegraph reports that Keir Starmer has backtracked on an earlier pledge to give voting rights to EU citizens. (This is behind a paywall but, for now at least, reproduced via MSN.)

This isn't entirely new news it seems, because they appear to have run a similar story last year. Although an earlier Guardian story is a bit less clear on plans anyway - suggesting that it's simply being looked at.

What struck me about the original story, however, is his comments (quoted at the end of the piece) about the voting age:

"On the votes for 16 and 17-year-olds, I strongly believe if you can work as you can when you’re 16 and 17, if you can serve in our Armed Forces, if you pay your taxes as you do if you’re a 16 or 17-year-old, you have a right to say how those taxes are going to be used."

If these are his reasons for wanting to lower the voting age, then it seems odd that EU citizens - and, indeed, other immigrants - who are able to work and pay tax shouldn't also be given the vote. Maybe (the right to) military service is more important than this passage suggests.