Thursday, 16 September 2010

The youngest Green

This is my three year old daughter, Clementine, 'reading' her copy of the Young Greens newsletter. She joined the Young Greens when she was two, and as far as I know she's the youngest member of the Green Party.

Some people have been a little cynical about me joining her up when she's so young, but I had some good reasons. We're always swift to complain about the apathy of the general public when it comes to the democratic process, but I think if you get people interested in playing a part in politics from a young age, the better chance we have of having a generation of active, engaged citizens in years to come.

It will be vital that today's children become the informed, concerned citizens of tomorrow, because of course they will unfortunately be inheriting the runaway climate change caused by the generations before them.

I don't know how common it is for schools to run mock elections, but they are certainly a good way of engaging young people. I remember one taking place in my school at the time of the General Election in 1992. The headmistress was unfortunately a staunch Tory and put up posters of John Major all over the place. (I drew a moustache on one of them, as I recall).

Anyway, my hope is that when she's old enough, she'll use her vote (by the way, she doesn't yet return her internal elections ballot papers - she uses them as drawing paper). I know who I hope she will vote for in the future, but she's happily a rather independent-minded type, so time will tell! Just this week, at the breastfeeding campaign meeting, she was holding forth about the importance of breastfeeding ("it makes us grow big and strong") and, unprompted, brought up the issue of the Whittington hospital ("we need to keep it open in case people get sick.")

Anyway, watch out for Clementine at a Green Party conference in a year or two - you heard it here first!

(Please note: I apologise for the perhaps slightly nauseatingly proud tone of this post - I honestly can't help it).


  1. I remember taking part in our mock elections in 1992, unfortunately I was the leader of the Natural Law Party. I never could get that yogic flying thing sorted :-(
    - Louise

  2. As long as she doesn't turn into a Wilhelmina Hague!

  3. Three years old and only just reading her YGs newsletter? You start them late in Haringey - we like to start earlier than that in Ladywell;)