Make voting a family affair


During every election and referendum bar none, ever since my son could walk, he has accompanied me to the voting booth. At times I’d even bribe him, "Come on son, let’s go and vote. Afterwards, we'll see if we can get some Ben 10 Aliens, you know Stinkfly, Upchuck or Fourarms."

As he became older, he would want to put the cross in the box for me, which nearly became hazardous when he mistook what I pointed at. ‘No, no son, that lot really hates us’ I intervened, as he went to put a cross next the BNP candidate's name.

It’s now become a ritual for him. Something he and his father do, and will do again tomorrow before he gets his 7.45am train to school. He’s still only 12.

I firmly believe that we shouldn’t wait until our children are of voting age to teach them the power of voting. I tell anyone who’ll listen, voting is a numbers game, and in the vast majority of elections most people don’t vote, and that’s particularly so for Black and minority ethnic communities.

Furthermore, I add, race equality and social justice is never a given, we have to stand up, be counted and politically demand it. Simple.

So tomorrow, let’s take our children to the polling booth, exercise our democratic right, and start making even more demands for social and racial justice.

Simon Woolley