spiked proposals: Growing up
spiked's first-time non-voter turns 21 on election day. Here's what she wants from the government.
Since I turn 21 on election day, I have been thinking about what the government should give me for a present.
I would like:
- To drink to get drunk.
New Labour has been bribing young potential voters with text messages, saying ‘cdnt give a xxxx 4 lst ordrs? Vote labour on thrsdy 4 xtra time’. I’m all for scrapping the licensing laws – but not if it’s only to make my mates and I behave better at closing time. On my twenty-first birthday, I want to get completely bladdered in a pub where people drink shots and pints, not ‘units’; where the more you drink in a short space of time, the better; and without being bombarded by posters warning me that my handbag could be stolen – or that, after a few too many, my knickers could, too.
- To watch what I want.
The government could let me have some books, CDs and videos – ones that, no matter how gruesome, violent, f-word-ridden or horrible, I can use without somebody telling me what is or is not suitable. And that doesn’t mean those things you get illegally from Holland in plain packages that just make the screen go fuzzy.
- To misbehave.
If I could only come out of the pub feeling a bit merry, go to a football match, cheer for my team and fart the score loudly down my mobile phone to my friends without being accused of antisocial behaviour, I’d have a great time on my twenty-first.
Whenever I tell my friends that I think genetic science is amazing, I end up with crop circles scorched into my hair and having my garden napalmed. If the government was more positive and supportive of science it would save me a lot of split ends and frustration.
The government is obsessed with warning young people of the dangers of sex and pregnancy. Go away! I want a sex life that isn’t ruined by constant warnings that my genitals will turn into London Zoo, or that I will become an emotional wreck if, on removing my beer goggles the morning after the night before, I decide I don’t want to commit to a long-term relationship with the Rottweiler lying dribbling next to me. If the government stayed out of my bed, my sex life would improve no end.
Because I am turning 21 and my mum tells me I should start acting like one, I want to be treated like an adult. But I guess that’s just too much to ask.
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