Let me introduce you to the Armstrong family in the late 19th Century.
Before 1867 only 1 million of the 7 million men in the UK, just 7% of the total adult population, had the right to vote; the country was governed to favour but a tiny proportion of its inhabitants.
Importantly there were a number within this privileged few who didn’t like this imbalance and continually tried to change the law to include the disenfranchised.
1867 was a landmark in electoral reform, and opened the way to all adults (including women in 1928) having the right to decide who runs the country, and importantly that means our health and education services. The girls on this picture weren’t allowed to vote until they were middle aged.
Because they eventually did they were one of the reasons we ended up with socialised medicine in this country.
I’m too young to remember the relief that must have been to the sick, but my wife recalls how ecstatic her family were when they no longer had to pay to see a doctor.
But in the last general election, nearly 16 million decided not to vote.
Why do people opt out of what is a right that was only won after years of discrimination? Why are people so apathetic?
In other countries this civic duty is compulsory, so why not here?
Democracy is a right that doesn’t hang around if you don’t cultivate it.
And if you don’t you deserve to be spat at.