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Young vs old: who said never the twain shall meet?

Until voting age is lowered to 16, the voice of young people will always count for less among power-brokers – but a new NUS report shows the youth have something valuable to say

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Mark Twain memorably remarked: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

I was reminded of this when I recently attended the launch of a report jointly sponsored by Shakira Martin, president of the NUS union, and Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats. They are an unlikely partnership – he, formally dressed, avuncular, white and white-haired; she, young, black and anything but formal in speech and appearance.

But the age difference was ...

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