There are some remarkable things going on in this election, no really, it’s not just hype. Remember that pollsters got a real hiding after the failed predictions of the 1992 campaign and are much more savvy at their art these days. One feature is the likely rise of young voters (which appears good news for Mr. Clegg) to go alongside the high voting intentions of older voters (which appears good news for Mr Cameron). If both groups turn out in great numbers we have very interesting times ahead. Why? Because their needs and priorities will come up face to face against each other. And this is regardless of the outcome of the election because we are, as if we needed reminding by the IFS, heading for very difficult economic times. Consider this: Do we want to scrap Trident to save huge amounts of taxpayers money? Yes please say the university students- No way say the generation who remember Mr Khrushev’s missiles heading for the Caribbean in the ’60s. Or this: Do we want free tuition fees or more taxpayer money to fund Care for the Elderly? And finally: Do we want an expansion of home building to provide affordable housing for the young, turning villages into towns and putting pressure on local services? You get the picture. There is very little money about, the choices will be tough and both these groups of people are prepared to become militant (in their own way). So church, a challenge for us. Our church communities are one of the few places left where young and old regularly rub shoulders and get along pretty well. Maybe it would be good if we sat down in small groups including the whole demographic range to talk about some of these issues, listening to one another’s pressures of life and providing a forum for creative suggestions- you never know some sort of prioritisation might develop. It would be better than inter-generational combat, anyway.
For the sake of balance: the good news for Gordon Brown- well, at least he wasn’t meeting Mrs Duffy next Wednesday.