Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Gazette comment: Tomorrow’s democracy is in good hands

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 June 2018

Olivia Gordon Clarke after tasting victory in her Angel Wings campaign. Picture: SIORNA ASHBY

Olivia Gordon Clarke after tasting victory in her Angel Wings campaign. Picture: SIORNA ASHBY


Sometimes it’s hard not to feel despondent about the state of our democracy.

In Islington, less than 40 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the May elections. And every day we get bombarded by tweets from Trump, or trolling from both sides of the Brexit debate. It’s exhausting.

But if Thursday’s meeting at the town hall is anything to go by, the future of Islington’s democracy looks bright.

Councillors agreed the shopping centre needs more than a lick of paint, but weren’t convinced the landmark Angel Wings sculpture should be moved elsewhere.

Congratulations must go to Olivia Gordon Clarke for this victory. She campaigned like a pro to save the public artwork, by doorstepping and using petitions to lobby councillors.

Whether you think the 12-tonne wings should leave or remain is irrelevant. The point is: kids are getting actively involved in local politics. And that is something we should all celebrate.

Even for experienced public figures, big speeches can be scary. But 10-year-old Olivia stood up in front of the a packed town hall and delivered an assured, gracious address. Perhaps more inspiring still was the level of solidarity displayed by Olivia’s friends, who turned up and sat through two hours of a pretty dry public meeting to support her.

There were nearly as many kids in attendance as adults and the committee wisely took their voices into account. After all, they are the voters of tomorrow.

The 2017 election saw young people confound pollsters by voting in unprecedented numbers.Oxford Dictionaries now define a “youthquake” as “a significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”.

Well, youthquakes start with tremors and these kids are already shaking up local politics.

Related articles

Latest Islington Stories


Building work on the historic Golden Lane Estate has been suspended after a gas leak caused dozens of families to be evacuated from their homes.

The Ham&High columnist reminds us of our deep rooted connection to trees as he writs about Poplar’s missing poplars

A nurse was “nearly killed” when the ceiling of her housing association flat off the Holloway Road collapsed on Friday.

A pregnant bulldog with life-threatening injuries was found covered in faeces and abandoned in a Finsbury Park alley on December 2.

CBeebies twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand rally gross out humour, self experimentation and interactive fun to teach children about the human body

Elderly service users of a Highbury day centre set for demolition staged an impassioned and slightly surreal demonstration on the Town Hall steps last night.

A drug dealer caught with £800,000 worth of cocaine in the boot of his car has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Unai Emery has been speaking after Arsenal’s late 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Emirates. Read on for what he said about matchwinner Lucas Torreira as the Gunners made it 21 games unbeaten.

Promoted Content

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now