Slaying the spin

February 15, 2002

The appalling turnout of under 30s at the last general election has prompted a sickening seduction of youthful voters by the major parties.

Like bored vampires who have just discovered someone at their party is alive, they are each trying to lure their young victims with whispered promises.

Charles Kennedy's attempts to woo the school pupils and students who turned up for the annual jamboree for politically minded young folk, known as Westminster Day, ended in failure.

He told more than 2,500 potential voters: "We insisted that tuition fees should be abolished in Scotland. And they were. And we're fighting to get them abolished in England and Wales as well."

Cue a Buffy-the-Vampire-Sla-yer character, who leapt to her feet to point out that tuition fees were not abolished in Scotland but merely deferred until after graduation and renamed endowments.

Then there is Charles Hendry, appointed last week as the Tory's first spokesman on youth affairs. And why not? After all, a 42-year-old father-of-four passes as a callow youth in a party where the average age is about 65 years.

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