When on holiday in St. Helier, Jersey and having time to kill before our departure we visited the island’s museum, situated opposite Liberation Square. Anyone who knows just a little of England’s history, the significance of Liberation Square in the capital of one of the Channel Islands would not be lost on them.
One of the smallest of exhibits on show in the museum was a wooden box which was probably the most important item on display.
[I] was reminded of this time spent during our sojourn to Jersey when seeing the ‘demonstrations’ in London by those who felt that the Referendum had denied them their futures.
But first down memory lane: When a few days before my 28th birthday, I along with 17 million others, on a 64 per cent turnout bothered to register a vote to stay in the Common Market.
Now 40 years later on a 72.2 per cent turnout those between 18-24 years-of-age 64 per cent voted to remain, but unlike previous generations only four in ten bothered to registered a preference on whether to leave or remain.
So back to Liberation Square and that little ballot box. In front of the exhibit was a small description which should be read by everyone who now wants a rerun of the Referendum:
Hardly an inspiring object, as it stands. And yet, the immense principles for which this innocuous wooden box stands have inspired the weak to greatness and shattered the strong to dust. Millions have fought and given their lives in its defence.
Think, then, as you contemplate this historic object: what price would you put on the freedom to vote?
Think again all of you who did not like the result; didn’t understand the consequences; or were just too lazy to turn up and use the stubby pencil provided; we should always ensure that the majority view is enacted upon and the minority view respected. We owe it to all those – from Suffragettes to soldiers – who have fought to give us the privilege.