Tuesday 17 October 2017

Ian O'Doherty: It's simple . . . leave the country, lose the vote

On her way: Almost 150,000 under-25s left in the last three years. Picture posed. Thinkstock
On her way: Almost 150,000 under-25s left in the last three years. Picture posed. Thinkstock
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

It was a chance meeting with a guy I barely knew that kicked it all off, I suppose. We were making small talk when he suddenly remembered: "Ah yeah, I was hoping I was going to see you. There was a piece in the Indo recently . . ."

Lovely, I assumed -- yet another one of those fans who dare not publicly speak their name but who wanted to say how reading the column had enriched their life in so many ways and . . . no, as he sniffed in a rather unnecessarily dismissive tone, he doesn't agree with my politics.

He was impressed, instead, by a piece that appeared a few days before Christmas which argued that emigrants should be given the vote. But before I could decide whether to vaguely nod in agreement or take a different tack and become embroiled in a conversation I really didn't want to have, another voice chirped: "Why should they get the vote? Didn't they leave this country in its hour of need? They get free education, free degrees and then they sod off to another country and give the benefit to some other country."

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