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Age is no barrier to politics, says Senator

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YOUNG Islanders should not be discouraged from putting themselves forward for election, a minister has said after facing criticism on social media.

Senator Sam Mézec Picture: ROB CURRIE. (28267372)

Children’s and Housing Minister Sam Mézec recently questioned the ownership structure of Jersey Gas following the ongoing stand-off between the company and the government over financial support during the coronavirus crisis.

This prompted a backlash, with some rebutting his argument because he had ‘never had a real job’.

However, the Senator – who was first elected in 2014 as a St Helier Deputy at the age of 23 – said age should not be a barrier to entering politics and has encouraged young Islanders who might be considering standing at future elections not to be put off by such comments.

He said: ‘I want every single young person in Jersey to look at politics and think “yeah, that’s for me – I could be involved in that and have something positive to give for my Island”.

‘Your age is not a barrier. You may be told time and time again that you’re inexperienced and therefore wrong about everything by people who refuse to engage with the ideas and the arguments (presumably because they themselves are the ones who actually lack the intellectual capacity to do so), and it will sometimes be hard to find the strength to overcome this prejudice.

‘But you are capable of achieving better outcomes than people three times your age if you work hard and have the determination to do your best.

‘I don’t want young people to face a barrage of hostility and nastiness from people who have nothing positive to add and just try to belittle people for not having existed for as long as them. Nothing good comes out of it.’

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