David Cameron today used this famous Horatio Nelson quote (albeit substituting England for Britain and adding "and woman") in a speech to launch the Young Adult Trust today. He advocated lowering certain age restrictions for young people who have demonstrated that they are responsible citizens by participating in a voluntary civilian version of National Service. The ages at which you can bear criminal responsibility and vote were examples he sensibly gave of age limits that would be excluded.

The YAT – headed up by Paul Oginsky, co-founder of Weston Spirit – launched officially today and released this research document
about the transition to adulthood. It will run two week courses for selected teenageers, where they will look at
concepts like identity, community work and teamwork. Cameron hopes they could become some kind of rite of passage into adulthood, and its associated rights.

The speech isn’t on the Party website yet but you click here to download the draft. Here is an extract:

"In too many ways we’ve become the walk-on-by society. Walk-on-by suffering. Walk-on-by an opportunity, and an obligation, to help. I want us, as a society, to be far firmer about what we expect of ourselves – and of our fellow citizens. It’s not enough just to pay your taxes and obey the law. More, much more than this is expected. Our whole society – our peace and our wealth – rests on values which we all have a responsibility to uphold. Trust. Treating others as you wish to be treated. Compassion. The sense that we’re all in this together. These are the underpinnings of a successful economy and a healthy society. We simply cannot continue to allow young people to grow up with so little knowledge of, and respect for, the values of citizenship."

Cameron has also written in this evening’s Evening Standard on the subject (click on the image below to enlarge it).


Deputy Editor