The online world has been full of quips over the Youth PCC who was given a £15,000 a year job out of over 150 applicants and it turned out she tweeted dumb things.
There have been calls that someone so young shouldn’t be in this position, well this is a role to engage with Youth problems. So quite frankly the age aspect is not relevant. This is a really good idea to look at ways in which to engage with younger people, after all in York one of the big issues is Antisocial Behavior. Youth crime is a problem throughout the country and having someone on a similar level is a great way to look at tackling the problem. After all the usual people who come up with policies have absolutely no idea what it is like for modern younger people, which can be sown in the dramatic failure of most policies.
The other side has been saying there shouldn’t be such a racist, homophobic drug taker standing in the role. However we are dealing in a whole different world with the online tweets there for all to see and often forgotten. Her tweets were stupid, she knows that, every single media outlet has been saying it and the online communities have been sneering at her. These weren’t recent tweets, these were form when she was 13/14/15, 2 years prior. This may not be a long time for older people but it is a significant change in peoples lives from 15 to 17.
There have been people out there saying she should resign over her past comments, yet I don’t recall many people calling for Ed Balls to resign over his past when he dressed up as a Nazi.
So should a persons comments when a young teenager set out the future of our lives? Absolutely not, I don’t think there will be a single person who could claim they hadn’t said dumb things as a teenager. They’re teenagers, that’s what they do!
Should the PCC have vetted her properly, absolutely. Inn a modern world where things can come and bite you in the bum it is good to know what is ahead. However I would be more worried if the person hired was someone who had never done anything wrong, never said something stupid and was a perfect citizen. They will be as useful as a 60 year old lecturer in the role, as there has to be a relationship between ordinary younger people and themselves.
So before everyone else starts to dig at Paris Brown, did what you say when you were a 13/14/15 years old represent who you are in your current life? I think not.