Does Any Political Party Really Care About Young People?
Danny Angove laments the lack of youth-centric and inclusive politics
Life’s full of disappointments, isn’t it?
Imagine: you’ve been forced to endure a long, hard day of lectures and seminars, so you decide to treat yourself to a night in with your housemates, junk food, and one of your favourite films. You hit the shops, but they’ve run out of ice cream. When you get home, you find that the film you want to watch isn’t on Netflix. One of your housemates bails on you to go to the SU; he eventually stumbles in at 2am, and vomits all over the kitchen floor.
You’re tired, you’re stressed, and your floor is sticky from VK-tinged vomit. The night is an unmitigated disaster.
This is, in short, how I feel about the Labour Party.
When Jeremy Corbyn was elected to lead Labour, I was hopeful. Heck – I was excited. I was a nineteen-year-old student, and like many of us, thought that he could really make a difference. Since then, though, I’ve yet to be convinced that he’s the right man for the job. If you ask me, he’s just not vocal enough to be the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader needs to be the voice of the people. They need to be vocal and they need to publicly scrutinise everything the Government do. So far, we haven’t seen enough of this from Corbyn.
Still, I’m not writing to complain about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. I’m writing this to point out that there’s no longer an ‘obvious’ political party for young people. It should’ve been Labour. It really should’ve been Labour. When Corbyn was elected, we were promised that he would usher in a new wave of youth-centric politics. Instead, we got a weak leader, and a party that’s on the verge of self-destruction.
If there’s not a party for us, then why should we care? The rhetoric of ‘politicians are all as bad as each other’ is a tired one, but in this case it seems to ring true. Who are the party for the youth? Do any of them really have our best interests at heart? We’re forced to choose between a handful of uninspiring leaders, and to pick a party based on who we think will screw us over the least. That doesn’t seem good enough.
Every party has its own policies, but none of them seem to cater to the youth. We care about issues like minimum wage parity, affordable education, and improving access to mental health services – why aren’t any of the major political parties pushing to rectify these issues? We need a mainstream political party to stand up and fight for this country’s young people. Something has to be done, otherwise the British political system is at risk of alienating an entire generation of voters.
Wouldn’t that be a disappointment?