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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 March 2014

Young people: alienated, not apathetic

In the last general election, less than half of 18-24 year olds voted and recent research from the Office of National Statistics showed only 31% of young people aged 16-24 are "fairly" or "very" interested in politics.

A huge proportion of the electorate is likely not to vote at the next election, following the trend of a decline in youth voting figures.

With so much 'apathy', young people seem like an odd choice to put your faith in as the new driving force of socialism, but to me - it's the only choice.

Why is it that so few young people vote? A sense of alienation, a lack of hope and most of all, a feeling of powerlessness. As a young person, my activism is often met by total indifference.

Youth have so much to fight for. But the truth is that for young people none of the major parties offer anything - Tory austerity or Labour austerity, take your pick.

The one party who may have seemed to be offering an alternative for students at the last general election had a greater following from young people than the others.

But that love was short-lived, and the Lib Dems soon sold us out to the Tories and agreed to increasing the cap on tuition fees to 9,000 a year.

Working class young people have been hit hard by austerity. Youth unemployment has soared while the welfare budget is slashed and students have to pay through the nose to attend university.

We have witnessed Tory austerity first hand, we have watched as the Lib Dems betray us, we are untainted by memories of "old" Labour. "Generation me" are not selfish, or entitled, or even apathetic. "Generation me" is abandoned.

That is why I believe in fighting for a socialist future with the help of young people.

Matt Wilson-Boddy

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 26 March 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

No to junk jobs

Fight for a 10 an hour minimum wage

2014 Budget: More misery for the majority

Killed asylum seeker - victim of racism and privatisation

Pensions: Osborne's 'counter-revolution'

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: new wave of protests


Socialist Party youth and students

Defaults reveal student debt madness

Jobmatch: yet another fiasco of privatisation

Leeds protest: stop the student loan sell-off

Young people: alienated, not apathetic


Socialist Party workplace news

Probation workers' action can defeat privatisation

Teachers must fight on to stop Gove

Doncaster care workers determined to win

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

The great miners' strike 1984-85

Adventures in bedroom tax land


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A socialist alternative to the austerity parties

Bristol council: Voting for cuts, voting for careers

It's the system that's ill

'Optimistic' Bluebirds protest

Marching against racism

May Day greetings with the Socialist


 

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Related links:

Young people:

triangleCovid generation says 'fund our future'

triangleBlame politicians, not workers and young people

triangleSketch: The rule of six - some guidance from your government

triangleJobs, training, pay, we want a future!

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Austerity:

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

triangleLincoln: Save Drill Hall

triangleDon't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

Youth:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Real jobs and training for youth

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Organise, Fight - the Socialist Youth charter

Election:

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

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