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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.
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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
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
The Socialist 26 March 2014 |
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