Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/804/18372
The Socialist 26 March 2014 |
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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.