In Need of Hope

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The future of British politics is the hottest topic in the media at the moment. It’s getting fiery, partisan, and explosive. It is feeling stale with hardly any fresh faces and thoughts, just the usual suspects with the same old Hackneyed lyrics. The untried are unpredictable, and the public are becoming tough to please thanks to a lack of transparency and trust.

As time goes on, we’re calling on our younger generation to be the changemakers for the future – but even with their desire for change, they still have no interest in voting, and many are questioning ‘is it even worth it?’

With the election around the corner, it’s quite upsetting to learn only 40% of 18–24-year-olds are likely to vote. Whilst 43% are unsure what to do, and 17% are unlikely to vote.

Young people have a chance to play a significant part in a huge decision that will affect their future and have an opportunity to make a positive difference – so we ask why are so many unsure, and why have they lost interest?

Two big reasons were given for the decisions. 31% feel as though their vote will not make a difference, and 30% say political parties cannot be trusted to fulfill their promises.

When you hear those reasons, it’s hard to blame them for making such a tough call.

For a long time, there has been no appeal to stand by a political leader and it’s tough to trust that they are going to do the right thing for their people. The younger generation are seeing more laws, initiatives and promises disregarding their future and expectations. We cannot blame them for feeling as though they’re not spoilt for choice when it comes to political leaders.

The candidates should be listening to their young people and making a conscious effort to change the younger generation’s stance on politics. In their manifestos and online speeches, there needs to be a focus on the youth, talk about initiatives being taken to benefit their careers and futures in England. The UK is losing its appeal when it comes to living and working here – young people need to feel excited about getting onto the property ladder, they should feel supported when they think of starting a family, and our youth should feel like they are going to be trusted to represent businesses going forward.

Many of the leaders fail to reach out and grab the attention of those under 30. There’s much needed change for jobs, wages, cost of living and ability to live sustainably. Our young people have endless amounts of talent and drive to make a positive difference to the world. It’s not all about wanting local change, they want national change. Young people have a passion for much more nowadays – inclusion, climate change, fair human rights – now more than ever, they want to feel like people, not numbers.

There is an understood belief that many people simply don’t know where to stand because the parties are no longer straightforward. It used to be obvious, either right wing or left wing. Capitalism or Socialism. Perhaps only Tory or Labour. That transparency has been lost. Voting now comes down to an age difference, a background difference, and now a local vs national difference. So many parties are mixed with views and actions that just confuse us, leading us to believe that not bothering at all is the better option.

So, we go back to the first reason why young people avoid voting, they think their vote makes no difference. We often hear people say, ‘what’s my one vote going to do?’ To be truthful, it sounds like a very reasonable stance considering how we have been led in recent years. But imagine 1 million young people had the same mindset. Suddenly it’s no longer 1 vote, suddenly there is no close competition. Once again, we need to make young people realise that they do count, their opinion is valued and can make a difference – for young people to believe they make no difference is an example of how our leaders have failed their people – voting used to be the moment people waited for and felt excited about, it was the time where everyone felt they could be the difference. Our politicians need to have young people on their side if they want to remain at the top with healthy support and backing.

Our leaders must help to erase the mindset of ‘What’s my one vote going to do?’ and give young people a reason to think ‘My one vote could be the difference in change.’

This is not a call out to ignore the older generations – they’re already picking sides and have leaders appealing to them. It’s a call out to think about the future of the UK. To think about who will drive the much-needed change. It is a call out to demand a fair and necessary focus on the youth of today and give them hope for their future.

Today’s leaders must understand that inclusion is not giving something up, it’s gaining something special.


Thought of the week:

Leaders need a strong team as nothing is best done alone anymore.

Tips for becoming an A player:

Learn from mistakes quickly

Inclusion must be a way of life

Don’t fear the future – strive for a different outcome

Stand up and speak out for those that can’t

Don’t let others diminish your worth

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