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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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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:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

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triangleEnd Tory war on poor

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleBlack Country Socialist Party: Workers striking back against austerity

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triangleFight for free education

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

Election:

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

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