Blake Ladley is the North Devon Youth leader, and he has a lot to say! Every issue will highlight issues raised and give ideas of how to get more involved.
It is time for Young People to show that we were not tricked into voting for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
When the clock struck ten on June 8th 2017 few of us had predicted what would unfold over the next twelve hours. The exit poll suggested a hung parliament with Theresa May’s Conservative Party losing their parliamentary majority handing Labour a swing of the vote not seen since Clement Atlee’s Labour in 1945.
Whilst there were many reasons as to why Labour’s vote increased, one took particular interest: expanding the electorate. Labour had managed to benefit from a forty-point lead against the Conservatives from the ages of eighteen totwenty-four. A study by YouGov suggesting that the age at which a voter is more likely to voted Conservative than Labour had increased from 34 at the beginning of the campaign to 47 by the end of the election, this being driven by the 23.4% turnout increase from voters aged 18 to 24.
Whilst the fallout of this extraordinary result began to take place with tabloids such as The Daily Mail (who had supported Theresa May in her quest to ‘crush the saboteurs’) struggled to twist this embarrassment into some sort of positive; The discussions behind closed doors of Conservative supporting tabloids began to figure out just how they would spin the Labour vote to make it seem illegitimate.
Firstly, began the attempt to claim electoral fraud with reports that some students had voted twice, once in their universities constituency and then in their home constituency. After it had been revealed that less than 1,000 cases of double voting were being investigated the reports subsided.
Then, on an episode of The Andrew Marr Show, John McDonnell talked of ‘reviewing’ some of Labour’s goals they had set out during the election including wiping student debt; this finally allowing the media spin on the young to really begin. The claims then spread of the young being ‘misguided’ by Labour on a so-called ‘promise’ that did not even feature in the manifesto; to Dan Hodges even calling Labour voters ‘mugs’ in his Daily Mail article.
Whilst this student debt spin has now come and gone what has not disappeared is the view of some that young people cannot make rational political
decisions. Whether this be due to a lack of life experience or following the crowd as was argued in the 2017 General Election.
What the young really need to do now is prove, to those who hold that view, that we can make rational political decisions and hold well-educated positions. The only way to do this is to get out and canvass for local council by-elections, take part in our local Labour Party and help to take part in any political events nearby.
After attending some events it is surprising how many people really do want to discuss the issues that our country faces daily and for the young this is a crucial chance to prove to those who doubted us after the election that we truly can argue our beliefs in a