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This Election Isn't For The Young

19/05/2017 11:16 BST | Updated 19/05/2017 11:16 BST
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This isn't an election for young people. In fact, I'm not sure there has ever been an election 'for young people'. Except maybe the Student Union elections we see every now and then.

And there probably will never be one.

There is also no political party for young people.

There's one for conservative people, working people, liberal people. People who like green are catered for. There are parties for Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Praise God there is one for Yorkshire people, and speaking of God... there is even one that claims to be for his fans. The UK even has a party especially designed for racists who blame immigration for the heavy rainfall we occasionally have.

But there isn't one for young people. No 'special interest' party for those especially interested in being young?

So what to do about voting, and should you even bother to register BY MIDNIGHT 22ND MAY?

Well let's look at what a young people party may stand for.

  • Better access to education and training?
  • Jobs for when you leave education?
  • Affordable homes?
  • Equality of wages?

Those all seem pretty important.

But here's the thing. Young people tend to stop being young at some point. And I think that explains the political void.

You see, this biological miracle that we call a 'body' goes through all kinds of changes. Boys become men, short become tall, the lusciously locked - bald. Young people have a habit of not being young forever.

Except maybe Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, but something tells me that they are not a key voting demographic.

So back to the question. What to do about voting?

Well, vote as if you're not going to be young forever. Vote as if you are a citizen of a state... if you are a young person then you are not a 'special interest group' or a demographic. You are a contributing member of society.

Young people issues are the same issues as everyone else's.

Young people need defence. We need a health care system. We need functioning markets, a good foreign policy, workers rights, a clean environment, equality... and one day we will need a pension.

Remember back in the referendum, when you shared your view on the future of the country in the EU? Remember how it was a vote about your future, not just your present? Remember how young people didn't turn out enough to swing the vote in their favour? Remember how the older generations did?

What upset so many of us, who have a majority of our lives ahead of us, was how the outcome was swayed the most by those who will live with the consequences for less time.

I'm fearful that if we keep asking "why should young people vote", then we'd miss the point.

This election isn't about young people. I can't recall any ever being and I doubt any ever will be.

But this election is about the future direction of the UK.

It's about working out what we do with Brexit. It's working out what future we invest in. How we treat our vulnerable. Where we sit on the world stage?

And as a young person, you'll have to live with the consequences for longer than most people alive today.

So please. Don't make yourself a fringe voter. Don't view yourself as a 'special interest group'. Don't demand policies aimed at your present situation.

Look to your future. What do you want that do be? Decide what country you want to live in and go make it happen.

Go register, BY MIDNIGHT MAY 22ND and VOTE!

The future is more yours than most people alive today.