THE BLOG
26/08/2011 07:24 BST | Updated 24/10/2011 06:12 BST

Young people are making a real, positive difference to politics

In recent weeks, we've heard and seen the worst of what a small minority of young people have got up to-with the riots and looting in parts of our country.

But we must remember that those who took part in that criminality were exactly that...a small minority.

The overwhelming majority of our young people are decent, law-abiding, and making significant contributions to our society.

Young people are increasingly making an impact in politics, too.

Not only here in the UK, but in many different parts of the World.

I have many relatives in Australia and take a keen interest in Australian politics.

It has been very interesting to hear about and follow the career of the country's youngest ever MP, Wyatt Roy.

He was elected in August last year, aged just twenty (born on May 22nd 1990)

He sits for the Liberals (rather confusingly, The Liberals in Australia are actually that country's version of our Conservative Party.)

You only need to watch videos of Wyatt on YouTube to see that, despite his tender years, he is a good speaker, confident, principled, and making a positive difference to and on behalf of his constituency.

This got me thinking and researching how many other young people are actively taking part in politics.

I should have known that the answer would be many.

Take Aileen Campbell, for example.

She's a Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament.

She was elected in 2007, aged just 26 (born May 18th 1980)

Ms Campbell is making a difference to people's lives as the Minister for Local Government and Planning in the SNP administration at Hollyrood.

Across the Atlantic, in America, there are numerous examples.

Such as Republican Member of the House of Representatives, Aaron Schock.

He's the first person elected to the House of Representatives who was born in the 1980's (May 28th 1981) and already has around ten years of elected office behind him...first as a School Board Member and then as a Member of the Illinois State legislature.

Since entering the House he has sat on numerous committees and has promoted and passed many Bills.

He is also, to my knowledge at least, the first Representative to parade his abs (and the rest of his torso) on the front of the US version of Men's Health magazine!

I guess I, too, am an example of this trend...even if I'm not quite as young as those mentioned above.

Earlier this year I was elected to Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and Barwell Parish Council, aged 31 (Born February 29th 1980)

I am one of the youngest members of both authorities and hope that I'm making a real, positive difference to the area I represent.

Politics is, of course, just one area of life where young people are making a difference.

There are many others; from industry, to sport, to entertainment and the media.

I use it only to highlight how proud we should be of so many of our young people.

They are not the 'leaders of tomorrow'...they are the leaders of today.

One of my favourite quotes is: "Be the change you want to see in the World," (Mahatma Gandi.)

These young people (and countless others) are taking that quote and making it come alive in this still young Century.