The youth in Britain have been ignored for far too long, how we can be expected to engage in politics when all parties consistently neglect the wants, needs and opinions of the almost 10 million 18-30s of our country is beyond me. With more young people than ever before living in poverty it proves my comments on a previous blog that those in power will always fail those that put up the least resistance. At 26 I have known nothing but financial unease since I left home at 18 to start my family and I can't see that changing any time soon, despite having a well-paid job and reduced housing costs due to renting off family.
Osborne and Cameron can preach on all they like about their unemployment statistics and imaginary economic recovery but the fact is they are oblivious to the reality. Yes unemployment is down and apprenticeships are up but they fail to see the cold hard truth that apprentices can't live off £2.73 an hour and zero hours contracts are at an all-time high (some financial security they provide!) What frightens me even more is that young people living in poverty are as likely to be employed as not. It's shocking that those who are young and working find themselves struggling more that the average pensioner, not that I think pensioners should struggle but surely working families and individuals are entitled to feel the benefits of economic recovery? The problem is like with all Tory policy its top down in order to keep their rich friends happy.
None of the political parties are shouting loud enough and some aren't even talking at all to the youth vote, but it beggars belief that any of them can't see that creating policy to engage a few million extra voters is a sure fire way to number 10 in 2015. The Lib Dems did it amazingly in 2010 focusing their whole campaign around the disenfranchised youth and student voters but when it came to the crunch they pissed on the fire in order to avoid another five years on the opposition benches, instead of sticking with their principles and building on the vote again come 2015 now they are fighting to stay the 3rd party in what could very quickly become a four party system.
Being young should be an adventure not a struggle, especially in the 6th richest nation on Earth. The fact is until we make ourselves heard and more young people who have job and life experience put themselves forward in politics I think it's safe to say we will always be ignored. There is a glimmer of hope in some of Labours policy on housing and rental markets but they have yet to tackle tuition fees with solid policy and just aren't focusing their message at the youth vote which they may have to concede to the Greens if they don't pick up on it fast.
I am currently running for my local borough council for the first time, as a Labour candidate I feel energized about trying to get the youth vote out even if it's not to vote for me, I just feel that we should all be proud to exercise our right to vote and feel part in one of the oldest democracy's in the world. I know how disheartening it can be when you are young and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Worrying about University, debt, sex and work will always be a part of growing up and later life but if we are to secure the future for ourselves and our children we need to act now, engage in local and national politics take it by the proverbial balls and mould it into shape. If we all get out and vote when we start to talk they will have no choice but to listen. Let's not fail ourselves and our children, it's us the youth who will be running this country soon and it's up to us to ensure that we inherit something worth fighting for.