Monday, June 19, 2017

Tessa Milligan - Stop Treating The Young As Political Nobodies - We Decided This Election After All

Having just read yet another condescending article, this one titled “Let’s stop treating the young like political sages”, I am feeling quite insulted and patronised, as are most people my age. No, we don’t want a lollipop as a reward for voting - we want to be politically acknowledged. We took our political power and we wielded it. No more taxation without representation. What the big political commentators seem unable to understand is that maybe, just maybe, a vote for the Labour party this election was not a symbol of indoctrination into some cult, but instead a vote against the Conservative Party.

The Tories have inadvertently been cultivating a generation which doesn’t like them. Policies from the last seven years which have targeted the young - and yes, tripling tuition fees have played a big role in shaping how we feel about you - have created a bitter group of voters. And we’re bored of the “magic money tree” lies we’ve been fed that tell us to “live within our means” despite the fact Tory chancellor George Osborne tripled the national debt by spending £500 billion+ (on god knows what, because we didn’t see any of that money!) We also didn’t like your manifesto by the way. Fox hunting, Hard Brexit, taking our grannies’ houses - they’re not very fashionable proposals amongst this generation. Plus it was a poorly written document with hardly any facts or figures to substantiate it’s points. I’d grade it a U. No points for no effort.

We may seem stupid to you, but as long as you had 20/20 vision and were literate, you could see that the Labour manifesto had full costings, whilst the Conservative manifesto had none. Right-wing commentators like to blame Corbyn for single-handedly creating this huge resurgence in youth voter turnout, but that would be far too easy. It gives them comfort to think that as soon as Corbyn is gone, the mass anti-Tory youth vote will go with him. It won’t.

And they like paint us, at best, as some “hopelessly naive” school kids who once watched a cartoon about socialism and liked it or, at worst, some crazed Red Army of teenagers baying for the blood of pensioners who voted to Leave the EU. The truth is, this was an anti-Tory vote. This was a shout to the political establishment. And we demanded to start getting political respect, or get out of Downing Street. Laughing in our faces and sending us on our way with threats to raise the minimum voting age to 21 is not going to help you. But feel free to carry on belittling us. Because as long as you do, the Tories will never win a majority again. Understood?

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