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Listen Up!

I spent the morning after the UK General Election driving across the country for three hours, listening to various angles of analysis on Radio Four.

The rhetoric of shock rather surprised me. I suppose it shouldn’t have really, these were bastions of our political institutions telling me how unforeseen the strengthening of Labour support and weakening of the Tory position had been. Perhaps their curated social media feeds or limited exposure to the mood of sections of the populace outside their usual scope had protected them from the obvious.

That being, that many young people - hacked off with having been robbed of the right and ability to freely gad about Europe for reasons of work or pleasure - had become motivated, galvanised and mostly consolidated behind a man they saw as someone who had finally noticed them, Mr Corbyn.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will recognise a familiar theme. It’s my belief that young people in this country are underestimated, undermined and undervalued. Suddenly, a failure to recognise this has made the news.

More than any other group in society, our youngest voters have a vested interest in political upshots. Those in positions of power ignore their voices at their peril.
For so long, so many youngsters have felt that politics had nothing to do with them, they were disengaged from a process that they felt, in the main, disregarded and abandoned them. It’s wonderful to see the tide turn. Hats off to Mr Corbyn and his team, along with individuals such as Mairi Black for re-inspiring young people to get involved and have their say - whatever their point of view.

Interestingly, for the first time ever Times Educational Supplement collated the results of mock elections in schools up and down the country, and the results were overwhelmingly in Labour's favour (76% with only 15% for the Conservatives).

In the real world, I've heard the youth turnout quoted at as high as 72%. It’s my hope that having made the establishment sit up and take notice of them in the aftermath of this election, they continue to shout long and loud to make their voices, their needs, their interests and their futures a real focus of import for all political parties.

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