Saturday, 10 June 2017

Stop patronising the youth - GE2017

Let's talk about the youth. Undoubtedly they (and do I include myself in that, a 34 year old?) came out in force to support the Labour leader. Let's make that clear. The leader. Not some unelectable hopeful. He is a leader. He is the reason many people, young and old, came out to vote. For everything he represents. Yes it was an exciting manifesto, but that was a reflection of Jeremy Corbyn.

The reason we talk about media bias is often not even about the content. It's the tone. Corbyn just inspired hundreds of thousands of young people to vote, and what's the explanation? Freebies, in the form of tuition fees, scrapping car parking fees, free nursery hours, and so on. NO. How dare you be so patronising: praising the campaign on one hand, then going on to grossly misunderstand the cause.

Social media exploded this election open. We searched for the truth and we found it, and we shared it. We got angry, and we engaged with friends, who engaged with their friends. We forced our information on others and got kicked from groups for doing so. Feeds were awash with politics like never before. Even my Nottingham Forest Supporters Page was rammed. "Not Forest Related - but make sure you vote Labour." The amount of 'fuck yous' was depressing, but once that door was open, we flooded in. I doubt the negative commentators were turned, maybe some, but it's the silent ones, who never say anything, who maybe saw one sourced link or meme and it got them to think.

We saw injustices and wanted to fight against it. We spread the word about how new labour and now the Tories, worse than ever, have been systematically asset-stripping this country. We don't want our pipelines owned by Qater. We don't want Virgin Care. We don't want to pay £30 to skip the queue. We woke up to what kind of world and country we were heading towards: an insular, capitalist, money making, money keeping, money hoarding machine.

And we didn't like it.

Tuition fee promise or no tuition fee promise, we'd have been there all the same, marking the the cross by Labour.

Something else too. We don't want to be at war. We never asked for it. It was thrust upon us by our foreign policy. As much as you can blame religious fanaticism, you cannot underestimate what dropping a few bombs or being complicit in it will do. And worse, leaving broken areas as breeding grounds for hate. The messes we have left behind smack of incompetence, and that's being kind - if we can't do it right, don't do it all. Or just don't do it period. We don't want to think ill of our own country. We don't wan tto consider that we are complicit in arming those who seek to harm us in turn. But some facts are hard to ignore. Things have to change.

We didn't vote because tuition fees may be abolished, as amazing for equality as that could be. We voted for a new kind of politics, so stop patronising us.

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