Young People And Politics

March 26, 2011 at 9:59 am / by

I am delighted to be part of the consultative group that will be working with Jan Royall to develop Labour’s policy review on politics and young people.

Here’s the press release:

Labour today announced details of its review of what makes politics count for young people in a new effort to reconnect with a vital section of the British public.

Labour’s policy review, announced by party leader Ed Miliband, will focus on reaching out the public, reconnecting the Labour party with the lives of people with whom the party lost touch.

Central to that, and central to Labour’s vision of a new politics, is greater engagement with young people, leading to greater involvement of young people in Britain’s politics and Britain’s democracy.

Young people aged 18-25 showed the biggest increase in participation of any age group in last year’s general election, reversing the trend of recent elections and clearly showing that, contrary to a number of forecasts, young people are interested in politics and are engaged in politics and the political process.

Jan Royall, Labour’s Leader in the House of Lords, said:

“Many young people are interested in politics. Last year’s election showed that. Politics and politicians must respond to that – and Labour’s review will lead the way.

“We want to see greater involvement of young people in politics. But to achieve that, politics and politicians must change. Too often, politics and politicians are seen as removed and remote from people’s lives – especially from the lives of young people.

“Young people might be passionate about issues, and actively involved in a whole range of projects which aim to bring about change – but many feel alienated from traditional politics and traditional political structures.

“That alienation is not helped by policy measures which undermine provision for young people. For example: while no-one would support violent protest, young people were understandably furious in the recent row over tuition fees, and it’s clear that many young people are determined to make their views count in the ballot b ox at the next possible opportunity.

“And while an issue like tuition fees is important, a central focus in our review will be to look at making politics work better for young people in all walks of life, from all parts of the country, and with a wide range of personal, family and broader ambitions.”

Baroness Royall will lead Labour’s review of what makes politics count for young people. The review will look at a range of key issues, including:

– How young people perceive politics – both their perception of politicians and their perception of political issues

– Why the widespread interest of young people in politics – including single-issue politics and political groups – translates less well into an interest in political parties

– What young people want from politics, from political parties and from politicians

– How politics, politicians and political parties can make politics more relevant to young people

– How far new technologies and modern media can help bridge the gap between young people and politics

As well as a range of innovations and events to talk with young people themselves, Jan Royall will chair a consultative group of these vital issues. The group will include:

Emmanuel Akpan-Inwang – Co-Chair of the Teen 2015 Political Literacy campaign

Dean Carlin – Chair of Labour Students

Maurice Glasman – Labour Peer and Academic

Rich Jones – CEO, Joshua Project

Eluned Morgan, Labour Peer

Callum Munro – Labour Party NEC Youth Rep

Tulip Siddiq – Camden Councillor

Suzy Stride – Tutor & Retention Worker, City Gateway

Chelsea Walsh – Sixth Form student and member of the UK Youth Parliament