Saturday, 12 April 2014

Labour and young voters

The news that "support among 18-35s is only 19%" in favour of a "like-for-like renewal of the Trident nuclear missile system" will not, sadly, cause much concern in government circles. The spokesperson for WMD Awareness is right when she says that "young potential voters are not being engaged by the government on this issue", but are young people being "engaged" on  any issue? It`s clear the Tories especially are concentrating their election bribes on those who historically are most likely to vote. This would explain not only the benefits to pensioners in the recent budget,and the refusal to increase tax for the well-off, but also Cameron`s recent refusal to contemplate changing voting procedures, stating voting in an election was "too important to be reduced to X Factor style button pushing". He may have a point, but such blinkered policies regarding young adults do provide opportunities for an opposition party with nous.
      Coalition policies have done next to nothing for the majority of young people, with youth unemployment far too high, social mobility shrinking rather than increasing,university fees tripling, and private renting reaching rip-off levels; levels of pay, even at graduate level, without internships and networking, tend to be below £21,000, as we learn from the student loans debacle, and apprenticeships few and far between. Labour would do well to cash in on this, and propose immediately future changes in the location of polling booths, to supermarkets and shopping centres, and also, college and university campuses, to encourage young people to vote. Only when there is a likelihood of millions of young people voting will parties take their concerns, such as those over Trident, seriously. 

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