Young people and Politics

In the last five or so years young people have had a greater say in shaping the future of the UK. Whether it be Scotland’s young people voicing their opinion on Scottish independence or Youth Parliament pushing for “A Curriculum for Life”, but does it make sense to have a national movement away from political affiliation or should we let young people join in mainstream politics?

I say this after hearing that recently the youth leader of UKIP was sacked for supporting gay marriage. Whether it was on the radio or not, that’s still wrong. The point is, youth should still be able to express their views on whatever issue without having to worry about views of their particular political party. If UKIP was a true democracy it would allow its youth members to express their own views, not what someone decides you should say.

On the other hand, if you are a person who is pro a particular party and would find it hard to keep saying things to support it, youth council or youth parliament probably aren’t for you. For those who don’t know, it’s against youth council and youth Parliament rules to express party political views in meetings. Although I am a youth councillor myself, I don’t find it difficult to abide by that rule. Perhaps it’s just that I haven’t really needed to support one particular party before.

I asked Young Conservative, Matt Peverell his views on the issue. This is what he had to say:
Given the recent news on Mr Neville’s firing from the youth wing of UKIP, do you think that having an independent organisation such as Youth Parliament is better or would you stick to having youth members of political parties?

“Personally, youth members of the full political party are better as they will learn more from senior members of the party.”
But given that members of youth councils or Youth Parliament can give their own views without having to go with the party line, would you say that this makes it the better option?

“No because if they are a member of that political party they will generally agree with party policy and if they disagree they would voice it.”

“They should be allowed to have their own opinion. It was wrong that UKIP did what they did to Mr Neville.”
It seems that this is an issue that everyone has a different opinion on the issue. I guess that speaking from both points of views would be biased. A case such as Olly Neville’s is very rare and shouldn’t be thought to be the norm. To be fair, UKIP do have some pretty extreme views and this is an extreme example.

Overall, if you want the chance to speak for a certain cause, go for a youth wing of a political party. If you want to speak your own views and be heard, go for youth councils. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and if I was to think of them all, I could be here for a while. If you are going to read more on this story there is a great firsthand account from Mr Neville on The Independent website. It’s good to see his side of the story and also has a very freaky picture of a certain Nigel Farage, the current UKIP leader. Getting back onto youth politics, it’s very important that you don’t get this mixed up. UKIP is the United Kingdom Independence Party and UKYP is United Kingdom Youth Parliament. Having talked about both in this article, I would hate for anyone to get them the wrong way round.

BY: Robert Mooney

@RobertMooney17 | www.politaholics.com