The election turnout for young people, while still not confirmed, has been hailed as a major factor in the recent election. Young people deserve to be listened to. Our concerns on housing, education, health care, equal rights, Brexit and the environment have long been ignored. We stepped up for the left, and now they need to stand up for us.
Too often though it has seemed that politicians would finally listen only to slam the door shut. Lib Dems helped shape a coalition government, promising to make things easier — and then helped the Tories charge us nine thousand pounds for an education; when every politician had benefited from free university places.
Politicians now are dithering. There’s a shady DUP deal looming which nobody outside of the Conservatives has had a chance to scrutinise. We have no idea what talks are evolving around Brexit and whether it will be hard, soft or simply so disastrous it’ll have to be dropped off the agenda. The climate was barely mentioned during this campaign an that’s an issue that will overwhelmingly burden younger generations.
This one vote wasn’t quite enough to change things but it rattled the Tories and made them more vulnerable than ever. Democracy is a never-ending protest and young people flexed their muscles. We can do a whole lot more damage to the establishment that has pushed our concerns aside.
May has admitted austerity is now over but the damage has been wrought. Young people, particularly young, poor and marginalised people have been forced to pay for the mistakes that bankers and politicians made. A concession on austerity isn’t enough. The funding for so many services has already gone. Vital funding for support has also been ripped away from young people, such as the Education Maintenance Allowance.
Politicians are faltering. They’re not sure which way to turn or if there will be another full term before the next election. Being active participants in democracy is more vital than ever and outlets have a duty to make sure that young people continue to be given a say. Our demographics are skewed in favour of older voters but they aren’t the only constituents. Young people’s concerns are equally as valid and are also the present and long-term future of this country.
Momentum must be sustained. It’s the only way to truly topple the awful government that has overseen a huge burden of debt passed onto younger people. Stand Up was created after the election of Trump for this purpose. While populism seems to be rising, an inclusive media for all young people can help unite the resistance and put the spotlight on what young people are really facing. Progress is slow and often set back but the election showed that politicians have more to fear from young people than they ever imagined. We can have a crucial say in the way that our political systems are run. We did not beat the government, and many will be questioning what it was all for, but we did weaken them. The election was just the start.