There is perhaps not a more politically united section in the United Kingdom than the North of England. For decades, constituencies in the North have been painted red. It is so prominent that pollster James Kanagasooriam dubbed it ‘a huge “red wall”’ in August of 2019. This sentiment is perhaps no more strongly and proudly shown than in Liverpool. Its high streets are a culmination of cultures, but more recently featured a fervent politically active youth. In Merseyside, only one constituency out of fifteen holds a Tory politician — Southport BC’s Damien Moore.

Thatcher’s Legacy and Beyond

For decades, the North has stood rigidly by Labour’s side, and it’s all because of one woman. Margaret Thatcher decimated the Northern economy and left thousands without livelihoods. David Alton, who represented Mossley Hill in 1984, said this in Parliament:

‘… At their local Old Swan employment office 15,610 people are shown to be without work and a miserable 130 jobs available. At the Toxteth office 9,405 people are jobless with only 110 vacancies. At Garston 9,148 people are without work with only 103 vacancies. At Everton 3,795 people are unemployed and only 32 jobs are available’.

Such staggering rates of unemployment stoked outcry and violence, potentially helping plant the seeds for the views held by many Liverpudlians and Northerners today.


The Revolutionary Communist Group is a national group that possesses a branch in Liverpool. Frequently, they can be seen on a stand with a socialist flag on each side giving out newspapers, encouraging others to sign petitions, and picketing shops. Their interests encompass a wide range of issues on social justice, but they aren’t just ‘activists for change’. They believe in change on a grander scale. Housing issues, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and anti-immigration laws are often the focus of their outcry.

On April 16, they held an open microphone event. I spoke with Rob, a veteran member of the RCG, and other members. They explained that their aim was to present a viewpoint on the Nationality and Borders Bill and how it was a ‘pillar’ of Britain’s racist attitude towards immigrants. I asked what young people need to do differently than their generational predecessors:

‘Well, firstly, they need to be out in the street’. Rob explained, ‘There’s no politics in internal meetings and imagining that just political meetings are going to be sufficient to reach out to people who want to see change. You have to be out in the streets talking to ordinary members of the people’.

Rob’s statements, and the group as a whole, hold a distinctively anti-bureaucratic stance. According to them, the failings of the system are, in part, due to the lack of action to help people in poverty. The group feel compelled to reach those who find themselves without assistance for months on end. For the RCG, Capitalism is only scaffolded by the trappings of bureaucracy.


The Youth Communist League is perhaps the biggest organisation in the country for far-left youth. The 101-year-old organization holds a Marxist-Leninist ideology and publishes its own newspaper on Capitalist and imperialist themes. Their hardline anti-NATO stance, even going so far as to blame NATO for the war in Ukraine, takes prominence amongst their core beliefs.

The reason why so many young people are disgusted with NATO and the West doesn’t necessarily result from what they learn about history. Rather, it also results from what they see on the news. Growing up in the era of Iraq and Afghanistan has distorted the status quo. For many young people, these wars are not bygone issues and their interventionism is viewed as a lingering global threat. Bottom line: they find the Western World’s military operations to be foundationally immoral.

Having disgust with the national system of Capitalism can quickly lead to disdain towards the international bourgeois system that intervenes in other countries’ affairs. After decades of failed military interventions, costing the lives of thousands of people, these young people have become alienated from their country’s mission.

Like all Communists, the YCL believe a dictatorship of the proletariat can only be achieved through ‘an upsurge in working-class and popular action’. But Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour had a spectacularly low showing in 2019, winning only 203 seats — its lowest since 1935. The Tories dominated the votes in every social grade. However, younger people stuck with Corbyn. Voters in the 18–24 age bracket gave Labour a 43 point lead over the Tories. This trend steadily declines as voter gets older, tending to vote Conservative.

The Socialist Project

Since Corbyn’s departure, the Labour Party has undergone significant policy changes. Once devotedly socialist,  Labour now represents the man in the middle. Starmer’s moderate views seem to provide more comfort to the average voter, in contrast to Corbyn’s bluntness and radicalism. The digestible views of Starmer are likely to make nobody uncomfortable. But for young people, this may not be enough to satisfy the idea of a government that supports everyone.

Britain’s youth find themselves guided towards the extreme when they realize their disdain for the status quo of the West. Today’s generation of young activists is determined, and arguably more equipped informationally, to sow the seeds of rebellion. Whether this spirited defiance will swell and grow into something more substantial, remains to be seen.

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