The UK is changing. Help it change.
There’s a storm brewing in UK politics, and young people need to be at the centre of it. Not in a V for Vendetta kind of way (unless that is what you want to do), but now more than ever I believe young peoples' voices must be heard in the democratic system.
As many of you know, I’m leaving the UK tomorrow. I’m partly relieved to escape, and yet worried for the country that gave me so much, which is changing in such a horrible way.
The government we have now is wrecking the country, and lurching from stupid decision to stupid decision. In the last few weeks alone, we’ve had the Panama Papers expose the riches of the political elite, continued stubbornness of the government to force a new contract on junior doctors, and even the plan to convert all schools into academies. None of these have gone down well with the public (and sometimes, not even half the government itself), and yet still the government presses on. Remind me, who is a government supposed to serve? The public. Us.
In the next few months, there will be a big change in the political landscape of UK. Local elections, the London Mayoral election, the EU referendum, and the BBC Charter renewal are all things that will change the country significantly and all are happening in the next two months.
I implore you to have the biggest impact you possibly can on these proceedings. Vote in anything you can. I’m not going to tell you which way to vote — that is your decision and you should educate yourself appropriately— but please make your political voice heard.
Young people are disillusioned with the political system and I completely understand. I am too. I feel like I’m no longer served by a government who give even a remote crap about me, or fairness in society. The government are privatising as much of the public system that has supported the country so well to kowtow to the private sector they depend upon, for short-term, politically-motivated gains. Everyone knows that Gideon Osborne will fail to get to the budget surplus he has promised (just as he has failed to hit his targets of deficit basically every single year).
When disillusioned, it is easy to think “my vote won’t be heard, so what’s the point?”. But when you’re disillusioned, this is the best time to make your voice heard. Because if you don’t, nothing changes.
I can’t vote in the London Mayoral election because I didn’t sort a postal vote in time. But I implore you to use your vote, if you have one, because your voice matters. That vote will help shape the next 5 years of the capital. Your vote in the EU referendum will help shape the next 100 years of Great Britain. I will be voting in that one.
I realise that this post is neither articulate nor well structured. But I’m angry and I’m worried for the country I have spent 25 years growing up in. I’m scared for the NHS. I’m scared for public service broadcasting. I’m scared for anyone trying to get on the property ladder. I look to the country I’m going to, with Angela Merkel accepting refugees and generally being a Nice Person and think — that’s what my country should be like. But currently, it’s not. And it should be.
The EU referendum is happening on the 23rd of June, and you must register by the 7th June (or the 16th May if you’re living abroad). More details are here.