Stereotype hype, general election style

Many people avoid the logistics and, well, politics of politics. So when something monumental like a general election comes along, it’s not difficult to imagine why some people prefer to keep their voting choices to themselves. Stereotypes — like older people voting Tory or students being left-lovers — shape us, but why should that be so?

In an age where everything we do is tweeted, posted, shared, liked and ultimately judged, important events are scrutinised under a microscope by almost all. Many want to have their say, ranting in 140 characters or sharing propaganda from their favoured party to represent their views. But what about those who don’t fall into the category they should?

Recently, Conservative-voting student Lawrence Penn was criticised across social media for his article on The Tab Sheffield, with many fellow students having a good old Tory bash in the comments section. People just couldn’t get their head around why a young person — a student, for goodness’ sake — could dare to step out of the stereotype. Lawrence choosing to study in Sheffield, a working-class city that’s known for its steel and mining industries, also makes this seem a little off as per his political views.

Walking around Liverpool, a city rich with culture, life and history, was a glorious experience two days before the general election. The centre was awash with youngsters wearing Corbyn and Labour merchandise in the form of badges, t shirts, tote bags, and even socks. Admittedly, no one over the age of around 25 brandished slogans of “Jez We Can” or “JC4PM” on this day.

One lady proudly complimented the window of an eccentric bookshop on famous Bold Street upon entrance, a display consisting of mostly homemade pro-Labour propaganda. “Save the NHS” and “TORIES OUT” signs demanded attention, alongside a myriad of books on the subject in hand.

The lady, who described herself as a pensioner, chose that day to boldly go where no pensioner has gone before (not usually, anyway). She announced her support of the Labour Party, one that is stereotypically snubbed by the old, rich elite and favoured by no fuss, leftie youngsters. Her reasoning was backed up by quotes from Corbyn’s manifesto and she guaranteed that her group of elderly friends also vote left.

Regrettably, in the excitement of chatting with the woman, her name wasn’t taken down. But I wanted to thank her for going against the odds, standing up for something she believes in, and not being intimidated by a youth waving a camera up her nose. Watch the video below, and don’t forget to vote regardless of what stereotype you fit into.

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Video length: 1:21