I saw a news piece on the local news recently focusing on why young people don’t get into politics.
A socialist activist was telling a tale of online abuse and gendered threats. The truth is that most young people have been apathised by unionist militancy in the form of biased teachers.
I often tell a story of my favourite teacher from school; now don’t get me wrong Jez was a unionist but he knew that schools were about the children. He taught me the virtues of hard work; determination and meritocracy. The hard unionist IT teacher from down town red Bradford instilled in me the strong conservative values that I carry now.
So my message begins with saying that politics affects us all and that every vote matters.
I have often had political conversations with children or emerging adolescents and got a lot of sense from them. The challenge is getting them to believe in politics without sensationalist radicalism or antiestablishment politics of opposition.
I have developed a nack of teaching politics in the 4th person. I will give the facts rather than my opinion.
I’m now two years into my council term and I have had the pleasure of receiving school children into the council chamber and visiting schools. I have to say that this a revolutionary way of engaging future generations. The first interaction that I had with politicians was in 2005 when the parliamentary candidates visited our sixth form college.
Now local government is hard work. But it’s the most rewarding experience of my life. I truly believe we should use the magic of local government to engage future voters.