Last week I walked past an MP flogging a bucket of bin-destined flyers to the students of Jesmond. Exasperated and exhausted, I slowed to his cause. ‘You don’t look like a student’ he claimed, ‘and why is that?’ I asked. ‘Students don’t stop for politics.’
Why do so many young people have such an aversion to politics? Refusing to vote but perfectly willing to gift £9,000 a year for the average degree. Blanking the ballot but eagerly penning their way through systematic examinations since they were old enough to fill in a candidate number. Why would so many rather roam, lost and wandering in to the endless abyss of taxes, pension schemes and loans than vote their way to a brighter future?
Is it this lethargic vain that makes us only care about things when they affect us? Will we, as young people, be only too anxious to make our mark when we’re denied a job, refused a loan or taxed within an inch of our lives? Is this why so many only open their wallets to charity after their eyes are sadly peeled to the lack of Macmillan funding, help for the homeless or care assistant when a member of their family falls sick, poor or immobile. It is this arduous nature that stops us from progressing.
Will you look up when you’re no longer basking in the cushioned comfort of a student loan? Will you take a glance when you’re left wandering, degree burdened and hapless through the very streets we’re taxed to preserve? Will you only take note when you’re left treading, jilted and confused through the lost ambition of a citizen shaped democracy?
If you’re 18 or over and a UK citizen, you’re entitled to vote in the May 2015 General Election.
The next time you see an exasperated MP, don’t pass them by. Take a flyer and take a stand.
Register to vote at