Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Politics and the UK


Last week, in the basement of pizza express in Baker Street I found myself having a politically motivated conversation about UKIP's rise in the country and the irony of an anti EU political party whose leader has a German wife. 

I am by no means clued up on politics. In fact I would say I'm quite the opposite and what I do know comes from either BBC news or other grown ups in my life. But I feel like that's almost ok since no political party in the UK ever seems to reach out to young voters.  They try, they say they do, but I don't think that As such I turned up to the polling station with the vague idea that I was voting for the local election and for a European Member of Parliament. Why I was allowed to pick three local candidates I am still none the wiser. 

Those few moments in a little booth felt like an eternity. I haven't been back in the country very long and am leaving again soon, but I wanted to exercise my democratic right as a British citizen to help shape the country I may one day come back to. And in a world where I am privileged to be able to vote it would have been rude not too.

The problem is, young people are so isolated from politics and I think many people like me are uneducated about the elections, and as such do not go and vote. 

I don't know if it is because politics is not cool among the generation of young professionals, or whether it is because we feel like it doesn't affect us still. Maybe it is because people are overwhelmed with the political ideals of this country and the hundreds of issues that the everyday person has, most of which are never substantially addressed by politicians. 

Or maybe like me they just feel like there is no education available for young voters and as such are confused by the whole process, intimidated even and assume their vote is less valued than our parents or grandparents. 

I have become quite disillusioned with the government and many factors, before I left for Cyprus and now,  do push me towards the view that voting is a waste of time. Your vote is meant to help make changes for the good, the problem is I feel like the changes that have gone in the UK haven't really helped anyone but the government and the rich elite. It may be an idealistic view and many say well why do care anyway if you are leaving the country again. 

But I do care because I leave behind family and friends who will all be affected by changes to national policy and impacted by cuts in the NHS, changes in transport and tax increases.

And if you like this, I suggest you read this excellent article on the Telegraph Blog. 

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