Friday, 26 February 2010

Young people and political debate

I spent a very interesting afternoon last week observing an East Riding Youth Assembly meeting in Beverley where young people were putting themselves forward as potential members of the Youth Parliament for the UK. 30 secondary school students spoke about what mattered to them - and it was all about justice. Issues included lowering the voting age, divorce and its effect on kids, bullying, the need to listen to young people’s views and to talk about disability in schools, unfair attitudes towards young people, and lack of things for young people to do. It was very impressive – and all these issues are championed by the Green Party whose slogan is ‘Fair is worth fighting for’.

The afternoon proved how caring young people can be, so it’s worrying that, in my experience, many young people don’t vote at all, often saying they know nothing about it. This allows the ‘grey’ parties (and the far right parties) to win seats because many older people seem to vote out of habit - or protest. It’s often younger people who want sensible fair Green politics, but who don’t vote…so its easy to see why we don’t get the positive change we so desperately need.

So, I’m inviting colleges and schools to please hold hustings (a meeting with questions to a panel of politicians) in the run-up to the general election. There was a Green landslide vote at Wolfreton School hustings (see below) : when people hear Green policies they like them. If you know a school or college (or, for that matter, any group at all) which is looking for a Green speaker, or a Green panellist for a hustings, do please get in touch with us.

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