In a country and a party where politics is dominated by those aged 50-59, it doesn’t seem surprising that the youth are being isolated from mainstream politics. A world where the brunt is being faced by students. A world where tuition fees have risen so much that students contemplate missing out on higher education opportunities.
Under a Tory government, we are witnessing falling numbers of students going to universities. Students are worried about the overwhelming debt and especially since the fee cap has been removed. As of 2017, fees are £9,250 per annum. In a world where competition is increasing and times are proving difficult, Labour needs to enshrine an upper limit on university fees.
We can’t be the party that simply looks beyond the youth wing. The youth of today are the future of tomorrow and it is essential that Labour unites the abandoned student body for in the longer run, it will only benefit them. Far too few MPs are under 40. It really is frightening to see the lack of youth representation and this is not helped by the increasing movement towards populist parties.
There are only 2 Labour MPs aged 18-29, 35 aged 30-39 but 70 Labour MPs aged 50-59. The Conservatives have 5 MPs aged 18-29, 41 MPs aged 30-39 and 113 aged 50-59. Politics in the UK and globally is dominated for far too long by the ‘elderly’ and Labour will need to unite the student body for it wants electoral success.
Labour’s future is dependent on the route it takes with students now. Labour needs to proudly state it is the party the student needs or social democracy will be under even greater threat than it already is. Labour is more than just a party. It is a community and a family, but why are we not showing this to the student body?
Labour needs to find ways of appealing to the student voice and this will firstly come in the form of creating a party where students are central in our thinking. It is more than just creating policies and strategies to winning votes. It is about creating lifelong dedicated students who will work with the party in both rough patches and booming years.
Students admire the interaction, the community spirit, the cohesion and the togetherness. They want to feel part of a family, not just a robotic family with a bunch of so called principles and values. What students find attractive is social action. They should be encouraged for participating in international projects and get involved with as much as they can in the community.
We can no longer see youth as an obstacle to civic involvement. It is now the time to become the party of youth politics.