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Pie with a side of Apathy Comment 

Pie with a side of Apathy

‘Davey Cameron is a Pie.’

It is interesting to see on my Facebook and Twitter newsfeed a huge upsurge in young people sharing and posting about the Jeremy Corbin’s hacked twitter fiasco. This has not been something I have witnessed in such force since last year’s Pig Gate scandal, which led to many teens getting involved in the issue. It seems a shame to me that the only time such a number of young people get involved with political news is when it is a witty affair that is unrelated to the actual running of our country. The issue seems to be that politics is not a subject which many of us find approachable as we are so far separated from it. This shouldn’t be the case but, unfortunately, many people I spoke to about this issue claimed that they felt they weren’t qualified enough to discuss politics or that, if they did speak up, they simply wouldn’t be listened to.

In my opinion, this lack of faith in one’s ability to have an impact and get involved comes from a lack of political education. It is vital that we don’t feel isolated from politics as young people as this apathy is something that potentially will grow with us into adulthood. Perhaps, if more of us were taught the basics about how the political system is run and encouraged to keep up to date with current affairs, we could prevent this indifference. Young people have demonstrated their interest in politics through intellectual and informed debates and campaigns, demonstrating the potential of young people. The key is, these young people have been innovative. They have gone and done their own research and have highlighted ways in which politics can become more approachable to the masses far more effectively than it currently is.

During the 2015 general election campaigns, I went out canvassing and spoke to many people around my local area. Despite having a few doors shut in my face, the experience was really enlightening and demonstrated to me just how little faith people have in the political system and their impact upon it. Many adults said they simply didn’t understand politics and they felt that this meant they didn’t have a right to vote. We live in a country where this is not the case. Voting is a right and if a lack of education on the matter is preventing people from pursuing that right, then something should be being done about it. When I was at school we had timetabled sessions up until around year 9 called ‘citizenship’. As far as I remember, politics was never touched on. We didn’t look at current affairs or any skills that would aid us in adult life (despite that being the sole purpose of the lessons) and the skills that I was learning were deemed as not important enough to be taken on beyond the age of around 13/14. It doesn’t seem like my school was alone in this, with many young people I spoke to echoing my point of view. The only time political education was provided was when we, as students, actively sought it out. In my final year, we invited politicians from different parties to come and speak to us and answer any questions we may have had. The debate that was had demonstrated that young people do have an interest in politics and should be given more of an opportunity to express this. Education unlocks potential in people and, if done correctly, allows young people to gain their own view points and make informed decisions that are less likely to just be identical to that of their parents.

I would be really interested to hear what you think about this. Did you have access to political education in your school? Has this had an impact on the way in which you view politics now? And, most importantly, what flavour pie do you think David Cameron would be?

Pork pie, anybody?

Jamie Lee Jenkins (@JenkinsLeeJamie)

 

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