The young guy on the BBC News in their vox pop was one of the savvy ones.
“People need to give us a bit of credit,” he said. “We see all the stuff on the news and in the papers. We can see if it’s biased and we can see through it all to the issues."
It chimed with my experience. The older generation often rant against the young with all their modern ways. It has always been that way and is probably jealousy about their youth and energy. But you won’t hear it from me.
I look back to when I was just of voting age. I’m sure I didn’t have an in-depth grasp of the issues besetting the country then. But I grew up in a Daily Mirror-reading, Labour-voting family and the talk about caring for the weaker members of society who struggled to take care of themselves made sense to me.
Now I have two children making their way in the world. They know and understand what is going on around them. They grasp more about health, education, jobs, housing, the environment – and the growing inequalities of modern life – than I ever did at their age.
Young people today have it tough. They have to land themselves with huge amounts of debt if they want to get themselves educated. Then what? Unpaid internships? Part-time, zero-hours contracts?
What about housing? Rents are huge. There is a lack of social housing. How do they get themselves on the property ladder when they can’t afford deposits?
It has meant that while many young people ‘get’ the real problems that need solving in our society, they feel disillusioned.
They feel their parents were part of a lucky generation that could afford houses and had greater employment opportunities and protection.
As a result of that disillusion, many now feel disengaged with the political process, as if their voice will not be heard and taken into account.
One of the reasons we now find ourselves out of the European Union, figures show, was because so many people under 25 did not vote. Those who did were largely in favour of remaining.
There is evidence to suggest that it is changing with this election. More than a million people have clicked on to the election registration website since this election was called.
Suddenly people can see this as a major opportunity to make this cruel Tory government think again.
They are arrogant in counting on your vote because they focus on Brexit with Theresa May almost demanding that we strengthen her hand in negotiations.
The reality is that the Tories are seeking a big majority to implement hard line policies on employment and social care to take us back to the dark ages of the weakest being cut adrift.
But they don’t get away with it that easily. The programme of hope that Labour is offering on health, education, transport, energy and myriad other issues is appealing to many and the Tories are worried. They should be.
That concern will increase if young people register to vote and make their voice heard. If you are young and haven’t registered to vote, please do so. If you know a young person who hasn’t registered please urge them to.
The deadline is MONDAY 22nd MAY and here is the link…
It takes less than five minutes.
That’s less than five minutes to claim your right - and a chance to make a difference.
To change our society for the better by voting for Mandi Tattershall and Labour’s politics of hope, not the politics of despair.