It’s just a few days until the hotly anticipated Labour Live festival. Fans can hardly contain their excitement, even practising warm-up “Oooh Jeremy Corbyn” chants just to get them in the mood. Glastonbury isn’t on this year, what an opportunity they thought. This festival would consolidate Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity amongst the young. Well, that was certainly the intention.
This was dubbed an unrivalled festival of politics, culture and music. 20,000 tickets had been made available. Organisers believed fans would be clamouring for tickets with a star-studded line-up promised.
Corbyn would be capitalising on the ‘youthquake’ that almost propelled him to number 10 last year. But it has been a disaster. Organisers can’t even give tickets away. Free travel was even promised for those who did take up the offer. It turns out the line-up isn’t so star-studded as they first thought. It turns out Stormzy was too busy to perform – probably washing his hair. Instead fans can watch headliners such as The Magic Numbers, Corbynista Owen Jones and self-confessed Marxist John McDonnell, it really is a mystery why nobody wants to attend.
This brings me on to a wider point. It is about time that Westminster politicians stopped patronising younger voters by trying to woo them with gimmicks and second-rate music festivals. This is a problem that also exists in the Tory party. Some genius came up with the idea of giving discounted Nando’s to young people who joined the party. Liz Truss, a Tory Minister, described this current generation as “Deliveroo-eating freedom fighters.” Many Tory MP’s have been given social media training to make them look more ‘human’ – whatever that means. You really could not make this stuff up.
Young voters are sick of being patronised. They do not want free things and discounts if they vote a certain way. They, like everybody else, want policies that will change their lives for the better.
Due to housing prices sky-rocketing, the young have been dubbed ‘generation-rent’ as owning a house is nothing but a pipe-dream. They are considered adults but not old enough to receive the maximum Minimum Wage until they are 25. Those that go to university are faced with loan interest rates higher than most mortgages. And those that don’t are left with an apprenticeship system that is not working despite a huge drive.
Around half of young people do not go to university, but there are less apprenticeships now than there were in the previous year. At the beginning of the current academic year, they had fallen by 26.5%. This is simply not good enough, but our politicians are too busy chasing votes and furthering their own careers to do anything about it.
Is it any wonder voter turnouts are so low amongst 18-24’s? Politicians need to listen to young voters concerns and take action.