When you hold that ballet paper in your hand, stop and think, not about yourself, but about our kids.
We should all vote if we can, but it’s time to stop voting for our own selfish reasons and spurious loyalties, and instead to vote for the benefit of the country, it’s people and particularly, the young people. Because quite simply, our future is invested in them.
The UK Election day is here, and it presents the biggest opportunity to make a radical and substantial change within my home country since… well… the Brexit referendum.
If the Reds get in this time could see another radical shakeup of the system, though most seem to think that unlikely. However most thought Brexit was unlikely, and most thought Trump was unlikely. Most say that dull, blue and samey will continue unabated with a flaky grey leader at the helm about who the best people have said to me is ‘better the devil you know, innit?’
On the other hand you have a beardy-weirdy with crooked teeth, the look of a haggard history professor wearing ill-fitting blazers, who goes to work on a bicycle and whose entire expense account for 2015-2016 was just £16,853 (lower than the £20k average for MPs) – what a cheapskate!
Slick he is not. But sincere and fiercely passionate? I would say yes. An unashamed socialist, dug-in hard on the left, he is the anti-establishment candidate. And anti-establishment is trending right now across the world. Trending does rather resonate with the young doesn’t it?
There’s a manifesto that also resonates with young people. It offers hope for a fairer, more helpful and less expensive path into adulthood. From scrapping tuition fees, bringing back student grants, to helping with jobs and housing etc.
Yes it may well be that none of this is deliverable, but manifestos are aspirational anyway. These days even just saying that you’ll try to fix something unfixable is better than just shrugging and saying you can’t.
‘Can’t’ is not a good word for leadership. ‘Can’t’ doesn’t take us forward.
That summarises the rival manifesto that essentially continues to tell everyone: there’s no more money, you can’t have anything for free, you’re going to lose out and pay more taxes, and you’ll all have to like and lump it. And everyone accepts that with a stiff upper lip – stop being so English, the Empire’s long gone you know.
Meanwhile big business and big money makes hay while misery permeates ordinary communities and particularly stifles the young.
Now again, back to the young. They are our future, with that I’m sure you must agree? Especially as I think that looking across the globe right now, and not just in Britain, it’s fair to say that the Baby Boomers, my own Generation X and even the following Millennials have managed to majorly screw things up – from the economy, to politics, to the environment.
But what we all forget is that the repercussions of our actions, inactions, or downright utter incompetence will be impacted on the following generation mostly severely – in this case Generation Z or the Post-Millennials.
Think about what we have to offer them: ‘Hey guys, welcome to your future – overpopulation, global warming, choking pollution, collapsing economies, overburdened infrastructures, political and religious strife across the spectrum and no way off the planet. Too bad.’
Damn shame on us, quite frankly.
Now you may say – ‘are you seriously banking on today’s ignorant kids, who are clueless, naïve, easily led and have the attention span of Dory the fish?’
Possibly valid points but here are two counters: firstly if today’s kids aren’t as well rounded and intelligent as we like to perceive we were at their age, then ultimately whose fault is it? It’s ours, not theirs. People aren’t born knowing everything, nor equipped to cope with it if they did.
It’s up to us to coach and mentor them. Or at the very least demand and help our authorities to provide solid, appropriate, easily accessible, highly tailored and progressive educational and developmental environments to nurture the youth.
Secondly; either I was particularly slow, shy and stupid when I was young, or am honest enough to admit that when I look at teenagers today, when I talk to them, really listen to them, see how easily they absorb the world and how savvy they are with technology, and most of all how quickly they learn, improvise and improve, it becomes pretty plain that they are a lot smarter than I was at that age.
And buried in there is another reason we should, not just bet the farm, but indeed the whole planet, on our kids; because they could potentially have a better understanding of the modern world and its problems, a definitely superior grasp of today’s tech, and consequently a far greater chance of coming up with solutions to our very many problems.
But first we have to create the environment for them to study, comprehend, analyse, process and create these fixes.
We have to divert our meagre resources from bolstering the false economy of capitalism and creating increasing greed and superficial want (which of course these kids then buy into – particularly the children of Instagram).
We also have to stop splurging on blitzing the crap out of each other and the only planet we live on, through unnecessary wars founded from little justification other than ego and hubris, and the over-mining of diminishing resources simply because we can.
Let’s give our children the tools, let’s give them the inspiration, let’s give them the opportunities and freedom, let’s give them the chance to give us hope.
When you go to vote, don’t think about how things used to be or how you would personally like them to be, abandon all prejudices and preconceptions, release that need to cling onto the status quo, aim to generate radical new approaches to fit a radical new world, and think only of our kids.
Help them build us a better future for everyone.