Be young and shut up

A blog about student activism.

Don’t underestimate us…

with one comment

Photo by Mike Shaw

There are certain people who view the far-left as a bit of a joke. Harry Cole helpfully called me a stereotype (takes one to know one, I guess). I’ve been called a ‘stupid pig-headed Trot’ (thanks for that one, person I won’t name).  People brush off the far-left’s voice as they think only whack-jobs believe in all that. Or maybe they’re scared, but too arrogant to admit it. They are wrong, in various different ways.

After the November demonstrations, we undeniably saw a radicalisation of many students who are disillusioned with the current political system and felt their voices weren’t being heard. They weren’t swept up by Labour though. Labour are almost as much to blame as the Liberal Democrats or the Tories. Nah. It was more about far-left socialism and anarchism (in some cases, including my own, both).

They aren’t whack jobs, nutcases, air-headed idealists or young people with silly dreams. They are intelligent people who have seen the effect – or, rather, lack thereof – that we have over politicians without direct action and radical steps. They have grown up watching all the major political parties move towards a more rightwing, more authoritarian stance.

Most of my friends, if they were to take the Political Compass test, would probably be somewhere in the bottom-left quartile. We don’t only want socialist ideals, we also want a voice and we don’t want to be told what to do or how to think. We don’t just want to be fobbed off by being told to ‘Write to your MPs’ or, ‘The only way you can truly express your dissent is by voting them out’. What if all the major parties all look, smell and act the same (or similarly)? With First-Past-the-Post especially, voting has become a ‘least-worst option’ kind of activity that I only do out of some sort of sense of duty. I vote at home because Lincoln’s a Tory-Labour swing seat, but my Labour candidate is a massive Iraq-war-endorsing Blairite. What kind of a choice is that? If it looks like shit and smells like shit, it’s shit.

People are coming to realise that a far-left politics and a politics of engagement (dare I say a politics of anarchism?) are not as stupid some once thought, and that they are a credible alternative to austerity measures and being trampled on  by this pathetic disgrace of a government.

We will rise again. We’re not only about tuition fees. In our occupations, at our marches, at our meetings, we have educated each other and learnt from one another, and have formed bonds and friendships. Unlike the Tories and Lib Dems, who seemingly hate each other despite having a lot in common, I believe we are going to come out of the group rivalries, and grow into a force to be reckoned with.

We’re uniting to save our future, and to challenge hegemonic assumptions about the deficit and who should pay, and to demand to be listened to – and heard. Clegg asks to be listened to but then he doesn’t listen back. It’s not good enough.

We’re in it for the long haul, and we will keep arguing, marching, shouting, debating, and occupying until the world gets better.

The young people are revolting!

Yours in anger and hope, Kate

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Written by CakeCakeCakeCakeCake

April 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Nothing wrong with the left.

    Too many pseudo-intellectual rich kids like you trying to run everything about it though.

    Wibble Wibble

    May 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm


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