Usually when someone claims they’ve ‘had the pleasure of’ something they actually mean the opposite, or they’re simply padding out their sentence. Yesterday I had the genuine pleasure of talking to a room of Year 10s on their ‘Democracy Day’.
This might not sound like much fun, but in contrast to the pattern of meetings after pointless meetings it was nice to feel like I was actually making an impact (9 months into my term helping a family get a new boiler is still the most satisfying thing I’ve done).
Unfortunately my presentation was dry, rambling and very boring (in other words an accurate representation of local government). But it was in the question and answer session which followed that I found my eyes opened. From a room of people too young to join a party I faced questions ranging from inflation to social care. Perhaps my favourite was getting asked if I’d ever voted for something I didn’t agree with (no, but I have had mixed feelings on some issues).
A generation of young people has been turned on to politics by the changes that they see all around them, changes for the worse. Compared to the apathy of my generation there is at least some hope in this transformation. In conclusion I left them with a thought: if young people don’t vote why would politicians ever care what they have to say?