SQ Magazine

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COMMENT: Young, left and nowhere to turn?

Posted on Wednesday, 9 October by

Ed Miliband

Looking back to mid-September, the political landscape was bleak, if you were a young lefty. Now, after the autumn party conferences, we have fresh ideas to ponder and a renewed beacon of hope. Is Ed’s rally cry of consumer socialism an exciting new future or another false dawn for the Labour party?

Next year will be the first time a lot of voters will be able to vote. But what is the point of voting if the two main parties are so central and it remains an impossible mission of differentiating between the two? With the Conservative party proceeding down the cruel, harsh route of austerity and the recent vicious announcement of cutting benefits for anyone under the age of 25 – those who arguably need it the most – it would be hard to believe many first time voters will be choosing the Conservatives as the party shifts further to the right. So for those on the left, who deem austerity to be cruel, and the bedroom tax vile, there did appear to be no sustainable, decent left wing alternative within mainstream politics.

That was until the Labour conference in Brighton, where Ed Balls and Miliband proceed to drag the party from the centralist politics of Blair and Brown, back in the favour of left wing. For some, this isn’t a shift far enough, even with Ed’s brave and populist policy idea of promising to freeze the price that energy companies can charge the public. This was along with making social housing a priority, even threatening to seize land that isn’t being built on for housing.

Mehdi Hassan of the Huffington Post, for instance, feels: ‘the public are to the left on issues such as renationalising the rail and energy companies’. Mehdi himself expressed his anguish on this week’s Question Time that Ed Milliband hasn’t taken the party not nearly far enough left for what the public is demanding.

The truest left wing party in the mainstream conscious is the Green Party; but due to their lack of experience – as well as media and public backing – we’re more likely to see scare-mongering UKIP triumph than the rational thinking of the Green’s succeed. But with Ed Milliband finally and rightly being the politician to stand up and be counted on the pertinent and persistent issue that is the Daily Mail, bringing the discussion of the prejudice paper into the spotlight, Ed is at this moment doing all the right things that those on the left have been yearning for.

So where does that leave young people such as you, SQ readers? In truth, it doesn’t leave you very many options. If Ed Milliband is destined for number 10 Downing Street and does stay true to his word, we may well live to see a very great, socially innovative Prime Minister who may well give power back to the working classes.

Who are you most likely to vote for in 2015?

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Liam Collins
21-year-old graduate from University College of the Creative Arts. Music correspondent at SQ Magazine, interviewing and reviewing some of the biggest and best acts in the land.

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