Khulisa Voice: The Youth Vote #GE2017

As part of our monthly newsletter, we we hand over to a participant to share their views and opinions about what’s going on in the criminal justice world.

This month, we asked James Taylor, a 20 year old Khulisa participant at HMP Forestbank, to share his views on the general election, the new government and why so many young people turned out to vote. Read on for James’ thoughts and the advice he has for politicians.

"I think young people have been sceptical about voting because not many young people have been educated about politics. Not many young people have felt their vote would make a difference." - James Taylor, 20

Early reports showed that 72% of young people (18-25) voted in the General Election 2017 (this was only 43% in 2015). Why do you think it increased so much?

“Many Millenials voted for Labour this past general election. I believe this is due to what Labour has offered to do for young people particularly.  Jeremy Corbyn has gone round many colleges and universities to campaign, speaking about the importance of voting. The division created by Brexit may have influenced the youth vote.  According to some media outlets, the vote for Brexit was baby-boomers going out with a bang sticking a middle finger to the younger generations on their way out. This coupled with influential political figures has shown the younger generations that it’s our time to shape our kingdom.”
How do you think young people (and you) feel towards politics in general? Has this changed recently? 
“I think young people have been sceptical about voting because not many young people have been educated about politics. Not many young people have felt their vote would make a difference. Most young people have had the mindset of “leave politics to the parents” because they know best. Many young people don’t trust politicians regardless of party, so they don’t take much interest in voting for one corrupt fraud over another.

Do yofeel like authority figures (police, politicians, teachers) are listening and care about your views?

“I don’t believe authority figures such as police, politicians and teachers should be generalised into the same category. I believe that the majority of police don’t care about or listen to my views, I can’t think of a scenario where they would be listening. Teachers and politicians, however, I believe have their own agenda and their own bias, but a big part of their job is to listen to my views as I am a citizen and a  student. Some politicians and teachers care and listen to what people have to say, some have an approach rather to the contrary.”

What issues are young people concerned about most right now in the UK?

“Homelessness, Immigration, Propaganda, NHS, Student Tuition, Tax, Prices of houses, ‘Tax’, Minimum Wages.”

What advice would you give to the prime minister or the government?

“Follow up on promises made during the campaign, support the lower, middle classes and put the people of Britain, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation before anything else. Consider all options, methods and schemes for people to buy property in a way that’s viable. Do not privatise the NHS.”


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