By Christianah Babajide
For many young people, mainstream politics feels out of touch, irrelevant and disconnected from their lives. That was until the backlash from Brexit. June’s referendum result left many, mostly the younger generation, disappointed and feeling remorseful that they hadn’t voted. While we can’t turn back time, we can prevent voter’s fatigue and apathy next month. On June 8th 2017 we can change the leadership of this country and shape a better Britain. For many of us, this will be our chance to take charge of our future in higher education by voting in a General Election, which is why it is even more important to make sure it is a choice we do not regret.
The reality facing Britain today: Tories cut the services and living standards of many, to fund tax cuts for a few, this reason alone, is why I will be voting Labour.
I am convinced the Labour party understands what Britain needs to succeed and their policies soothe the young people today – who feel that life is going to be harder for them than it was for their parents. The Tories and Liberal Democrats have betrayed an entire generation of young people, while Labour offers a better future in comparison and cultivates policies that won’t just benefit the privileged. The Labour party carries everyone along and doesn’t discriminate against the poor.
Although there is compelling evidence that the Labour Party holds the interests of UK citizens at heart, I have fleshed out 5 reasons students should vote Labour:
- Education Budget
In their education manifesto, the Labour Party propose protecting the entire education budget, including early years, schools and post-16 education and skills. They strongly believe in investing in education so that young people have the chance to succeed in life. Moreover, Tories scrapped the requirement for teachers to be qualified, Labour urges all teachers to get qualified and build their skills throughout their careers, thus improving the standard of education for young people.
- Security in Employment
A world of unemployment and inequality was one of the main concerns post-Brexit. Only a Labour party will prioritise the economy and protect the benefits which guarantee jobs and help British businesses to thrive. Nearly half a million Scots currently earn less than the living wage, Labour party propose introducing a real living wage of £10ph and ensure they have the people’s interests at heart.
- Support and Advice
Detailed in their education manifesto, one of the Labour Party’s policies is guaranteeing quality face-to-face careers service for young people. Young people who haven’t got the connections or the guidance to make the right choices are missing out. Therefore, Labour suggests providing consistent careers advice and support to young people from school to work.
- Tackling Failing Schools
The quality of education a child receives is highly dependent on where they live. Having recognised this may come as a disadvantage to individuals who live in socially deprived areas, the Labour Party would like to change that. By creating new Directors of School Standards to support local schools to improve and respond to the concerns of parents, they are chipping away at policies that illustrate racial disparities in education and essentially cultivating a better, meritocratic society.
- Better Society
The Tories reckless approach to Brexit is putting millions of jobs at risk and jeopardises workers’ rights. However, instead of a country run by the rich, the Labour party advocate a better Britain where all citizens can lead richer lives through the means of creating educational opportunities for all and providing safer neighbourhoods. As Jeremy Corbyn said in his first major General Election speech last week, “we will build a country for the many, not the few.”
As an individual living in Barking and Dagenham borough, I am obliged to question what the Tories have ever done that has benefited me or anyone in my area. Our area needs strong safe leadership, something I am adamant the Labour Party can provide. Two years ago, Barking and Dagenham put faith in Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, to represent our community in Parliament. His record speaks for itself, since then, he has helped Queen’s hospital out of special measures, saved Dagenham Police from closure and helped 20,000 residents over the last two years. For the indigenous residents of Dagenham and Rainham, a vote for Jon is a vote for stability, strong public services, decent pensions and continued improvement. If ever there was a time to vote Labour it is now.
Many thanks to Christianah for this piece!
Make sure your voice is heard by registering to vote by May 22nd, registering takes just two minutes! And if you’re away or doing exams on June 8th, register for a postal vote! https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Christianah Babajide is a young canvasser in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. When she’s not campaigning, she’s studying for her law degree at City, University of London, City Law School.