Why is it "good" to get young people involved in politics?

There are some ideas which are allowed to float about in people's mind unchallenged and backed only by unquestioning lip service. This is one of them. It's implicit in this article on the BBC's website:

The Occupy protest movement is turning its attentions to schools through a new educational outreach programme.

The idea developed after members of the St Paul's camp were invited into a number of schools and universities.

The camp's "Tent City University" has won support from numerous high-profile speakers and academics.

Former citizenship teacher Jamie Kelsey Fry says that with protesters due to be evicted within weeks, an outreach programme is the natural next step.

Protesters from the Occupy movement - which campaigns against inequality, social injustice and corporate greed - have been camped outside St Paul's Cathedral next to the London Stock Exchange since 15 October.

But they are expected to be removed on 27 January, after the City of London won a High Court case over their eviction.

Before I quote the rest of the article it's worth remembering that many people believe the human mind doesn't really process negative thoughts.

Mr Kelsey Fry, who has been at the camp every day since it started, said it had become a focal point for young people interested in political activism, with teenagers travelling from all over the country to visit.

Many had joined in its people's assemblies, where issues are discussed openly and everybody taking part is given an equal voice.

He said: "So many of the camps, not just at St Paul's but around the country, will be cleared away in the next few weeks so outreach is a really good way to move things on.

"Young people are a very large part of society and they are voiceless. They will be the people who inherit a troubled future."

He added: "We are not trying to indoctrinate them or recruit them, we are trying to use the citizenship curriculum to give young people the tools to take up the issues that are important to them."

I think this final point here (obviously I'm not quoting the full article) is the reason some people think there's a need for 'young people' to be involved in politics. If you saw me outside your house and asked me what I was doing and I replied that I was not about to steal your car what would you think? If you caught me outside a school with a load of leaflets and I told you I was not trying to indoctrinate the children...

Look to the arguments people put forward if you push them on this subject:

"Ah, well, old people are more set in their ways". Translation: "Old people have their own opinions and won't be pushed around as much".

"Err, no, I mean, young people are more optimistic". Translation: "Young people are more gullible and easily led by hare brained schemes".

"No, it's not like that, they're just more err, caring and compassionate and likely to be left wing and ... oh". Translation: "Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains". They're left wing reqruits waiting to be indoctrinated by seductive ideas that ultimately lead to communist dictatorships. That's the truth of the matter isn't it? Use the comments section to argue the contrary...


Anonymous said…
You are so full of shit sometimes, it's quite amusing. Don't you realise that young people have to learn? How else can they learn without getting involved in politics? If you're worried about people being manipulated and controlled think about the fact that a politically ignorant populous has given us what we have right now. Fuck all. A politically aware and awake one might offer us something we all want: change!

Also - why you don't support the occupy movement is a mystery to me.

Bob Dobbs
Nicholarse said…
RE: Bob Dobbs (good name by the way).

Why get people involved in politics if you define them as still having much to learn? Learning is one thing "getting involved" is quite another.

You can learn something before you have to get involved in it. Study it, think the ideas through. This idea of sending these occupy communists into schools is about them actively participating in a "global revolution". That implies that as a generation they're going to be encouraged to reform a system they know nothing about! On a global scale. What their new world government look like, God only knows!

Your assesment of the mess we're in with these scumbag politicians who rule over us is inept. THEY ARE THE PRODUCT of this idea that young people should get involved in politics early. William Hague, with his speech to the sTory party conference. Tony Blair with his claim to be the youngest PM in over a hundred years.

Career politicians are THE PRODUCT of this idea, isn't that obvious?

The occupy movement are a huge dissapointment to me, they require a blog entry in their own right.

Anonymous said…
I see your transformation into a right wing demagogue is going rather nicely Nick. Young people are thick. The occupy movement are scum. What next? Send back the immigrants?
Anonymous said…
I am a young person (18) and I got involved in politics because of The Night Before. How do people like us fight the new world order if we're not informed about what's going on?

The truth about 9/11, chemtrails, UFO's and Monstanto ARE all politics.

I'm afraid we disagree on this one Nick. I've done nothing but inform people in my class about the truth movement. It's us lot who will have to live in the Illuminati hell which is being created every day.

Anonymous said…
AS usual you totally misunderstood my point Nick.

Learning about something IS the same as being involved in something. You CAN'T learn without taking some level of interest and involvement in something.

It's a good job that there are people around to combat bullshit ideas like yours.

Students and young people need to be guided and shown that there is a fairer way of doing things. Their minds haven't been corrupted by cynical rhetoric like yours.
neiallswheel said…
NeiallsWheel. 42 years.
Think its a bit timely, but a teacher at school attempted to show us the press' propaganda revolving around The Sun, the Falklands War and Mrs Thatcher and how the casualty numbers were held back to keep the public 'on side' Im still grateful. The eyes once opened can only have more perception into the swine of political flow. as long as PIG politik dont ban alcohol and ritalyn there may be some hope yet
Nicholarse said…
In order - 1, this has nothing to do with left/right politics really other than the fact it's usually leftys who are keen to get their hands on young idealistic (easily led) minds.

It's certainly got nothing to do wth immigration?

2 - To be honest Danny I reckon you'll do well to allow some of those ideas to remain fluid. Guests on the old show were giving a point of view not laying down unquestionable facts. A mind works well when it's open. Don't let new ideas (even if they are from outside the mainstream) close it.

3 - I'm guessing you're Bob Dobbs? Your post works equally well as my reply to you if we knock out the nonsense where you conflate learning and doing.

4 - neialliswheel. Interesting post. Interesting that it was an anti-Thatcher teacher. Also interesting that there's a clear difference between learning and doing implied in the example as well.
Joey B said…
Other people who want the young: the religious and the military.

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