I can’t prove it, but I am getting the feeling that those now becoming voters are opening their eyes more to political realities in this world we live in. I present to you four pieces of evidence, two are hard numbers and the other two are anecdotal. See what you think.
Exhibit A: the controversial South Thanet Constituency Poll by Comres. Here’s an extract of the data table with the unweighted voting intentions, drawing out two age groups of young people:
In case you haven’t followed the news on this, this is what UKIP are saying is the “true” result of the poll, a clear lead. But, I’ve put these numbers up to illustrate something else – support for UKIP by the 18-24 age group is much stronger than the 25-34 group – 31% to 20%. In fact, it’s higher than the average for all age groups, 31%. Also, notice how decisive the 18-24s are, with only 12% Don’t Knows.
Exhibit B, m’lud. Young Independence membership has almost doubled in just one year from Mar 2014 to March 2015– 1800 to 3500.
Moving onto Exhibits C and D, where the defence may just want to cross-examine my witnesses, but here goes:
We’re not doing canvassing in my area, we just don’t have the resources, but we are doing 100% coverage of leafleting. In that task, you will meet people who are in their front gardens or garages, or coming in or going out. Of those around 18, I am noticing a far more welcoming stance from them than the age group above them. People who hand me back my leaflet with an angry look on their faces I would place in the 25-34 age group. It’s a feeling at this stage but intriguing none the less.
Also, in our area, most schools are conducting mock election campaigns, led by their A-level Politics students but involving the whole school. I have met two of the UKIP Campaign Managers, and they have both asserted that they are leading the mock opinion polls. They confirm that UKIP offers a real and genuine alternative to the lumbering, legacy parties. And, many of the new branch members are of school or college age.
How and Why?
I once knew five wise men: What, Where, When, How and Why? I’ve given you the what, where and when, but how and why? To be honest I don’t know, not being a psychologist or behavioural scientist or social researcher, but I’ve got a theory.
We are well aware that our schools are staffed by a large number of teachers with left-wing leanings. I am not saying they are all lefties, but a lot are. In our local UKIP branch, we have at least one working teacher, and at least one retired. We are also well aware that the curriculum has been gerrymandered to include all sorts of subjects that are leaning leftwards, too. There are subjects like “climate studies” and “diversity and equality studies” as well as the general dumbing down and liberal-slants forced onto education. Additionally the EU is also pumping funds into education, and forcing governments to slant their curricula to include pro-EU propaganda.
Those of us who are parents, or whose kids have grown up, know as well that young people rebel. Try to force them to do, say or think something they don’t want to, and they will find a way out of it.
So, putting two and two together, has it now reached the point where such a large amount of propaganda is thrown at our kids that a significant number of them are rebelling? UKIP have a reputation as being the “rebel party”, against “the establishment”, so in that sense we would be a natural home for a youngster wanting to rebel in the political sense. Interesting, eh?
OK, you say, so what? Very clever, neat theory, Otridge, but what are you going to do about it? Well, I’ve asked some teachers for some their thoughts and this is what they came up with in terms of themes to recruit them as both members and voters:
- Our Grammar schools policy will encourage social mobility – we need to promote that heavily amongst young people, as well as our desire for more vocational schooling for other pupils, better preparing them for real jobs.
- UKIP is more egalitarian than other parties, who don’t ask which university you went to or whether your parents were shop stewards. Unlike legacy parties, UKIP adopts a critical approach to politics and widens the debates – a thinking, discussing party.
- UKIP wants a better economy for young people to be successful within, trading with the world with big tax breaks for the low-paid. Also, we want to promote British jobs for British people, which we can do once we are out of the EU.
- Seeks not to disengage cultural ties with Europe, far from it, but to mitigate the damage that openness has done by overloading our infrastructure, such as schools.
- Wants new affordable homes on brownfield sites. Also, by massively reducing immigration, the demand side pressure on housing would reduce, and house prices may drop.
- UKIP welcomes young people as members and has a vibrant fast growing membership. Our youth wing will re-open free speech in universities where some speakers and societies (notably UKIP ones) are outlawed
Our young people cannot be dismissed as uninformed or uninterested as other political parties do. We won’t dumb down the political debate about the here and now, the future, possibility and potential. This is what young people are desperate to hear: a party that takes them and their future seriously, a party that encourages and invites the youth to make their contribution. Young people don’t want to dream about what might have been but create what actually could be, and I am absolutely convinced UKIP will help them achieve this.