British Youth and Politics: Can they come together?

Kanye telling the world that of course he'll be running for Pres in 2020

Kanye telling the world that of course he’ll be running for Pres in 2020

The MTV VMA’s this year brought to mind an issue that we could have never thought up in our wildest dreams: yep, Yeezy for President of the US in 2020.

That’s right, Kanye West stated just how obvious is was that he would be running for the position in just five short years.

Twitter responses to Kanye's Presidential campaign

Twitter responses to Kanye’s Presidential campaign

This of course saw the internet erupt with responses to the news and was the birth of the hashtag #Kanye2020.

Even President Obama himself weighed in by offering his advice to the rapper, as shown in the video at the bottom of this article.

This humility towards Mr West, is a complete turnaround from the President referring to him as a ‘jackass’ way back in 2009.

It sparks the feeling that Mr Obama knows exactly what he doing. In including fun little anecdotes about Kanye’s 2020 pledge, Obama is directly appealing to younger voters.

This sparked curiosity and brought about the wonder as to why our politicians aren’t doing this sort of thing for our younger generations.

President Obama is a whiz on social media also, making himself seem more available to those younger voters. But just how close do under 25’s in this country feel to our Prime Minister, David Cameron?

The results varied in how the answers were given, but they all pointed in the same direction: there is nothing there to attract new, young voters.

Sam Bradley, 19, Hemlington feels that although he can relate to some ideologies put out by various political parties, there is not enough there at the minute to encourage young people to vote.

“In terms of relating to young people, they don’t hit the target. We just don’t really care because we’re not represented,” he said.

Young voter Sam Bradley discusses his thoughts on modern day politics

Young voter Sam Bradley discusses his thoughts on modern day politics there is not enough there at the minute to actual attract young people to vote.

Katy Phenix-Norman, 22 from Redcar added: “My opinion is if you look at the average Conservative voter, they are 55+ and middle class. So their policies are tailored more towards their voting base i.e bus pass, savings and pensions.

“In this same vein of thought they are less likely to push ‘young’ topics such as university fees. So until more young people get involved in politics and become a larger part of the voting demographic policies will not be tailored towards them – hence a sense of not being able to relate to politicians.”

The questions this raises though, is that with the way current politics is, am I expected to wake up one day when I’m in my 50’s and think ‘Yeah, this is for me now.’

It’s something I’m not sure I can see happening. In a sense, it saddens me that the U.S. has a leader that is so connected with the youth, with pop culture references and fantastic use of social media, and our government doesn’t even try to win me over with policies I might like. And I’m not the only one.

Philip Stirzaker, 25 from Hemlington, expressed to me his admiration of Obama.

“Obama is amazing. He’s charismatic, apparently empathetic, funny, in touch and really does in a way have a clue what’s going on at street level in the USA,” he said.

“That being said though, the USA is outrageously big and dynamic so he’s probably more in touch with our youth across the board than that of the USA.”

Philip believes there is some hope for Britain in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn.

“I believe in Jeremy Corbyn, he’s like a bland Barack Obama… maybe he is from money, maybe he’s not, you don’t really want to read too much about the bloke,”he said.

“I’ve watched some PMQ since he’s been the Leader of the Opposition and he seems honest, upfront and not towing a line.

“He’s here for the people, which is what politics has failed to be here for so many years that it’s painful to even think about our future.”

He feels that the biggest reason for a divide between voters and politicians is the “ancestry of obscene wealth” that they come from.

This is something Jack Waldron, 21, Middlesbrough agreed with.

 “I personally can’t relate to  a southern middle class etonian, [speaking about the PM] but I don’t think politicians are there to be related to,” He said.

“I don’t mind what background my local MP comes from, as long as they do their best to represent me and their constituents in the Houses of Parliament.”


Who can you relate more to? A young Corbyn (left) or a young Cameron (right)?

Who can you relate more to? A young Corbyn (left) or a young Cameron (right)?

Although there are a growing number of British youths now taking an active interest in politics, there is still a clear divide between them and the actual politicians.

As an individual I feel like I understand the US President more than our own PM sometimes, in that he understands my wants and needs.

I can only hope that our future is bright and that one day we will have a Prime Minister that appeals to the majority of younger voters. Maybe nothing like a ‘PEEZY’ though…


from Tside