Earlier this month, Britain’s Labour Party prevented Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May from gaining a parliamentary majority. Apart from throwing up a big surprise, the British general election did give me some hope and encouragement. It showed that the country’s youth were more politically active than ever before.
Youth turnout was at 43 per cent in the 2015 election. This time, it was at 72 per cent, helping to dramatically increase Labour’s total vote.
The generation I am growing up in is very different from the previous ones. Most of us have no hatred. We preach unity, optimism and open-mindedness. And most of all, we are ambitious. We are also very aware of what’s happening around the world, thanks mainly to social media.
The only thing we need is direction, and over the past two years, I’ve seen people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn attract millions of young people with their call to shift politics towards the left and past the neoliberal policies that have betrayed working people and increased wealth inequality.
In 2014, I saw such enthusiasm during the Occupy Movement, with Hong Kong teenagers turning out in droves to protest against a government full of people well past their sell-by date.
The good thing is that in the next few decades, we, the youth, will be the ones in power, and it is up to us to take charge and move towards a fairer, more secular world, where the far rights’ message of fear, hate and division is history.