By Thomas L Blair, 21 March 2015 ©
Youth’s historic political role is to empower marginal and heavily Black, Asian and minority communities. Moreover, the 2015 General Elections may be just the time the fledglings flex their muscle.
No doubt about it. Voting age BAME youth can fine-tune the “open society” claims of government, opposition and major parties
Why? Some say it is in their political DNA.
(A previous generation swept the first three Black MPs Dianne Abbott, Paul Boateng and the “Rebel African” Bernie Grant, and the Asian Keith Vaz into the Commons in safe Labour seats in 1987).
Moreover, the new digital generation has the info-tech means to prompt political and social reform.
In an election that could be contentious, youth can offer a watch list that promotes their likes and dislikes…and their may-be’s.
If they have kids, they can start threads of comment for cheaper crèche fees and a living wage for homemakers.
They can blog for more inner city sports, community arts, and music centres in which many BAME youth can excel.
On their web sites, they can lobby candidates for funded apprenticeships and further education, and aid for first time homebuyers and start-up business ventures.
Crucially, the Digi-generation can mobilise marginal voters and link local issues to regional and national concerns.
With Smartphones at the ready and the social media in their canvassing e-bag, May 2015 could be voting youth’s “digital spring.”
Indeed, youth of all political stripes and backgrounds could make the difference in closely fought marginal seats at parliamentary, district, town, and parish council levels.
Given a clean bill of political health, the candidates and parties that address youth’s challenges “may just win the keys to Parliament and Downing Street” according to seasoned observers.
Note: the UK General Elections 2015 Series provides tips to support Black and minority ethnic communities as they seek to move from the margins to the mainstreams of democracy.
The next smart media guidelines for Black empowerment through the ballot box will follow in due course.
Your comments are welcome.
Further essential readings include:
Migrants’ Rights Network Report at http://socialwelfare.bl.uk/subject-areas/services-client-groups/minoritygroups/migrantsrightsnetwork/migrant15.aspx
Chronicleworld at the British Library