For young people across the globe, regardless of background, ethnicity or beliefs, politics is becoming a fundamental centre point of our lives, dictating and influencing the way we think, act and, for those old enough, vote. I have actively avoided political comments on this blog, not because of a lack of interest in the topic; I consider myself to be extremely engaged in politics, especially in my home country where we are tackling Brexit, alongside a whole host of domestic issues. More accurately, I didn’t want to write about politics, because of its tendency to be a highly loaded topic, which can create arguments and, if not properly controlled, some very cruel comments. I also wanted to keep things more uplifting, and whilst there are positives to be found in political thinking, our current age of divisive rhetoric and populist government doesn’t leave an awful lot of space for spirit-lifting energy, in my opinion.
At one time, I attempted to filter my tweets too, avoiding anything political, or anything that could be interpreted as a politically-driven statement. Over time, this reluctancy to publicly engage in politics has failed: for one, I challenge you to spend any more than about a month on Twitter, without somehow getting caught up in a political discussion, thread or philosophical debate which you can’t help but add your voice too. Also, as the years have gone by, I’ve begun to understand and really cherish the vital role that people like myself — essentially, anyone who isn’t a politician — have in today’s political climate. Our voices do matter, and it is allowed, and I’d go as far to say important, for us to share our views, to tell the authorities that we are listening, and that we do care.
So what’s changed? I suppose, ultimately, as I’ve become older, more informed and more engaged in the world of politics, it has become a bigger part of who I am, what I believe and how I consequently act. Politics is shaping up to become perhaps the most important element of many young people’s lives, defining and sculpting the world in which we will live, work and prepare for future generations.
I have decided that I want to start writing politically-motivated posts, based on the events and happenings that are important to me. I understand that these types of posts won’t be for everyone, and I respect that; it won’t be the only content I publish — usual content, as you’re familiar with, will be published alongside these posts. Hopefully, though, these posts will engage some of you, whether that be for the first time, or as a result of reading another person’s perspective and opinions of the political news. I hope for these posts to create and encourage civil, respectful, and meaningful discussion; I, of course, am not opposed to differing viewpoints, so long as the holders of these views are willing and able to engage in discussion that is fair, respectful and constructive. In fact, I openly encourage and enjoy such debate, with people who are respectful, and who are, like me, willing to consider different views, and be reasonable and justified.
My Views: An Outline
One of the issues visible within many mainstream media sources is their inability to acknowledge their biases. Every newspaper, television news studio and online content publisher has a political bias. Some are more well-known (but not well-publicised) than others: in the UK, it’s fairly widely known that individual newspapers tend to have a set political leaning, likely due to their longstanding and established history in our society. But with the age of the internet, and with almost all young people reading their news online, I believe it’s a completely needless, and frankly unforgivable failing of political-content publishers not to openly express their political standing. After all, for many, the political stance of the journalist whose article they read will subconsciously influence their perspective and opinion on the factual basis of the political story.
A simplistic example can be found by looking at the extremes. If a country is governed by a right-wing government, like that in the UK, those who are towards the right-wing end of the political spectrum are likely to support the government’s actions, and hence an article written by someone of this political view is likely to endorse the actions and policies of the government. The further left-wing the individual positions themselves on the political spectrum, the more opposition one will find to the government: a centralist, for example, being typically less opposed to a right-wing government than, say, a socialist. Bias from the author of an article will undoubtedly filter through to a reader, affecting how they perceive an event: most people in the political sphere, whether they be a member of Parliament, or a journalist, have stronger political leanings than the average citizen.
By no means am I claiming that my blog posts will be politically neutral; I am neither skilled enough, nor inclined, to write such articles here. However, I think it is fair, and would lessen my fear of being a hyprocrit, to openly state my typical political position, to clarify the perspective with which I will be writing. I find it difficult to define my political stance with any degree of absolute clarity: I don’t align myself with a political party on anywhere close to every issue, not only because I believe this to be limiting, but also for the almost selfish reason that I am, by my own rules, duty-bound to form my own opinions and judgements, and stubbornly refuse to accept someone else’s just because they’re branded under a political party’s slogan.
In general, I support equality for all individuals, regardless of their job or the supposed value of that job; I believe that every member of a workforce plays an equally important role in a team: after all, the CEO of a large corporation isn’t a CEO without the customer service representatives communicating with clients.
I strive for a state which supports everybody, maintaining the physical and mental health of all individuals; allowing for social security and stability; ensuring people have somewhere safe and appropriate to live; ensuring those who can contribute to the wellbeing of the entire society are supported and able to do so. I strongly advocate for equal and accessible education, ensuring that everyone has the same options, and removing any link between wealth and and education so that those from wealthy backgrounds are not immediately placed in an advantageous sitaution. I believe in higher taxation for those who earn more: those who earn more, after all, have the luxury of having the leighway to support those less well-off, putting everyone in an equal position and offering everybody an equal and fair quality of life.
Internationally, I support countries coming together and working alongside one another, on the basic principals of teamwork: two people — or in this case countries — is better than one, and the social security and general wellbeing of a state is able to be monitored and maintained if countries can work together. Overall, working together is more likely to retain peace, both nationally and internationally, and is a method to pool resources and skills to develop infrastructure and abilities. On that basis, I am a very strong remainer in regards to the Brexit argument, and believe strongly in the strengths, goals and potential of the European Union, whilst simultaneously recognising and acknowledging its flaws and challenges.
I believe in a political system that takes the voices, views and opinions of all members of society into account, ensuring emphasis is placed equally amongst all. Democratically elected representatives must represent their people, and not their own personal or political agendas, as they do in many governments around the globe today.
Without being either too revolutionary or too philosophical, I see flaws in a capitalist society, in which money and financial gain is the driving force behind motivation and success. This is a system which, in my view, is almost designed to fail, if failure is equivalent to leaving a section of society majorly disadvantaged in comparison to the single-figure percent who are able to live a life of limitless luxury. As I said before, I believe in the equal value of all working positions, as they benefit society as a whole, and I hence don’t agree with the huge pay divide between managerial positions and the teams and individuals who work ‘below’ them.
I recognise that my political summary is a little complex; as I said before, it’s difficult to create a succinct explanation of one’s views on a topic so broad, so controversial and so complex. I hope, however, that my views above, and that this post, has given you an insight into my political stance and judgements, and that you will continue to read articles that I post here regarding political happenings.
If you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat politics, please leave a comment below, or find me on Twitter.