It sometimes feels like expressing any kind of opinion at all on the internet makes you controversial. If that opinion happens to be political, this seems to be even more true and you soon have people battering down your virtual door to tell you how terribly wrong and evil you are. I’ve been debating whether to say anything at all about the General Election, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t ignore it. If you don’t want to read my thoughts on it all, I recommend hitting the back button now and come back tomorrow when I’ll have returned to my regular programming of outfits and food reviews.
Yesterday, I went to Jeremy Corbyn’s Get Out the Vote Rally here in Birmingham, with speakers including Steve Coogan, Saffiyah Khan and Corbyn himself, obviously. Excuse the crap photo quality, I only had my phone with me. A double rainbow came out as Corbyn spoke. Coogan and Corbyn both spoke about how incredibly important it is, more so than ever, that young people go out and vote tomorrow. Historically, young people have a low voter turn out, so if we actually all go out and vote, we’re going to massively shift the results. Other the last couple of months, a staggering amount of people have registered to vote for the first time. According to research by The Stream, almost half of under 35s surveyed intended to vote Labour. Our vote matters. It could be the difference between another Tory government or keeping them out.
Labour’s manifesto has a lot that appeals to younger voters. They plan to scrap tuition fees, end zero hour contracts, restore arts funding, boost wages of those earning less than the living wage, deliver universal superfast broadband, ban unpaid internships, bring back maintenance grants for students, ban letting agents fees for tenants, build more affordable homes and guarantee help to buy funding to name just a few. You can see the whole manifesto here.
Earlier this year, Laura Jane Williams started the #bloggerswhovote campaign, where bloggers, vloggers and social influences encouraged their following to register to vote. The bloggers who did this were torn down in the media, with one journalist declaring ‘democracy was dead’. But with young women aged between 18 and 24 being the least likely to vote, I think it’s incredibly important that those of us lucky enough to have a platform use it. It’s not about speaking down to the young voter, it’s about education.
Mainstream media doesn’t really speak to the under 35s that well. Our concerns are not often addressed (see, any article about millennials, where mainstream papers seem unable to understand why we don’t buy diamonds, for example…). With bloggers, those concerns can be addressed. Bloggers can speak to first time and young voters in a way that matters, we can provide information on where to educate yourself on why your vote matters and who you should vote for.
Tomorrow, please make your voice heard. It does matter, and your vote can have an impact. If enough young and first time voters go to the polls, we can prevent Theresa May and her
Death Eaters Tories remaining in power. If you’ve registered to vote, but you’re not sure where to go, you can find your local polling station here. You don’t need to take anything with you. All you need to give them is your name and address. Voting takes just a few minutes. Please vote. Vote wisely.
I’ll be voting Labour. For the many, not the few.