On Wednesday, June 20 a deputation from UK Youth Voice delivered the group’s manifesto to 10 Downing Street. Addressed to the Prime Minister the detailed contents of the manifesto are to be applauded. Amongst the demands are:
- Make youth services a priority public service
- Enable every young person to take an active role in democracy
- Provide accessible, high-quality education for all young people
- End discrimination, prejudice and hate crime towards young people
- Enable future generations to live in a clean, safe and sustainable
Contrary to a number of pre-election statements from leading youth sector organisations Youth Voice explores these headings in detail. For example the reader will find calls to protect the NHS; for votes at 16; for young people’s involvement in the EU negotiations and the replacement of the Erasmus+ funding stream; free education at all levels plus the cancellation of student debt; equality of pay and an end to zero-hour contracts; the protection of environmental legislation; and much more.
READ IN FULL at Youth Voice Manifesto
The contradiction facing the young people of Youth Voice is that many of its demands cannot be delivered by a Tory Prime Minister and government, increasingly out of touch with significant sections of society. Indeed it seems that an overwhelming number of 18-25 year olds voted for the revival of social democracy as expressed in the Labour Party’s manifesto and against the failed free market model of neoliberalism. In this context we are very interested in what might be the next political steps for Youth Voice? To what extent will it be hamstrung by the idea that Youth Voice should be in some contorted way neutral? Is this a moment when it’s necessary for Youth Voice to climb off the fence and pin its colours to an anti-austerity mast?
We look forward to hearing more about how Youth Voice chooses to use its progressive manifesto. For now we wish simply to congratulate Youth Voice on the work it’s put in. Good stuff. And this might just be the beginning.