The youth of today have every reason to vote UKIP
A response to a Telegraph article by Tim Bale:[divider]
Dear Tim Bale,
On the 26th June, 2014, you made the claim in your telegraph column that “The youth of today will probably never vote Ukip. That’s great news for the Conservative Party”. UKIP’s Youth Wing for Members under the age of 30, known as “Young Independence” expresses its disagreement and also its disappointment towards the validity of the claims expressed within your article. Despite such claims that the youth will “not adhere” to UKIP, we at Young Independence have experienced a sustained and positive membership growth beyond that of other party youth wings. Adding over 700 members since the start of March, taking our overall membership to a record 2,500. We have been successful in inspiring and also growing in the number of Young activists, many whom have even contested local elections or have additionally organised UKIP societies across many of the country’s leading universities. Thomas Hoof, the YI Deputy Chairman has commented in regards to such: “This growth shows that UKIP is now resonating with the youth of our country, our Young Independence is the fastest growing youth wing out of any other party. This is fantastic news for all of UKIP and reaffirms that if you want real change in our country UKIP is the home for you.” UKIP is thus a party many young people find themselves attracted to. The legacy of the current government is one that has not been favourable to students or young people, the Liberal Democrats losing their title as “the student’s party” for their controversial tuition fee U-turn in 2010.
Young Independence have additionally, not failed nor have they been anonymous in securing their voice within the daily mechanisms and processes of the party. When Chuka Umunna claimed “UKIP supporters had no basic computer skills”, it was the solidarity and unity of the Young Independence movement which orchestrated the firm “#EmailChuka” campaign in direct response. Young Independence thus anchor themselves as a key, relevant and vocal component of UKIP.
UKIP gained the second highest net gain in seats of all parties across Britain contesting the local elections, both in the north and in the south. We thank our voters for their support, for their courage and also for their sacrifices.
Despite the success of Young Independence, we call upon you to be mindful that the party has suffered troublesome treatment on university campuses through no part of its own. The party finds itself openly discriminated against by the National Union of Students (NUS), which voted to oppose the party earlier this year. Yet despite this, UKIP societies continue to grow and participate as active and meaningful components of university life. As much as many students are by default radical and leftward leaning, this has not stopped UKIP. We make the call for you and Youthsight alike to change your attitude towards UKIP, to recognize its young support and not to senselessly dismiss them.
Additionally to claim that many young people will ‘vote Conservative’ is also an extremely misleading claim to make. You cannot claim that the “rightward” leaning politics of UKIP does not appeal to Young people, yet somehow the politics and cheap rhetoric of the Conservative Party would do so. There are millions of Britons within this country who have inherited the negative memories of Thatcher and experienced the ills brought upon Britain’s northern towns. The Conservatives cannot stand up for the student of the north when they discarded the north like an irritable burden. The vote of the youngest is an important vote to have, it is not one that ought to be taken for granted. We from Young Independence declare now that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have neither been providing for, nor mindful of young people within this country. Therefore, their vote cannot be a guarantee. As UKIP grows and as YI grows with it, you will be very much surprised.
UKIP is a party for everyone. We are the people’s party, one which gives everyone, including our young, a voice. We will fight for the students as much as we will fight for the pensioners. We will not fall into the pit of arrogance that somehow, their vote is guaranteed.