Author Archive for BFTemp

Voices of a Generation – Francesca and Alana

In the aftermath of the Scottish Independence Referendum everyone Helen met in Scotland was set on voting in the General Election, but what did Francesca and Alana think would make politics matter more to them as young people?

Voices of a Generation – Anita

On a sunny day in Southampton Helen spent some time at St. Mary's Football Stadium with a group of young people talking about immigration and integration in their communities

Voices of a Generation – Max

Max, 22, talks about university and his feelings on the current state of the jobs market

Voices of a Generation – Franny, Chineme and Eleni

We asked Franny, Chineme and Eleni what they thought about the idea of having compulsory political education in schools

Voices of a Generation – Montel

After our event in Parliament in which first-time voters from up and down the country got to meet various MPs I caught up with Montel from Dudley to see what he thought about politics and politicians in the UK at the moment

Voices of a Generation

While Helen was visiting the constituency of South Thanet, where Nigel Farage and Al Murray are standing as candidates, she visited Ramsgate Football Club and spoke with a couple of the apprentices there, here's what they had to say

Restoring trust on immigration – the manifesto challenge

As we prepare for a long election campaign with public trust particularly low on the issue of immigration, Sunder Katwala offers some advice to candidates when engaging in the immigration debate – be authentic.

Who were the Windrush Poles?

Few know about the Polish passengers who came to Britain on the Empire Windrush in 1948 to be reunited with family members who had fought with the allies in WW2

Record number of ethnic minority MPs to be elected in May 2015

More ethnic minority MPs than ever before will sit in the next parliament, according to new research from British Future, published in the report "The race for representation: how ethnic diversity became the 'new normal' in British politics".

“Everyone forgets to talk to us about politics”

On the most southerly leg of the Voice of a Generation tour Helen reports on her time spent with young people in Devonport, the heart of the Plymouth docklands.

“It’s like a big game really”

On the road again the Voice of a Generation tour was in Brighton. Famous for its pier, pebble beach, liberal outlook, and since 2010 being the seat of the only Green MP in parliament. We were lucky enough to be able to speak with two different groups of young people, at a YMCA housing project and at the City College.

So why did the young people of Brighton think that there is such a disconnect between themselves and the current political system, highlighted by such low voter turnout amongst the 18-24s? One notion that was raised in both groups related to the perceived insincerity of politicians, particularly in the run-up to the election in May. As Josh (18) said: “at the moment, parties are offering policies as pre-election mood music”. Will from the YMCA echoed a similar sentiment, saying that “The parties are only paying attention now to get votes before the election.” “They go all over the country, do TV debates, do publicity…it’s like a big game really.”

We came across a particularly interesting divide in young people’s opinions on UKIP. On the one hand we witnessed the negativity towards the party that opinion polls nationwide have found among the younger sections of the electorate. Will (20) isn’t sure who to vote for, and doesn’t particularly agree with any one of the main parties. However, he is planning on voting for ‘someone that isn’t UKIP’ as he doesn’t want to see them gain any power in the General Election.

On the other hand we also heard from some first-time voters for whom UKIP represented real change in a political system that they had no faith in. They were happy to discuss immigration as a topic they felt needed addressing in the run-up to the election, highlighting the lack of fairness in the immigration system as a major concern.

In the wake of recent polls putting Green Party support ahead of the Liberal Democrats, one might expect young people in the Greens’ only constituency be well on board with the Green Party message. Yet it was not something that the groups of young people we spoke to particularly knew or cared about.

The students at Brighton and Hove City College were positive about Green Party policies, and, as we have seen in several discussions, the socially focussed and environmentally conscious propositions struck a chord with young voters. Concerns were raised over the ability of the party to actually put any of them into practice though, and Green Party candidate for Brighton Kemptown Davy Jones was inevitably drawn into a discussion defending Natalie Bennett’s disastrous LBC interview under pressure from one student asking “how can you expect us to trust you?”

Other more specific topics were discussed in-depth that had not come up before – the war on drugs, transparency of justice, and national security were all on…

On the road again the Voice of a Generation tour was in Brighton. Famous for its pier, pebble beach, liberal outlook, and since 2010 being the seat of the only Green MP in parliament. We were lucky enough to be able to speak with two different groups of young people, at a YMCA housing project

“I just want people to vote” says Al Murray – will young people listen?

"I just want people to vote," says 'pub landlord' and wannabe South Thanet MP Al Murray, at a press conference at the New Inn Pub in Sandwich today. "They can vote for me or they can vote for someone else - that's how it works.

“Where does Nick Clegg live?”

Next stop on the Voice of a Generation tour was Sheffield, home of steel, The Full Monty and Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency, among other things.

When Helen met… The Above and Beyond Party

In Sheffield Helen met with Drew and Thom from the Above and Beyond Party. But what is it and what do they stand for?

Immigration from Europe – can we make it work in Southampton? Event Tues 10 March

Southampton’s Brits and Poles come together on 10 March to find ways to make immigration work in the city.

“This is the first time someone has asked me about politics”

The Voice of a Generation tour kicked off in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, hometown of Helen, our 19-year-old Voice of a Generation reporter.

New immigration figures: “a quarterly reminder to the public of why they don’t trust politicians on immigration”

Immigration figures have become a quarterly reminder to the public of why they don’t trust politicians on immigration, and will remain so until the government drops its failed net migration target for a more sensible measure

Final Scores on the net migration target, and no-one’s cheering

Today is final score time in the Net Migration Cup, as the last set of ONS immigration stats are released before the election. It would be hard to pretend that the crowd is on tenterhooks, argues Sunder Katwala.

Why does Enoch still matter?

Almost half a century after his most famous speech why does Enoch Powell remain a regular reference point in the immigration debate? Asks Sunder Katwala

Speech by Douglas Carswell MP: “Why Powell was wrong about immigration”

UKIP MP Douglas Carswell speaks on why Enoch Powell was wrong about immigration at a British Future event