Author Archive for BFTemp

“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

The Voice of a Generation tour – what do Britain’s first-time voters really think?

Today marks the launch of the Voice of a Generation tour, a joint project between British Future and the Daily Mirror. Nineteen-year-old Helen Whitehouse – a young journalist and first-time voter herself – will travel to some of the most closely-fought constituencies across the country to uncover stories from young people eligible to vote for the first time in May’s General Election

A decade after 7/7, where is the Muslim integration debate headed?

Ten years on from the terrorist attacks in London, questions about the radicalisation of young British Muslims have been raised again after stories emerged of British citizens travelling to Syria and Iraq to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in 2014.

New ethnic minority voters will take higher price from Tories in 2015

British Future research suggests Britain’s increased diversity could cost the David Cameron the 2015 election unless his party increases its appeal to minority voters, writes Steve Ballinger.

100 days out, public gives ‘thumbs down’ to all election contenders

What if they threw an election and nobody won? Overall, the British public think that ‘none of the above’ could well be the most appropriate outcome to the most unpredictable General Election for forty years.

British Future are seeking a new trustee

This is an opportunity to contribute to an organisation which plays a leading role in shaping constructive public discussion about some of the most contested issues in Britain today.

Will Scotland decide the future of the UK again?

The General Election in Scotland this year is probably the least predictable the nation has ever seen – and the contest in the 59 Scottish constituencies could play a significant role in deciding who governs Britain.

Why do both sides look like they’re losing the EU debate in Britain?

The most interesting phenomenon of the current EU debate is the fact that both sides appear to damage their own cause more than their political opponents do

Why the Magna Carta matters today

This June 15 heralds the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta - a document that laid the foundations of modern democracy and established a tradition of ‘English liberty’ that persists to this day.

2015: A year of uncertainty

New ICM polling for British Future's State of the Nation 2015 report sheds some light on key issues surrounding the General Election campaign and beyond.