20 November 2017   |  Last Updated 04-05-2015 05:58

      Wednesday 22, April 2015

      ELECTION: "Politics has the ability to change so much about the world"

      THERE was once only a handful of parties to choose from when it came to a General Election. Nowadays, the electorate is spoiled for choice.

       

      HUSTING: Jenni speaking at the annual NUS Women Conference

       

      In more recent times the nation has seen the rise of the Green Party, Scottish National Party and United Kingdom Independence Party. There is however one other, a party which doesn’t get as much exposure, that is the Socialist Party.

       

      As the name suggests, the party stands for socialistic rights and despite being smaller than the other minority parties, there are a number of members who have signed up to their cause.

       

      One of those supporters is 18-year-old Jenni Dybell.

       

      “As a Marxist, it is relatively difficult to find a party which is ‘true’ to my beliefs,” she explained.

       

      The Socialist Party seemed to be the least problematic of them all,

      and I found myself supporting the majority of their campaigns.” 

       

      As well as representing the party at political protests and events, Jenni also spends her time studying politics at the University of Lancaster, something which has interested her from a young age.

       

      “I became interested in politics around the age of 13, during the last general election.

       

      “My parents would often discuss politics around me and the more I read on the internet, the more I became educated and interested.”

       

      Jenni continued: “When I was younger I always wanted to make a positive impact on society and I figured that becoming politically active was the only real way to do this.

       

      “As I grew up, I realised how politics has the ability to change so much about the world.”

       

      PROTEST: Jenni (third left in middle row) stands against Israeli intervention

       

      In a profession where there is a divide between young adults and politics, the involvement of an elder teenager is somewhat refreshing, however, it can come with its challenges.

       

      “Sometimes I am patronised for being young and naïve, which I find to be very disheartening,” explained Jenni.

       

      “I know I am young, but everyone interested in politics has to start somewhere.

       

      “The majority of members in my party are relatively old and do not treat me this way, in fact they seem to love the opportunity to educate the younger generation in any way they can.”

       

      TWITTER: The Socialist Party tweet following a protest in Salford

       

      With just 51% of 18 – 24-year-olds voting at the last General Election, should politicians try and engage more with this age group? That is a question which Jenni answered only too well.

       

      “I believe that the main parties are to blame.

       

      “They alienate younger individuals and their policies often disadvantage them.

       

      “I think compulsory basic political education should be enrolled in high schools, so that students have a basic idea of the main policies that the political parties set out.

       

      “It is important to influence young people relatively early in order for them to become involved in politics, otherwise they will probably remain apathetic for the majority, if not the rest of their lives.”

       

      During the term of the coalition government, university fees have risen from £3000 to £9000. With such a significant rise, Jenni felt that this may deter the younger generation from voting for these particular parties.

       

      “I’m willing to bet that a number of young people will abstain from voting altogether due to this issue.

       

      “Although politicians breaking ‘promises’ is not new, tuition fees are of course a contentious issue which effects a large proportion of the population.”

       

      With less than three weeks until Westminster welcomes both old and new members to the Houses of Parliament, Jenni herself has set her sights of one day working in the political sector.

       

      “My current ambition is to become a policy advisor on issues surrounding either climate change, the environment as a whole, or health geography.

       

      “One day I would love to become Prime Minister, but I’m keeping the more realistic aspirations in my head for now.”

       

      By Steven Peach

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