Young Britain: `I'm really interested in issues close to home'

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Claire Livingstone, 25, is a first artist in the Royal Ballet.

"I was nearly going to vote Liberal Democrat at the election, but I didn't think they could really make a difference.

"If they were in a position to form a government I would definitely have voted for them, because I agree with their plans for education and the health service. But at the end of the day they just don't have any real power.

"The whole election with the Labour landslide was very exciting, but after that I just switched off from the daily grind of politics.

"What I'm really interested in is issues close to home.

"Foreign policy and things like Europe should not take over from domestic problems. Things like homelessness and drugs need to be dealt with urgently and I don't think the Government is moving fast enough. I would be more than happy to pay more taxes if I could guarantee my money was going to sort out these problems. In some ways we ignore certain social problems in this country.

"Take racism. Most people just don't see it as an issue, but when the first black dancer joined the Royal Ballet recently there was such a lot of fuss.

"I don't think they were going to take him on because of this ridiculous old-fashioned thing about all dancers looking the same and a black face standing out.

"On racism and other issues we are certainly way behind a lot of other countries around the world.

"The legalisation of cannabis, for example, is also a really important issue to tackle, but the Liberal Democrats are the only party to say they want to legalise it.

"I wouldn't describe myself as a political person. I don't go round waving a banner, but I know what I want for the country."

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