Spare me the anarchy, give me the issues

iWriters

Share

The writer is a third year English student at the University of Leeds

The Jarrow March 2011 recently arrived in Leeds City Centre. Posters had been appearing all week to encourage students to join "Youth Fight for Jobs" in their solidarity demonstration – it's unclear how many of the 100 or so protesters who gathered were from our 30,000-strong student body, but I think it's safe to say not many. Students who returned to my Red Brick this time last year had £35m worth of cuts waiting for them. The anger is definitely there to be harnessed – we thought a vote for the Liberal Democrats was progressive and alternative, like getting your hair shaved at the sides, only to find them shacked up with Cameron.

Youth unemployment has now hit more than a million, and our siblings are having to pay triple what we did to attend university. So why is it that groups such as the Socialist Workers Party and UK Uncut have such trouble rallying the troops on campus?

Campus life is stuck in a time warp – the clothes are vintage, the music is northern soul, and student activism is still dominated by a bunch of political stereotypes even Rik Mayall would cringe over. You don't have to look far for people called Hugo telling you "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, yah", or for fund-raising punk gigs in the back room of some grimy pub, attracting about 20 teenage dissidents wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "Hurry up and die, Maggie".

That hard-core body of political students looks the same as it did 30 years ago, failing to adapt to a generation that needs more than an anarchist with a guitar to engage them. These aggressive socialists alienate the masses. The fact that higher education cuts and youth unemployment will affect every single young adult gets buried, the cause is stigmatised and your average student stops giving a hoot.

On a local level, these groups always need to raise money, whether for printing leaflets or supporting striking lecturers. If they'd just organise a club night in the city centre, offer a free WKD on entry – do something with real student appeal – they would find most do care what happens to their university, they just don't want to express it through mockney performance poetry.

So, what did you think of young writer Lucy Snow's column? Let us know at i@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Residents of the Gravesham constituency are 10 times closer to what Peter Hain scorns as the “Westminster elite” than are those of Linlithgow and East Falkirk  

Will no one stop the march of localism?

Jonathan Meades
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam