Letter: Depoliticised youth

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The Independent Online
TARIQ ALI'S reading (16 February) of the state of political opinion (or lack of opinion) among young people is, I believe, misled. The desertion of traditional student political forces is itself an expression of, if not dissent, at the very least disillusionment with the motives and achievements of most of these movements.

Young people take a pragmatic view when they look back at the great ideological struggles of the 1960s and the 1970s. "Where has it led them?", they pertinently ask. All too often, yesterday's dissidents eventually joined the very establishment they fought on the barricades. Those who didn't try to make capital (political or monetary) reminiscing about the good old days.

Young people no longer take part in politics because they think (rightly, in my opinion) that dissident groups are no better than mainstream political parties. Maybe they appear not to have an opinion because they refuse to fall hostage to other people's dubious motives.

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE SKIERA

London NW6

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