Now that Theresa May has called for a snap election, there has been the most extraordinary reaction from her political opponents, many of whom have gone into wild panic about the vote.
Though it turns out that this mass anxiety has not been wholly detrimental; it has, in fact, made some MPs the most creative they have been in years, desperately searching for ways to get the Conservatives out of power.
It’s the women who have been particularly innovative. Caroline Lucas has been busy drumming up support for what has been called a progressive alliance – which sounds like a terrible bank to me, but nonetheless poses a threat – and Gina Miller has even started her own anti-Brexit crowdfunding campaign. I would scoff, but I cannot help but admire their ingenuity. Clearly this is a great time to become radical with one’s politics – when you have nothing to lose (apart from the election).
I’ll confess that although I am a Conservative, as the election veers up I have been feeling somewhat deflated myself by the prospect of May – the zombie – for another however-many years. So much so that when I choose her on 8 June, I will feel as though I have chosen Wagamama over Zizzi, for all of my enthusiasm about the personalities involved.
This has made me think rather creatively about my own politics, and what I feel I am missing from the current system. I jest not when I say that it is a millennial party.
The fact is that this group – which I’m a part of and includes people aged 25-34 – is in need of urgent help, none of which will come from the next government, no matter which party wins. For years millennials have been sidelined in Parliament, where the average age of members is 50, so our problems continue to spiral. Unfortunately, our plight is only ever mentioned when someone needs to promote the EU (“think of the young people!”) No one dares bring up the practical, everyday issues millennials struggle with. Like, where are we going to live? Will we be able to have beautiful babies? And so on.
Indeed, the situation is so bad that MPs were recently given a handbook to understand my generation. I suspect some thought it was to fill them in on Instagram, Snapchat and other cool phenomena associated with being young, though was in fact to share appalling statistics. Our wages have suffered more than any other age group since the recession in 2008, we have an average net wealth of £700 or less, and will have to wait longer than previous generations to receive a state pension. The list goes on and on, with nothing very positive to negate the reality.
The trouble is that everyone thinks millennials are ok with the situation. Perhaps because we are young; perhaps because commentators keep conflating us with “snowflakes”, a precious group of students far smaller than portrayed. Last week, Sam Kiley wrote that “Thin-skinned millennials need a spanking”, before accusing my generation of having an “immediate entitlement to unearned greatness”. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Millennials are in a rut, and no one can be bothered to step in. Which is unfortunate because one day we will be entrusted to care for the very population that neglected our needs.
When I have pointed out the issues millennials face, people have dismissed my argument, saying unhelpful things like “World War II was worse!” But as the millennial crisis goes unsolved, society collectively will have to face up to the challenges it will bring. The old will continually prop up the young, birth rates will decrease, and divorce rates are likely to go up – thanks to the instability millennials have become accustomed to.
There is no party that has done anything to convince me they understand the potential issues bubbling up with millennials, let alone that they are the ones to stop them. When I vote on 8 June, nothing will change. Even Parliament’s youngest member, Mhairi Black, has threatened to leave recently because she feels so redundant there.
Perhaps it’s time for a change; perhaps it’s time for a millennial party.
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