In these days of relative security, sanitised and generic opinion, we have lost the confrontation that makes politics the life blood of youth.
I’m a closet politics freak, a debate fetishist, and not just because it is a way of asserting my dominance by proving that I know more than everyone else, thus feeding my ravenous ego (though that plays a shamefully large part in it). No, I go home more concerned about the liberal democrat leadership race than about my social life or whatever is going on in school. Of this I must admit to being slightly ashamed; how many people have I ever told of my weekly rush of excitement on Saturday morning before the Economist is delivered by the postman at more or less precisely 11.36? I don’t think I am the average teenager, but without wishing to toot my own horn, I wish there were more people like me.
Politicians are always crowing on about how they want to engage with the youth of toady. They think that by setting up youth parliaments, getting some token young MPs, having some phoney consultations with youth and creating an engaged and politcally dynamic young generation they can get young people on board. However, the state will never be able to get at the innate subversiveness of youth, as it will always, rightly, shun authority. If we even notice these things, it is only as a subject of ridicule and somewhat satisfying cynicism. The real problem is that we have no conflict of ideology and mainstream deviance from the beige, politically correct “concensus”. Being an aggressively confrontational character, I lament the lack of a good fight in today’s politics; it alienates the mass of the youth and, to be frank, pisses me off. I want Enoch Powel, red eyed, foaming at the mouth and professing rivers of blood, not because I agree with him, but because the established order of banality needs a kicking. Indeed, if this spiral of monolithic boredom continues, I may either sink in the comforting, disengaged political lethargy with the rest of the young peopole in this country, or dedicate my life to trying to clone Hitler and Trotsky, just to see some real debate.
There are always those who claim that politics is in fact not dead, or even sterile, and that there are interesting developments in politics, namely those who get sweaty and stimulated by the fear (or maybe just morbid curiosity) that there may just be ten people who have been cautioned for sex offences cleared for teaching in our schools, but who are in fact not. These are boring people, Mail and Express readers who have nothing better to do than write letters of complaint, blame all their woes on asylum seekers and curse the yobbish youth of today, and I have one thing to say to them – POLITICS IS DEAD (which bodes rather poorly for my political editorship).
This is an original Hashmark Article by The Politics Editor, written in early 2006.