Friday, 19 September 2008

Young Independence and Freshers' Fairs

With students returning back or in my case, starting University in the upcoming days and weeks, Freshers’ Fairs are also kicking off all over the country as Societies attempt to recruit new students. This year, for the first time, UKIP will have a presence at some Universities thanks to the launch of UKIP’s youth wing, Young Independence.

What does this mean? Well, for the first time, as students are courted by Conservative Future, Labour Students, Liberal Democrat Students and other fragmented socialist groups, our Party will now have a voice on that battlefield as well. This is of course extremely important. If we are to expect young people to become aware of issues such as the dangers of the European Union, then we must engage with them at a grassroots, one to one, personable level. After all, despite Nigel Farage’s high impact media appearances, these appearances are sporadic and will act only work in the form of a scattergun, occasionally getting young people interested. Lets not forget that according to polls held in France and Ireland more recently, people aged under 35 are the most eurosceptic part of society that there is.

What Young Independence aims to do is build up groups of young UKIP members at University’s spanning the length and breadth of the country, who will voice an opposing stance on issues just as our elected representatives are doing for the Party. I truly believe that what the UK Independence Party has to offer students and other young people is something completely different and in many ways greatly rebellious against the political system in Britain and the class of people that run it at present.

A full raft of ‘common sense’ domestic policies espoused by the UKIP includes such student pleasers as:

-The abolition of tuition fees.

-A strong opposition to the occupation of Iraq.

-Support for nuclear power.

No other Party supports all three of these policies, yet they are all the types of things students want to hear and will support, myself included. When we consider as well UKIP’s principled and sensible stance on the EU, immigration, crime, education and many other issues, there is now much in UKIP for young people to sink their teeth into.

Finally, as I said in my speech at the Conference, the passion of our UKIP members is truly infectious. This is an exciting Party to be in at the moment as we represent a tide of public opinion that we must now attempt to sway from the ‘Apathy Party’ into our camp. With the European Elections coming our way next year, the future for UKIP looks bright, and it will become even brighter as Young Independence continues to play the crucial role of providing young people with a true political alternative.

Michael Heaver.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Fair do's, but as I said in my speech, student grants (to cover living costs) should be the same as the general basic benefits level, i.e. £45 a week, 52 weeks a year for 18 - 24 year olds, non-means tested and unconditional (apart from being a British citizen).

Offering to scrap tuition fees as well is going a bit far IMHO.