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Disrupting Disillusionment

September17

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Revolution is just a redefinition away.

With the imminent Scottish referendum – due to take place tomorrow – I can’t help but question whether 16 -17 year olds will actually participate. With so many distractions and diversions, the occupation of education, trying to figure out what on earth we want to do in the future, struggles with identity and insecurity, what place does politics have in our lives?

The word “politics” in itself has the ability to trigger an array of reactions. Some instantly envision the Houses of Parliament, some contend that it’s all a game of power whilst others think of economics and pensions. It’s easy to fall into a state of apathy and indifference when your idea of politics is defined by external influences. If someone paints you a picture, you can either accept it or discard it; resulting in this divide between those who are supposedly politically active and those who are deemed to be disengaged – and more importantly, disenchanted. But what about creating your own picture? What about moulding and shaping your own image of what politics is? It needn’t be limited to elections, parties and voting booths. Take hold of the creativity and innovation that is unique to you.

For me, politics is about engaging with society, it’s about justice and representation. It is about voicing the unspoken and unveiling what is “taboo”. However, it’s also the way I argue with my sister that Timberlake and not Bieber is the better Justin. It’s convincing my Head of Year that plastic, orange chairs do not look good in the Sixth Form Centre, it’s communicating with my Nigerian grandmother and getting her to understand my British accent. Don’t shy away from the concept of politics because you only see it on this large, grand scale of trying to make possible what the world is calling impossible – whether that be world peace, a higher employment rate or social equality. These issues are of great importance but also take time to make politics personal; make it mean something to you as an individual. Redefine it completely.

Once we break down the artificial presumptions of what politics is, we have more freedom to engage with it – regardless of the context. Everybody has something to say and no one can articulate your distinctive thoughts and opinions better than yourself. Our picture of politics needs to evolve. It is not one man holding a megaphone but a continuous conversation. It is not about winning a seat but about taking a stand.

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