Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

A habit to kick!

by Lloyd on 16.11.08
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As a delegate gets up and gives an impassioned speech to vote for hope not hate, to vote for the best not the easiest to vote individually and not for the “agreed list” the General Assembly applauded. Not 300 meters away some people are hatching a plan – votes where being calculated, manipulated and everything that delegate calls for is slowly destroyed.

Not some spy movie, or some cold war UN story but the “pretend” politics of the European Youth Forum, organisations asked for delegates to vote with their conscious but it fell on deaf ears – or as many would describe it at “the real politics”.

Our politics is what we make it – playing games with our organisations is fun (better than the soap opera Eastenders) but is that what we are really here for. Young people have a particular message that they can give to politicians. They have an ability to speak with clarity, without the baggage of the past and with the foresight of the future. Their message is not only clear, it can have the effect of great change, betterment of society and the ability to dream and reach the sky.
However, if we play the games or a soap opera, young people become nothing more that a fun French farce or the latest episode of a poor European remake of the West Wing.

I guess that because I didn’t get elected to the YFJ (the European Youth Forum), maybe I’m a bit bitter, I played the game and lost and now I want to throw the chess set away blaming the game and not our campaigns failing.

I agree that on the surface value that missing target of getting elected is a failing of us, me in BBCplus, IFM-SEI and maybe the Socialist family. “you would have played as hard as the next man” I hear you cry.

When delegates say that they “think your one of the best” or faced being chucked out of a block to support who they want as the best then I’m not sorry that I failed, but am sorry that its only the minority that actually stand up and be counted.

A culture of blocks stitching the elections up debating on how much others can give you, on a smoke filled room with young people wearing suite is not only a danger for the youth forum it’s a sad reflection on the careerist young politicising of today.

Will the habit be kicked, I hope so – but I doubt it – too many people in too many high places (well places anyway).
Maybe it is just better to watch Eastenders and get the drama from the TV!


  • Anyone who was in the room when Lloyd gave his speech knows just how talented he is. Anyone speaking truthfully knows that he was the best candidate and anyone who voted against their conscience and with the bloc should be ashamed of themselves. I know that Lloyd will continue to stand for a different form of politics, one based on values and issues not blocs and I believe that some day things will change and this will be what matters. We’re still standing and will keep fighting!

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Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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