Author Archives: Erin Yarrow

Erin is a party member and currently a non-portfolio officer for the Young Liberals

Young Liberals need reform – and we need your help!

Young people play a vital role in the party. Beyond our ability to deliver vast sums of leaflets, or to liven up that local party picture, we shape the Liberal Democrats. We stand for public office; we lobby for youth issues and representation, we ensure that as society changes the party changes with it. However, lately the boundaries of who is young have changed, and the Young Liberals need to change too. That is why we are looking at possible structural reforms, including raising the automatic membership age cut off from 26 to 30.

No longer can even the luckiest of us expect a job straight out of education; more and older graduates have to turn to internships for work. As house prices skyrocket, moving out of the parental home is taking longer. Moreover, with the tendency to remain in education, even the culture and lifestyle associated with youth has come to be applied to a broader age range. With these changes in society, the political landscape has changed too. The needs of those preparing to leave school and the needs of those in their late twenties are more closely aligned than ever before. Ending long-term unpaid work, tackling the housing crisis, improving representation in education, and increasing funding for mental health care are just some examples of policies that would have a disproportionate impact on all of us under 30.

However, the Young Liberals as an organisation has been struggling to represent these needs. It is no secret that we have suffered deepening institutional memory problems as a result of these societal changes. Students now make up such a large part of our constituent members that it’s hard for us to develop a network capable of serving our school leavers and young professions. Our lives have also become more defined by instability – such as moves abroad or in and out of education. These sudden radical changes in circumstances can render members unable to contribute in the way they have done before, and so the consistency in the quality of our work has taken a hit. By virtue of our membership and structure it is getting pretty tough to run ourselves well, and if Young Liberals as an organisation cannot run well then all our members whether in their twenties or still in their teens lose out.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 6th Aug - 2:59pm
    @ David Evans, You could be right in that a Lib Dem or even a Labour govt would have handled it all so much better...
  • User Avatarrichard underhill 6th Aug - 2:17pm
    Hopefully the next Lib Dem leader will avoid the mistake which Paddy Ashdown made of crIticizing one of the previous leaders, despite his fashion in...
  • User AvatarJulian Hawkins 6th Aug - 2:17pm
    Peter - I am one of a small group of GLD members promoting a carbon tax plus dividend in the party, and what you describe...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 6th Aug - 2:16pm
    Peter Martin, you say you don't think a Labour or Lib Dem government would have done any better, but as you know the report into...
  • User AvatarJulian Hawkins 6th Aug - 2:14pm
    David - thanks for your comments. A lot of the work on planning to reduce emissions has already been done, and is in the policy...
  • User AvatarMichael Bukola 6th Aug - 2:13pm
    Thanks for the comments being Made so far. @James - Completely respect the distinction between The Black and White Mistrel Show and the Real McCoy,...