A recent article by the anti-Corbyn, pro-Blairite website, Labour Vision posed this question:
How can Labour Connect with the Skepta Generation?
Well, it seems the answer to that question may well have been answered. Although Labour Vision and similar Blairite outlets will, no doubt, not approve the answer.
A wide range of UK heavyweight, high-profile lyricists — hip-hop artists — grime MCs — have endorsed Corbyn, and urged young people to vote for him, and therefore Labour at the General Election on June 8th.
The basis of the Labour Vision article was to debate the question: how can Labour reach young people? who have (increasingly) become apathetic towards politics — which they labeled: the Skepta generation.
Skepta being a rapper/grime artist whom Labour Vision feel encapsulates a certain kind of political apathy in young people — an apathy that is reflected by large under-representation of the young at the ballot box.
The OBVIOUS answer to this problem — as I have said a million times before — is to offer policies that appeal to young people — and political honesty from politicians: this will attract young people to the polls, and encourage them to become politically engaged in general.
This is not rocket science or some sort of enigma that only a genius can crack.
IT’S JUST FUCKING OBVIOUS!
Now that Corbyn is leading the Labour Party — currently supported by a large majority of young people — a recent mega-poll finding that if only under 40’s voted then our next Prime Minister would be Jeremy Corbyn — it seems that the obvious solution I proposed is, in fact, the correct one.
Following May’s announcement that there will be a snap General Election on June 8th a wide array of UK rappers and grime artists have endorsed Corbyn’s campaign to become PM.
That Corbyn could reach these supposedly politically apathetic rappers — and therefore likely their fans, and therefore potentially an entire generation supposedly entirely dispossessed from politics — is either down to Corbyn’s clear love of second-wave grime music, or his policies and political honesty.
As much as Corbyn acts like a MOTHERFUCKING O.G. — I think it is the latter that is the more likely explanation.
This election — and the support for Corbyn in general — is driven in large part by generational divides. The fact that an old-school state socialist like Corbyn — a man who is frequently referred to as a national security threat, a floundering-moronic-twat-idiot, and described as exuding all the charisma of an anaemic geography teacher — usually all in the same article — is appealing to young people is, of course, a good thing, but it’s not a shock, or really that strange when you think about it.
It has been put to me that the reason Corbyn is appealing to the young — is because — as we’re young we are therefore idealistic. And have yet to make enough money, and own property — the reasons I am told that so many old people prefer the Tories. Essentially just self-interested and therefore selfish reasons. We (apparently) will grow out of supporting Corbyn and socialist policies in the future as we too will grow up and own property and then become Tory supporting selfish old people.
One major flaw in this logic and hypothesis: millennials are the poorest generation since World War 2, and that won’t change anytime soon. A recent IFS study showed that people in their early 30’s now, currently have on average half the wealth of people born just 10 years earlier — when they were in their early 30’s.
If this rapid decrease in wealth and opportunity continues — as the neo-liberal doctrine dictates it will — then our generation are just the first to experience what will be an inevitable future of ever increasing poverty and misery. It has also been put to me that when young people inherit the wealth of their deceased parents then this will turn us selfish Tory voters — no doubt, it will with some people, yet given that the average age of life expectancy is 81 (and rising), for people like me who are 30 — my parents now in their early 50’s — this would mean I’d have to wait for another 30 years until they die, making me 60, before I have reason to potentially be a Tory voter according to this logic.
Madness, silliness and insanity — and yet old people always come out with stuff like this as an explanation for young people supporting Corbyn.
Either that or it’s idealism that we’ll all grow out of.
Well if it’s idealistic to aim for a welfare system that doesn’t kill thousands of disabled people — then call me idealistic — I hope I’m never so selfish as to consider that acceptable.
Corbyn’s appeal to young black people is also not that surprising — Corbyn was an active campaigner against South-African apartheid, and campaigned strongly against the illegal and endlessly catastrophic Iraq War — often viewed (correctly) as a modern form of imperialism — issues which lie at the heart of black socialist/intellectual movements, and the black community in general.
Whatever you think about Corbyn – I won’t be bullied into submission here — I like him, and support his policies, and determination to stand-up both historically and in the present for what is right — not for the powers that be — but for us — to have this from any politician shows you something.
And it is that kind of character that attracts people from all over, young and old to the Corbyn movement. Whatever you think of him — can anybody imagine Corbyn’s former leadership challengers: Angela Eagle, or Andy Burnham, or (Jesus, now I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel) Owen Smith — ever inspiring such a wide-range of people, from all races — to get involved in politics — to vote and to engage?
Can you imagine if Corbyn wins and becomes PM? JME could rap the national anthem…I’d imagine (and hope) that a new meaning would be given to the lyric “God save the Queen”.
Corbyn has urged young people to register to vote before May 22 as he knows this is one of his best (if not only routes) to any possible victory — millions of people (especially young) still remain unregistered to vote.
So if you give a fuck about the NHS, disabled people, disgusting tax breaks for millionaires and corporations, Drs, Nurses, schools, children, poverty, you know pretty much everything the Tories have destroyed and stolen from us — then do something about it.
Boy better know! (now, man better know, so I’m told).