Apparently Britain’s youth are enmeshed in drinking, shagging and smoking and have no decent, proper rites-of-passage through which to become adults:
This mentality drives one of our most exciting proposals for young people – the National Citizen Service. This will offer all 16-year olds the opportunity to take part in a three-week social project in the summer after they’ve finished their GCSEs. First and foremost we want young people to experience a challenge – we’ll take them out of their comfort zones on a residential team-building course of a week or more.
After that they will be sent back to their own communities to consider what they think they can do to help meet their area’s needs. They will then draw up plans for social action projects which they will set up and keep going with volunteer work in the following year. This will be inspirational hard work giving every young person the opportunity to rub shoulders with others from very different walks of life and work with them to build better societies and communities.
So the Tories have no idea about young people. Still. What a complete load of nonsense. Firstly how absurd to say that there’s something wrong with young people drinking, smoking and shagging when that’s what all the adults they see are doing. If that’s the example that adults are setting, why are young people being blamed for following their lead? What young people need is to be trusted and empowered. They say:
We think young people should be seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem. And we want their help to mend our broken society.
Great, except a) society isn’t broken and b) the brokenness they point to invariably comes from…young people. What about finding out what young people’s needs are rather than proscribing them? Are the Tories signalling they’re going to oppose the Digital Economy Bill at the last moment? Are they going to abolish the Independent Safeguarding Authority (young people would have to be vetted as potential paedophiles if they’re volunteering)? Of course they’re not – they’re equally as committed to demonising and criminalising young people as New Labour. It’s a wheeze which will appeal to Tory traditionalists but there won’t be many young people who’ll pay the slightest bit of attention to this.
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