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Out of touch and out of ideas, clearly...

Submitted on Thu, 16/04/2009 - 5:35pm

Today's discovery of the Lib Dem councillor at Hertfordshire County Council who has rapped his manifesto from the Liberal Democrat "six to fix" policies on film and posted it on youtube is nothing short of embarrassing. (Telegraph article)

This attempt to attract the youth vote is yet another example of our out of touch politicians.  East Herts People are huge advocators of engaging with young people, getting them interested in local politics and encouraging them to vote; but as a group of young researchers, who are the target age group for this type of political persuasion we can assure you  this video is not the right way to go about it.  Our initial reactions were ones of horror at the sight of a politician trying to be "cool" and "out there".  If this is the reaction of young people who are politically aware, it does not bode well for those who are already turned off at the thought of politics. 

I suppose we should admire the initiative and the acknowledgement that local politics needs more of a draw for the younger voter, but a rap, really?  And a rap that is nothing more than old fashioned beat poetry.  It just makes me want to cringe.  What makes it worse is that this comes from the youngest member of the Council, a 30 year old, surely he should know better? Frankly I find this sort of thing patronising and it's highly unlikely that it will work.  If the aim is for it to become some sort of youtube phenomenon in the style of the recent Britain's Got Talent singer who has racked up 11 million hits then I fear they may have got it horribly wrong as it is more likely to become popular for different reasons.  

Young people want to be inspired, they want leaders and representatives who are in touch with them and who offer solutions.  It is not easy to make young people interested in local politics but for a start maybe politicians should go out and meet the target audience, speak to them and discover what they want. It is highly likely that they will find young people to be in need a lot of a more than a rap on youtube if there is to be any chance of creating interest in local politics. 

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