Why pol­i­tics is ev­ery­where

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - SPEAKER’S CORNER - Beki Sel­lick, Lib­eral Democrat Prospec­tive Par­lia­men­tary Can­di­date for Peter­bor­ough

Peter­bor­ough Regional Col­lege buzzes with the en­thu­si­asm of stu­dents start­ing a new term, many of them be­gin­ning their lives be­yond school and set­ting out on their cho­sen ca­reer jour­neys.

I asked if they were in­ter­ested in pol­i­tics.

Most said: No. Obv. Why not? Pol­i­tics is bor­ing.

So I flicked through the fly­ers in my LibDem pack: you in­ter­ested in sex? Re­sult!

Ev­ery­one should have the chance to learn about sex and re­la­tion­ships in a safe, non-judge­men­tal space: in­clude con­sent and ha­rass­ment; porn and sex­ting; LGBT+ re­la­tion­ships and gen­der iden­tity; body image and plea­sure. Like.

Then the stu­dent who’d asked a ques­tion about Men­tal Health ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port for young peo­ple recog­nised me from the Gen­eral Elec­tion De­bate at PRC, back in May. How was my an­swer, I asked her?

Pretty good. D’you agree with LibDem work in gov­ern­ment to treat men­tal health with the same re­spect as phys­i­cal health and our on­go­ing fight for Equal Fund­ing and Equal Rights? Yeah. Join the cam­paign at www.younglib­er­als.uk/men­tal­health ? Sure.

Are you both­ered about hous­ing? Nope.

Good news – the stu­dents I met were in se­cure ac­com­mo­da­tion and hadn’t started wor­ry­ing about their fu­ture homes.

Dif­fer­ent story at our Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion com­mu­nity café on Sun­day: with the low paid char­ity worker re­sort­ing to liv­ing with his par­ents; and the young fam­ily of the tal­ented mu­si­cian squashed into one room of a rented house.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s record can only im­prove, but be­yond that we need to shift power: from cen­tral gov­ern­ment to lo­cal, so the PCC can build more Coun­cil hous­ing; from pri­vate land­lords to ten­ants, build­ing on the good im­pacts Se­lec­tive Li­cenc­ing is mak­ing in our city, and adding fairer no­tice pe­ri­ods, cre­at­ing “Rent to own”, in­creas­ing sup­port to pre­vent home­less­ness…

Brexit any­one? Sad faces. They’re upset for them­selves: lost chances to study, work and holiday eas­ily abroad; is­sues for their col­lege friends (wher­ever they or they par­ents were born). They know that if they and all 16-17 year olds had voted in the Ref­er­en­dum, we’d be Re­main­ing. Votes for all aged 16 and above is LibDem pol­icy. Like.

They can al­ready see the Brexit im­pact of ris­ing prices, dis­ap­pear­ing jobs; they fear lower en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards.

Pol­i­tics is about the air we breathe. My for­mal ques­tion to Full Coun­cil in Jan­uary: Not­ting­ham’s in­tro­duc­ing elec­tric buses; with our ris­ing ni­tro­gen diox­ide lev­els, why isn’t Peter­bor­ough? Like.

Pol­i­tics should be about the real stuff that af­fects our lives.

Tell me beki.sel­lick. libdem@gmail.com your is­sues so we can build up our man­i­festo for Peter­bor­ough around them.

LibDems are dif­fer­ent – we’re not try­ing to buy your vote, we’re ask­ing you to vote for us and our val­ues.

We stick to what we be­lieve in, and we’re al­ways open to new ev­i­dence about what works – from ex­perts and from ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing other politi­cians.

Our fun­da­men­tal val­ues are about lib­erty, equal­ity and com­mu­nity; em­pow­er­ing each of us so no one feels trapped by poverty, lack of ed­u­ca­tion or knowl­edge or pres­sured to follow the crowd.

We’re not good at sound bites and we ad­mit the world is com­pli­cated, but LibDem mem­ber­ship has risen to record lev­els this month.

If you follow me @LibDemBeki on twit­ter you’d know that LibDems over­took the Tories to be­come the sec- ond largest UK party – and we’re grow­ing in Peter­bor­ough too.

Al­ways room for more!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.