Young people and politics – not just a photo op

School delegation for If campaign

School delegation for If campaign

Yesterday this group of young people went to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister. as part of the Oxfam “enough food for everyone”, If campaign.  When they got there they were kept waiting without explanation, not given the time to put their (pre-submitted, vetted and approved) questions to the PM and herded about by some aggressive PR handlers who really wanted to get the picture op over and done with. The questions were fielded instead by actor David Walliams who was there too – and handled the whole thing with aplomb, apparently.

I know this because my daughter was part of the delegation.  Her opinion of Mr Cameron – admittedly not high to start off with – has dropped a few more notches. Her cynicism about politicians has been reinforced.  I really hope that Oxfam got some pictures they can use – it’s a great cause.  Equally,  I really hope that No 10 don’t ever trot these images out as an example of successful engagement with young people.  I’m sure David Cameron has many, many important things to do in his day. Finding time to meet young people interested enough in the state of the world to get involved in a campaign like this should be one of them.  I’m equally sure that whenever these guys are old enough to vote they won’t have forgotten the way they were treated when they went to Downing Street.


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