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6 · News

By ANDREWde CASTRO• News Editor

Over 160 young people aged 16-25 fromthe BritishYouthCouncil (BYC) came together for a rally inWestmin- ster on 15th February, signalling the launch of their new General Election Manifesto.

Described by young people as a way

for politicians to “win them back,” the demonstration included speeches by MP’s andattemptedto showprospective parliamentary candidates exactly what the BYCwants fromthe government. Thenewfive-pointmanifestowas ap-

proved after a 6 month consultation by 600 young representatives fromaround the UK who debated and voted on ini- tial proposals, finally short-listing the

most important five actions that they be- lieve thenextParliamentmust focus on. The actions are: reducing the voting

age for parliamentary and other public elections to 16 years; creating an equal NationalMinimumWage for everyone aged over 16; investing in comprehen- sive mental health services for young people;keeping thepromise to endchild poverty by 2020 and supporting a Na- tional Youth Transport card that offers 16 to 25 year olds a thirdoff public trans- port fares. This is the first time in theBYCs 60-

year history that a manifesto has been created. “It’s really important to have a unified document that people can rally around,” said BYC Chair AlexDelaney. “Thismanifesto has proved that young

people are not hard to engage in active discussion about important political is- sues, they are just easy to ignore.” The issues raisedinthemanifesto are representative of nation-wide concerns; ·1stMarch 2010


BritishYouthCouncil launchesmanifesto

of lowering the voting age to 16. Fur- thermore,workers paid the adult rate of MinimumWage earnover £300more for amonth’s work than colleagues aged 16 to 17 doing the same job. Liam Preston believes the govern-


in 2009, the London Child Poverty Commission confirmed that 48% of inner London children live in poverty, and theYouth Citizenship Commission believes that 64%of thepublic are favour

ment is failing young people onmental healthissues; “Whenyoung people look out forhelpwithmentalhealth, the level of service at that point just isn’t there. Only 1% of young people feel that they cantalk to their parents about issues like eating disorders. If you can’t talk to your parents about it, it’s going to be even harder for you to talk about something that’s concerning you to someone else. We’re looking for an investment from the government to make these services accessible andmore appropriate.”

Poll reveals apparent student apathy


A recent study has found that only than half of UK students are plan- ning to vote in the forthcoming gen- eral election. The results show a high level of student apathy towards UK politics and major gaps in stu- dents’ political knowledge.

Results of the study,

polled by student accommodation provider UNITE, showed that 47% of students - equivalent to more than a million voters - would not be voting, or were highly unlikely to. The re- search found that students are largely indifferent to the main parties, with a quarter (24 per cent) unable to identify any differences between them or

If students voted tomorrow:

53%would vote 47% wouldn’t

King’s studentmur- der case continues


Alawstudent fromKing’sCollegeLondon (KCL) has been remanded n custody, chargedwithmurder after the discovery of human remains in his back garden, now confirmed to be those of his father.

Mark Alexander, 22, will be held in cus-

tody untilMay 17th when he is due to enter a plea. He was first arrested on Friday Feb- ruary 5th and is currently being held in cus- tody at Reading Crown Court. At first released on bail while amissing person’s in- quiry was launched, Alexander was re-ar- restedwithin 24 hours of the discovery of the remains. The remains had reportedly been

wrapped in plastic bags and buried in con- crete. Police said that they were too decom- posed for a cause of death to be ascertained

butwere identified as SamuelAlexander’s by his dental records.Det SgtCollingwood said neighbours, who reported Mr Alexander as missing on February 4th, remembered see- ing a concrete lorrymaking a delivery in the rear garden of the house on 17November. 70 year old SamuelAlexander, also known

as Sami Yacoub El-Kayoubi, was a retired university lecturer.He had lived in England for 40 years and inDrayton Parslow,Milton Keynes for 22 years. A neighbour told the Daily Mail “He was a very quiet and polite man who kept himself to himself.” He was only recently reportedmissing, after a neigh- bour mentioned to an off-duty policeman that he had last been seen attending a garden party in August. Mark Alexander has also been charged

with two counts of perverting the course of justice, and one count of obstructing a coro-

unsure what they stand for.Managing director of UNITE, Shane Spiers, said: “We believe it’s important for our residents to feel they can influence is- sues thatmattermost to them.” The research surveyed 1,556 UK

students on what would encourage them to vote and which party they would support if an election were

called immediately. Results showed that the majority would vote for the Green Party (19%), followed by the Conservatives (17%), Labour (14%) and the Liberal Democrats (13%). However, a third of the students who took part in the survey failed to name Gordon Brown as the PrimeMinister, while only 34% knew David Cameron

Who is the leader of the Labour Party?

67%Gordon Brown 33% don’t know / other

lead the Conservatives. In response to the survey, President

of theNationalUnion of StudentsWes Streeting said: “There is a wealth of evidence to show that students care about politics and realise its impact upon their lives such as fees and hous- ing, particularly when it comes to those who seek to charge them more for less. “Last year, research by Opinion-

panel showed that a political party’s position on tuition fees would affect how 79% of students would vote in a general election.This is hardly indica- tive of an apathetic and out-of-touch student population.” Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28
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