Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The UK Youth Parliament - It’s young, it’s dynamic, it’s all happening - NOT!

Hooray, it’s the UK Yoof Parliament!

They’re there to speak up for the kids, to tell all those old fart controlling fuddy-duddies at Westminster exactly what they can do with their skewed view of democracy, the appalling West Lothian fit-up, the English-only tuition taxes fiasco - and the tax on lollipops..

And guess what, this isn’t some tin-pot rabble of supa-strength cider-drinking delinquent losers – oh no, they’re organised, their leaders press the flesh with lots of Establishment movers and shakers, and only last week, some of their members were on the BBC news 24 station waxing lyrical about ‘knife crime’ and how to solve it, innit.

Of course, in order to spread the word of the young right across the UK, they have devolved youth organisations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland ....... But not in England, obviously.

And after an email to ‘Tom’, one of their funky, young leaders (I’ve put a tenner on him becoming Prime Minister within 30 years), I was told that there were no plans to introduce an English Youth Parliament.... and they also had no thoughts on devolution, or on how the skewed UK constitutional model could be fixed.... “As an organisation we don’t have a particular viewpoint on devolution.... Basically we are a youth organisation and the creation of an English parliament is not an issue which is at the top of young people’s priorities.” Regards, Tom, FPM (Future Prime Minister).

I don’t know about you, but I thought being young was all about swimming against the flow, having an attitude, being a bit of a pain in the arse for what you believe in – and asking ‘Why’, ‘Why should I?’ and ‘Why not’ a lot. But apparently, I’m wrong. The UKYP appears to be little more than a sort of Kindergarten, ’Toddling-Politics Crèche’ for budding Establishment politicians –‘Join the UK Youth Parliament – and ready yourself for a life in politics, courtesy of the taxpayer’

Just what is the point of setting up a youth parliament that is not only a ‘Mini-me’ clone of the flawed, self indulgent and corrupted big boys version at Westminster - but again ignores the English and national English representation?

And now it seems all so predictable! Delving a little deeper, it appears that the UK Youth Parliament is bankrolled by the UK Government, while the devolved youth parliaments are financed by the corresponding devolved administrations.....

This taken from the UK Youth Parliament News Archive -
'UKYP received from Government only £110k for the 2002/3 year and £165k this current year whereas we understand that Funky Dragon(the Welsh Youth Parliament) received around £280k in 2002/3'.

The DfES sponsored review we hope will address such resourcing issues as well as structural options. As the report points out, there is no English Youth Parliament so UKYP effectively provides that function as well. It works in particular with local authorities and the emerging English regional structures. This is a direction favoured in many political quarters rather than an England wide approach. Mrs Hodge’s comment on the "need for [a separate] English Youth Parliament" brings an added dimension to the debate."

Amazing, the Welsh version gets not far off three times as much as the the UK model, no doubt thanks to the good old Barnett Formula cash box - and the UKYP is doubling up as an English Youth Parliament. Some things never change - don't you just love it?

1 comment:

Toque said...

Check this out (the tuition fees debate).