Getting engaged

I am writing to provide a “fresh contribution” as encouraged by Allan Massie in his article about political apathy (Perspective, 1 January).

As a 23-year-old female, I 
imagine I am in the minority of those reading the comment 
articles in The Scotsman over the festive period so I wanted to contribute some thoughts.

I entirely agree with Massie that politics remains a topic that large sections of society do not engage in.

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I attended several political activist events in 2013, such as “Changin’ Scotland”, and I was disappointed by the low level of representation of ethnic minorities and young females at them.

I want to play an active part in decisions that affect my future but I recognise that the general feeling among my peers is that their opinion doesn’t matter. Why bother starting to care when in reality you cannot make a difference?

Massie is also correct in stating that 2014 is going to be a tedious year for some as they continually switch off from political arguments that are repeatedly thrust upon them. In my own experience, chatting to people about politics becomes much more liberating and animated when a person realises you come 
from no political standpoint yourself.

When having any political discussions I make it clear that I am not telling them to care because I want to persuade them to vote a particular way – I simply believe that all members of society deserve to have a voice. This opens a space free from any agendas which I think many find refreshing.

Rather than 2014 being a “date with apathy”, I hope this year we can strive to make every member of society feel informed and included in politics.

Truth is, there is gin to be drunk and dance-floors to be boogied on.

Personally, I hope we can combine both in some real New Year “party” politics.

Lynn Pilkington

Blackfriars Road