I wrote this speech for the Common Sense Tour in April 2013, which I performed in front of a large audience including some of the top UKIP figures including Nigel Farage.
The future is uncertain, in many ways now, more than ever. There are so many options open to us, none of them cheap, that they do overwhelm many young people today. As I speak, my £9000 a year university education is subjected to unknown amounts of variables; will I be able to save enough money to afford it? Will I pass my exams to get there in the first place? Will the institution be abolished for being too costly?
I work every weekend, sometimes also in the evenings, in order to raise enough money to be able to fall into the trap of a thirty-year debt. This debt set by ministers who got their own university education free of charge, but likely had enough money growing up to pay current tuition fees sevenfold and not break a sweat.
At seventeen, I am worried about debt. When I finish my degree, how long before the government decides that it needs that loan recalled suddenly, leaving me penniless? How do I know that their assurances aren’t hollow, and that I won’t struggle to buy my first house because of this money?
Despite these fears, I decide to work hard and pass my exams and go to university. However these exams are worlds away from the ones that my middle sister will do in two years, or that my youngest will do in six; in the space of one generation, the education system has had so many changes made to it’s foundations that it is unrecognisable and unrelated to any former models. But of course, I have to accept this detached modification, because the all-powerful government said so, right?
Wrong. I don’t have to sit back and watch as my beloved Grammar Schools are forced into the back waters.
I don’t have to accept that schooling has become foreign to the concept of teaching.
I don’t have to agree with the thousands of pounds that I’ll rack up in debt over the next four years simply because I choose to further my mind.
I want an opinion. I want a voice. I want to make a difference. That’s why I chose UKIP.
Admittedly, as a Politics student I’m more aware of governmental affairs than some of my peers, but as more and more legislative decisions made create a more unsteady, more uncertain future for my generation, more and more of us are opening our eyes and taking stock of the affairs of the state. We are realising that we need a government that cares, not only about the now, but about the future. We need a government that will stand firm against the bureaucratic nobodies of the EU, who presume to tell us how to run this, the mighty United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We need a party that will stand, resolute, in its beliefs and pledges, not make convenient short cuts and U-turns, will oversee its citizens and guide them, not control them. A party that will help make the future slightly more certain.
So I chose my future. Just like my university choices, I researched, I asked questions, and I picked the future best for me. I picked UKIP. And you’ll find many more young people opening their eyes, taking notice, and choosing UKIP too. Thank you.