Thursday, July 17, 2014

Introducing Linda Jack on...............

For some time I have been writing a blog for youth sector magazine Children and Young People Now, Linda Jack on........... which is one of the reasons I have neglected this blog. As many of you will know I am passionate about young people and have always done what I can to ensure that we have policies in the party and the country that properly take account of their needs, hopes, fears and aspirations. For that reason I was proud to chair the party working group that came up with our youth policy "Free to be Young" (which it should be said, includes pics of my children - see if you can spot them!). 

Today I've been reflecting on the cabinet reshuffle as it relates to the youth sector. But I have used the blog to reflect on a range of youth issues both as part of the sector and as a Lib Dem, including the need for qualified teachers, raising the age of criminal responsibility, benefits and young people, tackling race inequality in education and employment and many other issues that impact on young people and those who work with them. 

One of our most urgent priorities as a party, I believe, is to re-engage with the young people for whom we have been and always should be, their natural champions. We can do that by reflecting our understanding, expressed in our policies, of the issues that often impact on them unfairly. This is particularly for instance if they have a disability, are from BAME communities, are looked after, are in the criminal justice system, are homeless or living in poverty, are dealing with bullying, particularly with homophobic or islamophobic bullying. I trust this blog, while sometimes challenging our party, goes some way to continuing to demonstrate that we do still have a commitment to our young people and will, I trust, produce a manifesto that demonstrates that.