Political Promise

PP Issue 1: Editorial

In Charlie Edwards on March 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

Over the next few days, we are going to be posting some of the original articles from the first issue of the magazine released in December 2010, as we get ready for Issue 2. Here is Charlie Edwards‘ editorial from the first magazine:

Dear readers of Political Promise,

This is not just another magazine, this is a political movement in it’s own right. Before I start, can I just say thank you for reading this magazine. I hope the next forty-or-so pages persuade you to buy the next issue.

I set up Political Promise because I feel privileged to witness the best of our generation in my everyday life. In the past few months, two of my best friends returned a man’s wallet thinking nothing of it. Another friend has been given the cancer all-clear for the second time. Another friend was rejected from his chosen university with A*AA a-level results. You rarely hear stories of such talent, such bravery or such honesty in the press – all too eager to highlight the flaws of the ‘youth of today’. I intended to do something about it.

The general election may be characterised by Twitter, the televised debates or maybe THAT conversation with a ‘bigoted old woman’. But I saw it as a real first for participation among young people. Our generation has a ferocious appetite in politics, most of you reading this are indeed studying politics in some form.

Political Promise is your voice. It’s my voice. It’s the voice of our generation. A generation fed up with the patronising hierarchy of society, the bland media and the many other industries characterised by cronyism and favour-mongering. A previous government leaves an economic mess we shall clean up, and a current government isn’t cleaning up properly: it’s no good being apathetic now.

Politics is not the preserve of old. Not any more.

I have a simple message to those who don’t share this view of students: in an age of democracy-ignoring politicians, of unactedupon strife and hunger, a warped media bubble and financiers promising the world and it’s dog; we have a Political Promise for you right here: the voice of the young generation is here, it is loud, proud and worth listening to.

I hope you enjoy reading.

Charlie Edwards


  1. You’re on to a real winner here! You’ve got some great ideas floating about throughout the magazine and across the website, which tackle some really interesting problems in many very interesting ways. To have such a forum that act as a launch pad for young people’s new ideas before the big, bad world traps us in established lines can of thinking is highly commendable.

    One thing I can’t help noticing though, and is perhaps surprising for a young peoples blog, is that things are very Westminster focussed. Most articles tend to be about this-or-that Parliamentary Bill, or this-or-that MP, which seems rather at odds with the way current trends are going. Largely, people are very cynical about politicians and national politics, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Looking around, there are almost no MPs or politicians that a significant number of people would describe as ‘well-liked’, nor perhaps even ‘likable.’ Certainly, none of the current front-bench lot seem capable of inspiring a widespread popular or cult following, let alone gathering the individual stature of Lloyd George, Churchill, Attlee, Thatcher or the early-Blair.

    It was the twentieth century that was the Century of the Politician, the current one seems to be shaping up about something else.

    Granted, outside of Britain, Obama might have proved that popular politicians and political platforms were not a thing of the past, and that someone was capable of sparking the adulating eyes of the admiring masses. But the despondency about him that has risen over the last couple of years has instead proved testament to the fact that it seems we’re all too cynical (or perhaps realistic) in the modern world, to believe that any one man, in any one job, can really change our individual lives.

    Indeed, this is a fact that even politicians have woken up to; neoconservatives claiming to hate all political parties, the liberal right promulgating the idea of the Big Society and left somewhat reinvigorating its relationship with workers unions and the grassroots movement. In all cases, high politics is low on the emphasis scale. Politics is increasingly coming about how individuals and groups simply respond and react with the public sphere in their everyday lives rather than what’s on this week’s parliamentary timetable.

    A large part of this was embodied in the student protests (which was covered very effectively and insightfully in your first magazine), but what might be nice also is to have more stories about people’s local and personal political campaigns, which can written about here so that your readers can take the lessons away and help transform their own local areas and lives. Apparently Leeds university union recently banned the sale of Coco-Cola in all university shops and cafes in attempt to help fight off the expansion of big, global business? There surely must a section of the young population that have been/are moving into one the new Free Schools that could tell us, without all the political point scoring and rhetoric, if they’re actually any good? The same’s the case with the new British Baccalaureate..

    You’ve done a great job so far, take it further!


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