Former Labour & Co-operative Member of Parliament, Kemptown & Peacehaven

Statment for the European Youth Forum.

by Lloyd on 31.10.08
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Dear members,

I am pleased to be nominated by the International Falcon Movement – Socialist Education International (IFM-SEI) and supported by the British Youth Council (BYC) whom I have represented here for a number of years.

I believe passionately about youth work and changing Europe so that young people are better off in all areas. We must build this world for the many not the few, so that all have access to the resources and spaces that they need.

“Span the world with friendship” – International Falcon Movement

I subscribe fully to the IFM-SEI slogan, and believe that in spanning that world with friendship we can learn from each other for the betterment of all young people regardless of race, creed or nationality.
Sustainable Development
We live on a fragile earth, an earth that if we don’t start caring for will not last very long. I have a long history of activism in the environmental fields with a focus on education. At the first earth summit in Rio in 1992 the message from young people to the world leaders was so controversial that the microphones were cut off. Ten years later I was there when the leaders stood in solidarity with youth, pledging to fight for our planet because of the youth statement. The argument from young people was won and its now widely accepted that environmental, social and economic poverty are some of the biggest dangers that we face.
This acknowledgement of the youth message is not the end. It the start of a larger, more proactive push to make sure that everyone acts. We mustn’t let people off the hook. If elected to the Bureau I would push for the YFJ to hold those that make decisions to account.

“If people who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of change do not know it is happening – then it probably is not happening.”
– Lord Herman Ouseley, London

As young people we will be the biggest beneficiaries of any change for the future but if we are not happy then we must shout. I believe that the YFJ not only in climate change, but also in child, youth, employment and education affairs must take the lead in monitoring the changing and speaking out to make sure that it happens.

I believe that it is important for the YFJ membership to be grassroots activists as well as political lobbyists. I currently work in the Union of Students for Bradford University as the General Secretary and Treasurer. In this role I have political responsibility as well as working with students in need. I know the daily concerns of students as well as understanding the needs of student organisations in this role I have taken a particular focus on immigration as the University with the highest international student population outside of London in the UK.

Migration and Human Rights
No one is illegal, has been my mantra in working to allow student to study and stay in the UK. I have taken the UK government to court twice, both times getting leave for them to remain to study, achieving tangible success for students.

I remember a 16 year old at one of our IFM-SEI members camps saying to me:

“Before I came to camp I thought that Asylum Seekers were only trying to steal off us… … now they are my mates and they can even teach me stuff”

A week later the asylum seeker that camped with them was facing deportation. It was that friendship, fostered at camp, that meant that the 16 year old, started a petition, met his MEP for the first time and lobbied for his friend to stay – they are reunited again. Through education we can breed tolerance and the Youth Forum has a vital role to play in sharing best practice and promoting human rights amongst young people, and I believe the latest draft of the Work Plan, looking at the development of migrant organisations will strengthen the Youth Forums profile.

We have a great opportunity to develop the dissemination of best practice to get young people involved and engaged. In the UK I was part of a team that develop standards for all to follow. IFM-SEI at its heart is about getting young people participating in society, at one of our many camps this summer we focused on Anti-Apathy, getting young people thinking critically. With young people from all backgrounds we can reach out and engage and only with young people from all background can we achieve change!

Without young people’s involvement in the design, delivery and dissemination of things that effect them we will achieve little. From the political party to the school young people should be engaged at all levels.

In 2005 in colleges and schools around the country we established with the UK Youth Parliament the Operation Student Vote. As coordinator I worked to promote not only voting but engagement in the political process being part of the Votes at 16 campaign, something which I still believe in strongly. This was 4 years on from my involvement in the declaration that eventually created ESSA (English School Students Association), the UK member OBESSU.

With school parliaments, and youth clubs an integrated approach to Life Long Learning is vital. The YFJ’s recent adoption of papers calling for better vocational education, education as a Right and free education are important stand points as formal education is a vital key for young peoples progression. This doesn’t mean that non-formal education can be overlooked, and the development of standards in non-formal education will eventually come. I believe that we must be there, creating the peer lead frameworks for our own standards for education in this area, keeping non-formal education non-formal.

The range of organisations that I have worked with from scouting, student, youth councils and youth clubs gives me the unique perspective in representing the wide range of membership that we have in the Forum. I believe fully that we can make a real impact and as I said at the start “span that world with friendship”

Please do contact me on the details above to talk about my candidature and I hope that I will see you at the General Assembly, where you will feel confident to vote for me.

In friendship,


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Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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