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

Your Youth Forum as an agenda setter; your Vice-President as a co-operaive leader

by Lloyd on 31.10.12
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I thought that I should get some discussions going here and welcome questions to me as one of the candidates for Vice-President. I wish all the candidates good luck and hope that we manage a positive election.


I’m sitting here in my house looking out the window at a city like many others in Europe which has past its glory. Bill-boards surrounding potential building sites, with the promise of European Development Funds which either never came or ran out too quickly.

Young people without work queue outside the Job Centre without any prospects and even graduates at the University which is close buy now have little chance of getting a job. The city could be many cities across Europe: concrete tower blocks, now empty; former industrial mills, boarded up; and people struggling to survive keep their heads down as they pass each other in the street.

It is a complete change to the backdrop when I first moved to this city, it was at the time bidding to be European Cultural capital, the shopping centre was about to be rebuilt (it still stands demolished) and there was a feeling that revival for young people was coming, the mosque down the road had been re-furbished and the troubles of the past seemed to be fading into the background – how quickly that optimism is forgotten, how quickly people retreat into their own communities scared of the person next door, scared of what will come next, scared to speak out as nothing will change.


In many ways, this is a bit like Europe at large, the optimism seems to have been lost, people retreat into their own nation states and solidarity seems to go out the window. These multiple crises of ecology, of democracy, of employment and of the economy converge and are the crises the youth forum must seek to challenge.

I am proud of the work that we have done in the last two years but it is only a splash in the ocean, we need to do much more – further pushing democratic reforms, needing to call for greater investment in youth and youth organizations needing to remind Europe that it was built on investing in the future generations.

Europe as a political, economic and human rights union was created in the lowest time in our continents history, war ravaged, when debt was spiraling and industry destroyed: we invested in industry, in human rights, in a vision for the future and this is what we need to do today.


As your Vice-President however, it is not for me to set the political priorities but to express your priorities to transform this platform into an “Agenda Setter”. In the work plan the board proposes to focus our work based on the Strategic Priorities that you the members voted for; on Participation, Strong Youth Organizations and Inclusive Autonomy for young people in Europe.

As your Vice-President I will be able to do this based on my experience leading campaigns (20 years of community activism), on my experience lobbying institutions (10 years of UN work) and my experience knowing when to take to the streets (8 years of radical politics) and when to take to the corridors (5 years in the youth forum) to win our arguments.

At 26 years old, I believe the youth forum is a Union, a Union for young people’s youth organizations and organized young people across Europe. We should not be ashamed of that, we should not shrink at that mandate and I want to be part of a team who will facilitate you as members achieving the change that your members need to see.


You can see more information on my website if you want, and contact me directly on, but welcome discussion on this forum so that Elise and I can both answer together (and maybe start a fruitful working relationship which I hope as Vice-President I will be able to continue with her in the board). I look forward to working with all candidates who get elected and those that don’t. I await any specific questions you may have in this elections which I am happy to answer.

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

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