Do you have a baby Noah in your family? The chances are quite high. From being almost unheard of twenty years ago, by 2015 it was the third most popular boys’ name in Northern Ireland. There’s a sad appropriateness about that, because Noah’s generation will know more of floods than any before it. Climate change is a huge shadow looming over our young people, but it isn’t the only
one. Who suffers most from the failure to form an Executive? Our children, with James Brokenshire telling us that education cuts reflect the priorities of the mainstream parties. Who inherits the poison of those unresolved legacy issues? The generation that cannot possibly be to blame. Who will lose the most freedom, opportunities and wellbeing after Brexit? Those who were too young even to vote against it.
When I was first a Green Party candidate, three elections ago, people told me, “It’ll take a long time to change politics here.” They thought that would put me off. But it did the opposite. If something is quick and easy, there’s no hurry about beginning it. But the harder the task, the longer the road, the more urgent it is to start. And the more important it is for others to join. When Noah comes to vote, will FST still be a byword for divisive binary politics? Or will we have broader horizons and brighter hopes? And will you have been a part of that change?
The Green Party is putting you and your families first. That includes protecting our young people from the looming walls of a hard Brexit. It includes giving our children the education and healthcare that they need. And it includes supporting them, whatever their identity, in their hard journey to rewarding work and a home, a family, a future of their own. There are huge challenges ahead that Noah’s generation will not be able to avoid. Let’s at least begin to help them.
Photo by תהלה הרץ used under Creative Commons licence