Are young people politically apathetic? Not this lot


Wingtips for some fine young minds – with more to be added

Well…they have had sand kicked in their faces by the political establishment for stuff they didn’t do and/or wasn’t their fault, so they have a right to be angry, don’t they? Note I’ve not put a number on what ‘young’ is. This is deliberate.

One of the other reasons for doing this is I have stumbled across a number of brilliant young bloggers and tweeters – the majority of them women. As they are more often than not on the receiving end of a ridiculous amount of hatred, I wanted them to know that there is lots of support out there – not least from this lot below.

The format will be Twitter account followed where applicable by link to blog or website.

I’m going to start with Cat Smith – who posts here. Tribal Labour/Christian Socialist type who stood at the 2010 election. How many of us automatically assume that Christians are  right-leaning?

Kelly, who tumbles here was one of the first vocal feminist atheist types I started following, followed very quickly by Zoe Stavri, who is one of the most brilliantly fiery bloggers I’ve ever met. It was through her that I also stumbled across Ellen Yianni who between the two of them have busted many-a-myth about feminism. Both @ShutupCaf and Katie McAlpine (alongside sidekick Lauren Cole) have also provided their own splendidly clear feminism myth-busting articles in recent times too. I like the way they challenge me to think about stuff in a way that you seldom get with the mainstream press. They also have an energy that I really wish I still had sometimes. Someone else who is absolutely hard-as-nails and who takes no prisoners is Anna Fleur (blogging here) – who I met with Millie Epona on my first visit to Liverpool. Into the similar crowd can also be found Mediocre Dave. In a similar vein and league is PiercePenniless – blogging here.

Louisa Loveluck used to study at Cambridge and is still my first port of call for all things happening in the Middle East – blogging here.

The first scientist I stumbled across was Michelle Brooke – also from Cambridge. It was through her that I started making a few links between scientists, sceptics/skeptics and atheists. With science still in mind is Heather Doran, beavering away for a PhD in Aberdeen. Also on a science theme is Sarah Castor-Perry, one of the loveliest of girls I’ve met and the first person who was able to explain what the Higgs Boson was to me in language I could understand. Lauren Reid is also one to look out for – though some science tweets may not be safe for thin-skinned bosses!

One of the strongest proponents for atheism is James Croft – who’s father I used to work for during my civil service days, and who’s sister DottySparkles was one of Puffles’ earliest followers. Another young secular humanist who I recently discovered is Eliza Black.

The first person who I started interacting with on Twitter who was still at secondary school at the time was LissyNumber. This bundle of brains has got a wise head on young shoulders – the quality of her blogging is very mature for her years. The same goes for young astronomer Hannah H – similar age to LissyNumber but blogging on all things space-related. (If you like all things space, see Dr Lucy Rogers too).

Some of you may have noticed Puffles and I going after the Olympics. Jennifer Jones, who I met when she came to Cambridge last year, has been blogging about this for a lot longer. She also has a voice and raw passion in what she does that reminds me of Amy McDonald. Talking of all things Scotland, there are a number of Scots whose presence prevents me from being trapped permanently in the Westminster political bubble. Stevie Wise is one of them, as is Ceilidh-Anne – the latter who also covers literature and US politics so that I don’t have to! If the more nuttier types on that side of the pond have dome something stupid and I find out about it, it’s normally because she’s tweeted about it. Also in Scotland are a couple of people not keen on Westminster at all. Gail Lythgoe of the SNP is one of them. Hannah B takes a slightly different few, being one of the people behind Liberal Youth in Scotland. Hop over the Irish sea and you find Susie, who has a habit of pulling the rest of us up on what bad stuff can happen if faith schools are allowed to run riot and divide societies – amongst other political things.

At the opposite end of the country is Maddie Soper – one of two people who have mentioned Puffles on student radio – the other being one of the youngest councillors in the country, Cllr Kerri Prince – who was still doing A-levels when elected. Not far from Maddie is Ruthie Dee – who I bumped into on a visit to Bristol – along with @TheNatFantastic (the latter having previously met at PufflesCamp in Brighton last year).

I want to give a mention to Rosianna – whose eyes hypnotise me and who also set the standard for vlogging before she got to university. (She recently graduated).

On the young liberal political side of things are Daniel Furr (blogging here), Ellie Sharman (blogging here), Hannah Claytor, Kat DadswellCllr Daisy Benson (who set the standard of having digital media bouncing off social media) and Political Parry.

For young labour types, I’ve mentioned Cllr Kerri Prince above. Around the edges are Emma Jackson Stuart, Emma @Zetlandi, and Andy Hicks. someone even younger than Kerri, Sophie Nash who has just done her GCSEs. Owen Jones you know about. More involved locally to me is Cllr Carina O’Reilly – known to Puffles ( for plying not-so-little-dragons with beer) who sits on Cambridge City Council, as does Cllr Richard Johnson. Unfortunately we seem to have lost Cllrs George Owers and Adam Pogonowski to Twitter – which I think is a big shame. In and around university circles is Simone Webb Closer to Westminster is Lauren Edwards. Shelly Asquith recently campaigned for Ken Livingstone. I’ve not met her yet though get a feeling her heart’s in the same place as Cat Smith’s. (See top).

In trade union circles is Helen Flanagan – still a PCS rep like I once was during my civil service days. Hamish Drummond – who I had the pleasure of meeting during those days is still there too.

I also keep tabs on environmentalists. Jess Stanton of People and Planet – the first non-Puffles account to feature Puffles in her avatar is one. Within the Green Party is Georgina Bavetta and Elliot Folan – along with Adam Ramsay and Gus Hoyt

Working for the Young Advisers charity is Sean O’Halloran. On the Youth Parliament is Rhammel Afflick. Both are the sort of types you’d see engaging with BBC Free Speech – the new politics show for young people that many a mainstream politician has the habit of getting completely roasted on. They think it’s going to be a shouting match but end up getting skewered at the same time.

Moving in media circles – and custodian of Puffles’ first set of house rules is Sophie Warnes. Caroline Mortimer is another in such circles. See her post about Tony Blair’s return.

There are four young medics that are also worth keeping an eye on. Top of the pile is Natalie Silvey, but not far behind are Fi Douglas, Hannah Johnson-Hughes and Kate Bowman. (I’ve met the first two but not the latter two but if they are as nice as the first two, we’re in safe hands).


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