On the 9th of October, Taking the Initiative party (TTIP) hosted their brand-new councillor training course to inspire people from non-political backgrounds to learn more about local politics. They set out to show them that regardless of class, gender, race or education, we all deserve a chance to partake in local politics and make our voices heard.
“I think the key with what we’re doing here is to give people the confidence to go in and be leaders, restore their faith in politics and understand what the role is in its most basic form,” explains Charles Gordon, one of the founders of TTIP.
I’m interested in TTIP number one because it’s a new party. The other parties have quite an outdated approach to politics, even in how they run their events. This is a new party with a new vibe and a new energy. It is a party that is inclusive to all and it’s made up of real people like myself that are very genuine about the causes they want to campaign about, and I think that’s what’s missing in politics today, genuine people.” A new member from TTIP comments on her first impressions after the event.
It is hard to expect young people to get on board with politics and take hold of their future when we have two major political parties in the UK that do not make an active effort to represent ethnic minorities and connect with young people. These councillor training sessions are an incredible opportunity to make politics accessible to all, and not just the Eton educated, middle aged 1% of our society.
“A lot of problems we’ve been made to believe are black and white problems that are culturally based. The truth of the matter is- these are economic problems. And they’re social economic problems. So, the reality is that the poorer people aren’t represented, whether they’re black, white or whatever background.” one of the founders of TTIP Charles remarks.
The training course touched base on all the most important aspects of a councillor’s role, including (but not limited to) exploring different case studies, the nomination process for local council elections, local council structure and policies, how to deliver a speech, codes of conduct and the responsibilities of a local councillor. Attendees were given certificates to mark their completion of the course.
It is more important than ever to provide people with equal opportunities to get into politics, as according to the latest LGA census, 96% of councillors are white, 63% are male and 68% have obtained a degree. The average age of a councillor is 59 years old. We are in desperate need of leveling the playing field.
An even more shocking statistic to consider is the staggering contrast between the percentage of working-class MPs in politics coming in at a minute 4% in comparison to the 60% working class of the total UK population.
TTIP strives for a newfound inclusivity in politics that has never been done before with any of the other parties. The only way in which we can work against these social inequalities is by giving people a helping hand to go into politics and to be the change that they need.
Notes for editors:
Taking the Initiative Party can see a brighter future for the UK, where everyone has a chance to make a difference and to thrive.
The party, formed in 2016, has a growing membership and is looking to field its first candidates in the 2022 local council elections, followed by its first candidates for MP at the next general election.
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